Monday, November 28, 2022

AWS deploys Intel's Sapphire Rapids from EC2 R7iz

Amazon Web Services (AWS)launched a private preview of Amazon EC2 R7iz instances powered by 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Sapphire Rapids.

R7iz instances deliver an all-core turbo frequency up to 3.9 gigahertz and AWS claim up to 20% higher performance over comparable high-frequency EC2 instances. Leveraging 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and AWS Nitro System, R7iz instances offer a combination of dedicated hardware and a lightweight hypervisor – delivering better overall cost, performance and security.

R7iz instances are available in various sizes with up to 128 vCPUs and up to 1,024 gigabytes of memory, resulting in up to 2.6 times more vCPU and memory than comparable high-frequency instances. The first x86-based EC2 instances to use DDR5 memory, R7iz delivers up to 2.4 times higher memory bandwidth than comparable high frequency instances.

“Data center customers are looking to keep up with demand, increase business value of their data and improve their overall costs,” said Lisa Spelman, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel Xeon Products. “AWS is delivering new instances that leverage the accelerated performance and security of 4th Gen Intel Xeon to support the most demanding workloads.”

vRAN powered by Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service on Intel

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working with Intel to boost Telco adoption of cloud-native network solutions. 

AWS is planning to certify a specific set of use cases for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) Anywhere on Intel Xeon scalable platforms. These platforms will be commercially available solutions from leading OEMs.

As part of this effort, each company will bring key expertise to develop reference architectures with the following deliverables that can be sourced by service providers:

  • Certification of bare-metal deployments of Amazon EKS Anywhere on third-party, Intel-based compute platforms
  • Ability to deploy customized OS with Amazon EKS Anywhere and third-party hardware (firmware, accelerator firmware, NICs, BIOS settings)

AWS solution architects and specialists will work with Intel to validate Amazon EKS Anywhere with Intel’s FlexRAN reference software. Other validated platform components include open source projects such as Multus, SR-IOV, DPDK, MacvLAN, and IPvLAN.

BT agrees to Cost of Living Pay Rise

BT Group announced a UK Cost of Living Pay Rise to all but the highest paid staff. 

The decision comes as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Prospect are now recommending agreement to their members.

Details of the Cost of Living Pay Rise are:

  • £1,500 pay rise for all UK colleagues who currently earn £50,000 or less from 1 Jan 2023
  • Consolidated salary increase, not one-off payment
  • Covers 100% of frontline staff (and others at ‘Team Member’ grade), and 51% of managers in the UK. In total, 85% of UK-based BT Group colleagues
  • Highly competitive pay award when combined with the increase made in April, bringing the total percentage pay rise for the lowest paid to over 15% since this time last year
  • Includes Openreach

BT faces further strikes on August 30 and 31

The Communications Workers Union (CWU), which represents BT Group employees, served notice of pending industrial action on August 30th and 31st, directly after the August bank holiday weekend.  As part of their ongoing campaign to seek higher wages and benefits, the union already held strikes on 29th July and 1st August, 2022.CWU deputy general secretary Andy Kerr states “There’s no doubt that we were as solid as we could have been in the first...

AWS promises water replenishment for data centers

Amazon Web Services has committed to become water positive (water+) by 2030, returning more water to communities than it uses in its direct operations. 

The company also announced its 2021 global water use efficiency (WUE) metric of 0.25 liters of water per kilowatt-hour.

The company said it will use sustainable water sources, such as recycled water and rainwater harvesting, wherever possible. In Ireland and Sweden, AWS uses no water to cool its data centers for 95% of the year.

AWS also announced several new projects, which, once completed, will provide more than 823 million liters of water to communities each year, including:

  • India: AWS is providing continued support to WaterAid to complete projects in Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh after they were launched in March 2022. Since then, WaterAid has already completed five piped water systems and new groundwater recharge projects, which will supply 500 households–approximately 2,100 people–with an estimated 47 million liters of water per year. WaterAid also conducted education campaigns on water conservation in these communities to educate residents on practical ways they can conserve clean water, use rainwater harvesting, and conduct water audits.
  • UK: AWS is working with The Rivers Trust and Action for the River Kennet to create two wetlands on a tributary of the River Thames, one of the most important water catchment areas in the UK. The wetlands will recharge over 587 million liters of groundwater per year and improve water quality by receiving and treating polluted runoff from farms and roadways, addressing growing water scarcity and boosting water quality in the Thames River basin.
  • US (California): Beginning this winter, AWS, the conservation non-profit Freshwater Trust, and the Omochumne-Hartnell Water District will recharge 189 million liters of groundwater per year using winter water from the Cosumnes River. This will allow water to gradually flow through the groundwater table and back into the Sacramento and San Joaquin watershed, increasing water flows during drier summer months. This lowers the temperature of the river, improves salmon habitat, and increases summer flows into the San Francisco Bay Delta, a critical water supply source for the communities in the region.

“Water scarcity is a major issue around the world and with today’s water positive announcement we are committing to do our part to help solve this rapidly growing challenge,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “In just a few years half of the world’s population is projected to live in water-stressed areas, so to ensure all people have access to water, we all need to innovate new ways to help conserve and reuse this precious resource. While we are proud of the progress we have made, we know there is more we can do. We are committed to leading on water stewardship in our cloud operations, and returning more water than we use in the communities where we operate. We know this is the right thing to do for the environment and our customers.”

Deutsche Glasfaser and Vodafone reach FTTH wholesale deal

Deutsche Glasfaser, which is building open FTTH networks in rural and suburban areas in Germany, announced a ten-year wholesale agreement with Vodafone.

The contract offers Vodafone nationwide access to Deutsche Glasfaser's FTTH network. 

Open access allows fiber optic customers to choose between different offers.

Andreas Pfisterer, CEO of the Deutsche Glasfaser Group: "We are pleased that Vodafone relies on our fast-growing fiber optic network in rural and suburban areas. Everyone benefits from OA: Fiber optic customers in the countryside have freedom of choice. And we as a company are getting closer to our goal of supplying the regions with fiber optics quickly and comprehensively through such wholesale partnerships.

Nokia opens 6G R&D center in Portugal


Nokia inaugurated a research and development center focused on 5G and future 6G mobile network technology at its campus in Amador, Portugal. 

Nokia said the new facility will oversee the full cycle of embedded and real-time software development from early analysis to final delivery. It will bring together professionals from diverse technical disciplines, including software engineers, product owners, and technical leads to work alongside teams around the world. 

Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks, said: “The new research and development center in Portugal demonstrates Nokia’s continued investment in the future of wireless communications. The center’s vital work will continue to expand the possibilities of mobile networks, critical for seamlessly connecting people, businesses, and industries. Importantly, this will be a hub for innovation, reinforcing our 5G technology leadership and helping to realize our ambition to become a 6G pioneer.”

Lightbits demos NVMe over TCP block storage for AWS

Lightbits Labs, which offers high-performance Cloud Data Platform based on NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP) protocol, will be demonstrating its next-generation block storage for AWS at the AWS re:Invent Marketplace Pavilion that will run from November 28 to December 2.

Lightbits will demonstrate how its technology, accelerated by Intel-based storage-optimized EC2 instances can accelerate analytics, high-performance databases, and transactional workloads on the public cloud for half the cost of alternative solutions. 

Lightbits, an AWS APN partner, said its NVMe/TCP architecture delivers high-performance at consistent low-latencies, making it ideal for database workloads like Oracle and PostgreSQL.