Monday, February 14, 2022

Vodafone UK selects Oracle's network policy management

Vodafone UK, which currently serves 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK will deploy Oracle's cloud-native network policy management solution as part of its 5G core.

Converged policy management is comprised of the 5G Core Policy Control Function (PCF) and the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF). Oracle said its solution helps to dynamically prioritizes low-latency applications to edge data networks, while continuously optimizing network policies based on data analytics. For example, based on the data, the solution can help Vodafone customers get the network offering that best suits their needs, be it connecting smart devices, utilizing live streaming, or enabling AR/VR gaming. As such, Vodafone can provide a seamless experience across 4G and 5G networks while simultaneously delivering a smooth integration of new 5G services. The solution will be deployed by Oracle Communications consulting.

"5G undoubtedly opens the door for endless new ways to engage with our world, but intelligent policy management is the entryway to capitalize on these opportunities," said Andrew Morawski, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications, Networks. "Our 5G and cloud capabilities are helping Vodafone to build a future-proof network that is automated, easier to scale, simpler to operate, and more cost-effective."

"Moving to 'cloud native' is a culture shift as much as it is a technology shift for a techcomms company like Vodafone," said Andrea Dona, chief network officer, Vodafone UK. "Our partners must demonstrate flexibility and agility, as well as aligning to our vision of how technology will augment and support tomorrow's digital society."

Oracle Cloud announces major expansion - 14 new regions worldwide

Citing triple-digit growth, Oracle announed plans for a major expasion of its infrastructure worldwide.Over the next year, Oracle plans to open 14 cloud regions with new locations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Upcoming cloud regions include Milan (Italy), Stockholm (Sweden), Marseille (France), Spain, Singapore (Singapore), Johannesburg (South Africa), Jerusalem (Israel), Mexico, and Colombia. Additional second...

Telefónica to migrate its Oracle databases to Oracle Exadata

Telefonica España will migrate the bulk of its Oracle Database systems to Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer, building a dedicated cloud platform on-premises to support provisioning and delivery of new services, as well as Telefonica’s mission-critical operational and commercial systems including its BSS and OSS platforms and applications, business intelligence systems, CRM, billing and revenue management.The collaboration is part of a multi-year initiative...

BT to employ Oracle's Cloud Native Converged Policy Mgt

BT Group has selected Oracle Communications' Cloud Native Converged Policy Management to optimize its network resources and bring new 5G offerings to market faster. Oracle's solution will enable BT to quickly and seamlessly test and implement 5G services—such as live streaming and zero-rated 5G content—across its EE mobile network.The policy design engine will enable BT to test and quickly implement new 5G service plans and experiences, such...

Arista posts revenue of $824 million, up 27% yoy

Arista Networks reported Q4 2021 revenue of $824.5 million, an increase of 10.1% compared to the third quarter of 2021, and an increase of 27.1% from the fourth quarter of 2020. Non-GAAP gross margin was 64.3%. Non-GAAP net income was $262.4 million, or $0.82 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $197.7 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“I am delighted with Arista's record 2021 milestones in innovation, diversified customer momentum and earnings. We have executed well to establish Arista among the fastest growing networking companies in this decade," stated Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista Networks.

Commenting on the company's financial results, Ita Brennan, Arista’s CFO said, “The Arista team has shown great resilience and flexibility throughout 2021, maintaining operational excellence in the face of industry-wide challenges and delivering our first billion-dollar cash flow year.”

Arista intros 400G Switches at OCP Summit

Arista Networks introduced its next generation of 7050X and 7060X Series switches optimized for 400G networks.Introduced at OCP 2021, the all new Arista 7388X5 continues the modular system innovation from the 7368X4 and is compliant to the OCP Minipack2 specifications, doubling performance with 30% improved power efficiency. The Arista's 7388X5 shares Meta’s Minipack2 goals of a choice of form factor that supports high density 200G and 400G links....

Arista expands its OS stack with Network Data Lake

Arista Networks has expanded its EOS software foundation with the introduction of the EOS Network Data Lake (NetDL) and an AI/ML-driven Autonomous Virtual Assist (Arista AVA).The big idea is to use the EOS stack  to provide a high-fidelity data lake capability to enable applications to interact, analyze, and enrich network data. Arista says its new NetDL provides a single source of network data ‘truth’ and a common sensor/collector architecture...

Crehan: SmartNIC revenue reached $1.5 billion in 2021

Customer spending on smartNICs grew strongly during full-year 2021, resulting in revenues reaching $1.5 billion, according to a recent report from Crehan Research Inc.   The report further shows that smartNIC shipments comprised about 10 percent of total server-class NIC volumes. 

“SmartNICs have an outsize revenue impact relative to shipments, due to their price premiums over the foundational and performance NICs that currently comprise the vast majority of data center server and storage network connections,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “The smartNIC price premium is a result of the advanced functionality and programmability enabled by processors, FPGAs, and acceleration engines to handle more complex networking tasks and offload CPUs.”   

Looking forward, Crehan expects that smartNICs are about to see much broader customer adoption due to a combination of factors, including:  

  • VMware leveraging smartNIC technology as a key enabler of its next-generation infrastructure platform (Project Monterey).
  • SmartNIC adoption now, by the world’s three largest server-class NIC customers, in conjunction with recent traction of smartNICs outside of the large hyper-scalers, particularly in the service provider segment.
  • Central smartNIC strategies and significant investments by most of the current incumbent server-class NIC vendors.
  • The arrival of specialized data and infrastructure processor engines for smartNICs that are explicitly designed to securely and efficiently handle the offloading of networking and storage-related tasks – namely, DPUs and IPUs.
  • The volume and complexity of data traffic has reached a tipping point resulting in the need for new approaches and architectures, especially as networking moves into the era of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality.

"Given their expected increase in market adoption and associated price premiums, customer spending on smartNICs will likely exceed spending on foundational and performance server-class NICs within three years," Crehan said.

O-RAN Alliance demos at MWC Barcelona

 O-RAN ALLIANCE will host 22 demos at the upcoming MWC Barcelona 2022 as well as 24 additional demos online at the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition. Here are highlights.

Intelligent RAN control demos

  • Ericsson presents its approach to SMO as an enabler of automation and value creation in the context of open innovation with rApps. Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform provides multi-vendor and multi-technology support for RAN and empowers CSPs to accelerate in the automation journey and materialize its benefits from day one. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2O60 (Ericsson).
  • Juniper Networks and Keysight jointly demonstrate O-RAN based RAN Slice SLA assurance use case using Juniper Non-RT RIC, Near-RT RIC, RAN Slice SLA Assurance rApps and xApps with Keysight RICtest agents (O-CU/O-DU emulators). Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2D21 and 2DMR14 (Juniper Networks).
  • Juniper Networks and AirHop Communications demonstrate RACH parameter optimization use case using Juniper Near-RT RIC, AirHop RACH optimization xApp, and O-CU/O-DU emulators as RIC test agents. The demonstration highlights the benefits of O-RAN based Near-RT RIC deployed 3rd party xApp to automatically detect and resolve RACH parameter conflicts. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2D21 and 2DMR14 (Juniper Networks).
  • Mavenir demonstrates an O-RAN based AI-powered closed-loop Near-RT RIC platform along with the traffic steering that substantially reduces network overhead and improves cell capacity savings. The demo validates a real-time learning framework using cloud-native network APIs for xApp to xApp communication and integration of 3rd party apps. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2H60 (Mavenir).
  • Parallel Wireless demonstrates its Open RAN, ALL G - 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, O-RAN based software platform showcasing an open, secure, and intelligent RAN architecture to deliver wireless connectivity, enabling people to be connected whenever, wherever, and however they choose. Visit the demo at Hall 5 Stand 5C61 (Parallel Wireless).
  • Qualcomm Technologies demonstrates the use of O-RAN ALLIANCE framework including disaggregated network components and RAN Intelligent Controller to create a high reliability 5G solution for Industrial IoT use-cases. Visit the demo at Hall 3 Stand 3E10 (Qualcomm Technologies).
  • Rakuten Symphony, Intel and Juniper Networks demonstrate Symware, a collaborative effort to pioneer a carrier-grade Open RAN solution for mobile network operators to modernize radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture, while providing support for O-RAN fronthaul interfaces to the O-RU. Visit the demo at Hall 3 Stand 3E31 (Intel).

Open RAN demonstrations

  • AccelerComm is demonstrating a fully compliant O-RAN Acceleration Abstraction Layer (AAL) Forward Error Correction (FEC) product for the Xilinx Telco Accelerator cards. This carrier-grade product enables AccelerComm’s high performance 5G NR LDPC encoding and decoding IP solutions to be rapidly and efficiently used as hardware accelerators in industry standard servers across a PCIe bus using the O-RAN AAL interface. Visit the demo at Hall 7 Stand 7C24 (AccelerComm).
  • Analog Devices, Intel, VIAVI Solutions and Rohde & Schwarz jointly demonstrate O-RAN open fronthaul conformance. Analog Devices & Intel’s 4T4R O-RU Reference Design is validated by VIAVI’s automated TM500 O-RU tester with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software. Visit the demo at Hall 5 Stand 5A80 (Rohde & Schwarz).
  • Analog Devices demonstrates its O-RU Reference design fronthaul conformance testing with Keysight technology. The O-RU integrates ADI’s turnkey 7.2x split low PHY IP with ADI’s latest 8T8R RadioVerse SoC with integrated DFE, connected to Keysight’s Open RAN Studio O-DU emulator and PathWave Test Automation framework for fronthaul conformance testing. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2F25 (Analog Devices).
  • Arm and partners demonstrate a low-footprint 5G Network-in-a-box O-RAN solution based on arm Neoverse N1 CPU, suitable for distributed small cells and private networks deployments. The E2E solution comprises O-CU, O-DU, Core and Edge platforms all running on one Gigabyte server using Capgemini and Phluido software and Benetel O-RU. Visit the demo at Hall 5 Stand 5A19 (Arm).
  • Casa Systems, Rohde & Schwarz and VIAVI Solutions jointly demonstrate O-RAN open fronthaul conformance. Casa Systems' Apex 5G Evo O-RU is validated by a setup featuring VIAVI’s TM500 O-RU Tester as DU emulator, O-RU test manager SW interacting with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSW50 spectrum analyzer and R&S VSE Vector Signal Explorer SW. Visit the demo at Hall 5 Stand 5A80 (Rohde & Schwarz).
  • Fujitsu, NTT DOCOMO, Wind River and NVIDIA partnered for the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem (OREC) to build vRAN testbed with remote access capability. The demonstration shows Open vRAN using O-RAN open fronthaul interface between O-RU and O-DU. Fujitsu’s 5G Open vRAN ecosystem is very flexible and highly scalable network covering implementation, operation and maintenance. NTT DOCOMO, Fujitsu and the partners will release the Open vRAN network with multi-vendor connective capability. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2G60 (Fujitsu).
  • NEC showcases the new massive-MIMO solution including radio unit, based on O-RAN open fronthaul. NEC shows its advanced technologies and commercial deployment experiences in domestic market. In addition, NEC's Global Open RAN Center of Excellence (CoE) will lead the integration and validation of the multi-vendor ecosystem. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2F10 (NEC).
  • NEC, Dell, NTT DOCOMO, Red Hat and Xilinx partnered for the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem (OREC) to build vRAN testbed with remote access capability, and demonstrates NEC’s vRAN. The software is consistent with O-RAN Reference Architecture. It is implemented on the latest virtualization infrastructure, and on a commercially available server using the latest microprocessors and hardware acceleration. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2F10 (NEC).
  • STL demonstrates 5G Small Cell Split 7.2 O-RU (GARUDA) interworking with ASOCS vRAN for Private Network (CYRUS®), based on O-RAN IoT profiles. The setup included STL O-RU and ASOCS O-DU, CU and Core VM. The scope included demonstration of M-Plane and S-plane connectivity as per the O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2E18 (STL).
  • VIAVI Solutions and AMD demonstrate testing of an O-DU with the VIAVI TMLite that does both UE and O-RU emulation with AMD processors in a single commercially available server. This demo is to show that both UE emulation and O-DU testing can be achieved cost effectively in one server. Visit the demo at Hall 2 Stand 2M61 (AMD).

Additional 24 demos will be showcased at the O-RAN Virtual Exhibition by: Auray, Baicells, Capgemini, Comba Telecom, Dell Technologies, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Groundhog, iConNext, Intel, IP Infusion, IPLOOK, IS-Wireless, ITRI, Keysight, LIONS Technology, Mavenir, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Pegatron, Radisys, Telefonica, TIM, University of Utah, VIAVI Solutions, Vodafone, Wind River and WNC.

Juniper acquires WiteSand for cloud Network Access Control

Juniper Networks has acquired WiteSand, a start-up specializing in cloud-native zero trust Network Access Control (NAC) solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. The solution moves NAC operations from on-premise hardware built using monolithic code bases to the cloud. It also leverages AIOps for automated provisioning, monitoring, analysis and security.

Juniper said the acquisition accelerates its efforts to deliver a next-generation NAC solution as a key element of their AI-driven enterprise portfolio.

“Both WiteSand and Juniper share a common vision of disrupting the antiquated NAC space with cloud agility and AI-driven intelligence,” said Sujai Hajela, EVP AI-Driven Enterprise, Juniper Networks. 

"When NAC is integrated with wireless assurance, wired assurance, WAN assurance, IoT assurance, and indoor location services under a common Mist cloud and AI umbrella, Juniper customers can deliver amazing experiences to their network users, from the client all the way to the cloud.”

AMD completes acquisition of Xilinx

AMD completed its previously-announced  acquisition of Xilinx in an all-stock transaction. Xilinx stockholders received 1.7234 shares of AMD common stock and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of AMD common stock for each share of Xilinx common stock.

AMD expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP margins, non-GAAP EPS and free cash flow generation in the first year.

Former Xilinx CEO Victor Peng will join AMD as president of the newly formed Adaptive and Embedded Computing Group (AECG), which remains focused on driving leadership FPGA, Adaptive SoC and software roadmaps.

“The acquisition of Xilinx brings together a highly complementary set of products, customers and markets combined with differentiated IP and world-class talent to create the industry’s high-performance and adaptive computing leader,” said AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su. “Xilinx offers industry-leading FPGAs, adaptive SoCs, AI engines and software expertise that enable AMD to offer the strongest portfolio of high-performance and adaptive computing solutions in the industry and capture a larger share of the approximately $135 billion market opportunity we see across cloud, edge and intelligent devices.”

“The rapid expansion of connected devices and data-intensive applications with embedded AI are driving the growing demand for highly efficient and adaptive high-performance computing solutions,” said Victor Peng. “Bringing AMD and Xilinx together will accelerate our ability to define this new era of computing by providing the most comprehensive portfolio of adaptive computing platforms capable of powering a wide range of intelligent applications.”

AMD to acquire Xilinx for $35 billion

AMD agreed to acquire Xilinx in an all-stock transaction valued at $35 billion. The acquisition price represents approximately $143 per share of Xilinx common stock.The deal significantly expands AMD’s product portfolio, which will now cover CPUs and GPUs, with Xilinx's FPGAs, Adaptive SoCs and software expertise. The combined company's addressable market will now include industry growth segments from the data center to gaming, PCs, communications,...

Openreach deploys VIAVI automated testing

Openreach is using Viavi Solutions to automate testing the quality and speed of the Openreach "Full Fibre" broadband network

The deployment uses Viavi's Fusion, a virtual performance monitoring system, to deliver an on-demand network "speedometer" of the performance that end users can achieve. This will be the first time that proactive network testing of end user speeds has been deployed in fibre access networks across the UK independent of the customer's internet connection.

VIAVI Fusion incorporates both hardware and software, which will be used to rapidly isolate and troubleshoot faults on the network. Diagnostics will be automated for any issues as they're raised by Openreach's Communications Provider (CPs) customers. In addition, customer service will be enhanced as contact center procedures will be automated, equipping operators with near real-time test results for rapid pass/fail interpretation. This allows further troubleshooting to be focused on the root cause, whether inside the Openreach network, or back with the CPs.

A key element of Fusion is its smart small form-factor pluggable (SFP) capability, enabling micro-probes plugged into thousands of nodes across the country. These probes enable automated throughput testing from all CPs ingress points to end-user premises, for millions of consumers. Now in its fourth generation of technology, VIAVI smart SFP technology supports 1G & 10G line rates across a variety of physical standards.

Trevor Linney, Network Technology Director at Openreach said: "As the country's largest digital infrastructure provider, we recognise that service and broadband reliability has become more integral to everyday life especially when millions of people switched to working and schooling from home. Last year, we saw our broadband usage more than double with 50,000 Petabytes (PB) of data being consumed across the country. We're also seeing record numbers of people signing up to our ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband with over 1.5 million customers taking up the service to-date. It's therefore crucial that we continue to meet our already strong service performance by identifying and preventing faults before customers report them. The deployment of VIAVI's automated testing solution is one part of the overarching technical innovative solutions we've adapted to help determine potential issues we detect on our network in near real-time or when a request comes through from our CP customers."

IBM acquires Sentaca, a telco consultancy

IBM has acquired Sentaca, a telco consulting services and solutions provider based in Boston. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sentaca's team of technology consultants across the U.S. and Canada build and migrate mission-critical applications on leading cloud service providers and open-source platforms like Red Hat OpenShift and OpenStack. Sentaca has supported digital transformation, next-generation networks and improved consumer experience for CSPs and media companies since its founding in 2008.

Sentaca will join IBM Consulting's fast-growing Hybrid Cloud Services business to solve clients' strategic and technology challenges such as cost-of-ownership, monetization, scalable and secure architecture, and address opportunities including 5G, IoT and streaming that can accelerate the creation and delivery of new services. 

"Our goal is to help modern networks thrive in an open, hybrid cloud environment that will bring edge and 5G to life for enterprises and consumers," said John Granger, Senior Vice President, IBM Consulting. "The proliferation of mobile devices, wireless connectivity, and new media platforms is driving convergence among telco, media, and entertainment, which makes our acquisition of Sentaca all the more valuable for our clients."

"Sentaca's deep knowledge and experience of telecom networks, coupled with our expertise in hybrid multi-cloud and automation services and solutions, is a perfect fit to compliment IBMs telco/5G strategy," said Phil O'Neill, CEO of Sentaca. "We are very excited to join the IBM team and to be in a position to access additional resources and platforms to deliver on even larger and more ambitious enterprise cloud transformation projects within the telco and media industry sector."

Windstream Wholesale connects at Auburn data center

Windstream Wholesale is connecting its Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) to the AUBix LLC data center adjacent to Auburn University. AUBix LLC is a 40,000-square-foot, multi-tenant, mission-critical, and CMMC-compliant data center. It connects to Windstream’s point of presence at 55 Marietta in Atlanta, Georgia.

Windstream Wholesale is now taking orders at the new AUBix location for Wave Services, Ethernet Solutions, and Dedicated Internet Access of all speeds.

“We are excited to provide customers with diverse, high-speed connectivity to the AUBix LLC data center,” said Joe Scattareggia, executive vice president of Windstream Wholesale. “This data center is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of hyperscale, government and research-oriented companies across the Southeast. We couldn’t be happier to add AUBix to our suite of top-flight data center partners.”