Monday, November 20, 2023

NVIDIA advances its Spectrum-X Ethernet switching, Bluefield-3 SuperNIC

Dell Technologies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lenovo will be the first to integrate NVIDIA Spectrum-X Ethernet networking technologies for AI into their server lineups

Spectrum-X combines the extreme performance of the Spectrum-4 Ethernet switch; the NVIDIA BlueField-3 SuperNIC, a new class of network accelerators for supercharging hyperscale AI workloads; as well as acceleration software. Spectrum-X complements BlueField-3 DPU.

NVIDIA describes Spectrum-X as a new class of Ethernet networking that can achieve 1.6x higher networking performance for AI communication versus traditional Ethernet offerings.

“Generative AI and accelerated computing are driving a generational transition as enterprises upgrade their data centers to serve these workloads,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Accelerated networking is the catalyst for a new wave of systems from NVIDIA’s leading server manufacturer partners to speed the shift to the era of generative AI.”

NVIDIA’s Spectrum-4 is a 51 Tbps Ethernet switch featuring adaptive routing and enhanced congestion control mechanisms for multi-tenant, AI cloud workloads.  The NVIDIA Spectrum-4 uses a custom ASIC with a 51.2 terabits per second switching capacity, supporting up 128 ports of 400G or 64 ports of 800G, and based on 100 Gbps PAM4 SerDes technology. It integrates a 12.8 Tb/s crypto engine wtih support for MACsec and VXLANsec. It also support secure boot as default via hardware root of trust . It is based on 4nm process technologies.

BlueField-3 SuperNICs are designed for network-intensive, massively parallel computing, offering up to 400 Gbps RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) network connectivity between GPU servers and boosting performance for AI training and inference traffic on the east-west network inside the cluster. They also enable secure, multi-tenant data center environments, ensuring deterministic and isolated performance between tenant jobs. 

Highlights of NVIDIA’s SuperNICs: 

  • High-speed packet reordering to ensure that data packets are received and processed in the same order they were originally transmitted. This maintains the sequential integrity of the data flow. 
  • Advanced congestion control using real-time telemetry data and network-aware algorithms to manage and prevent congestion in AI networks. 
  • Programmable compute on the input/output (I/O) path to enable customization and extensibility of network infrastructure in AI cloud data centers. 
  • Power-efficient, low-profile design to efficiently accommodate AI workloads within constrained power budgets. 
  • Full-stack AI optimization, including compute, networking, storage, system software

Zayo to acquire Globalways GmbH

Zayo agreed to acquire Globalways GmbH, a Stuttgart-based fibre infrastructure and network services company. 

Globalways operates approximately 360km of owned fibre infrastructure across the Stuttgart metropolitan area and surrounding regions, with more than 700 on-net buildings.

Yannick Leboyer, Managing Director at Zayo Europe, said: “Globalways has established itself as a key player in the Stuttgart and wider German market, offering high-quality communication infrastructure and network solutions via a comprehensive owned network. Globalways’ local expertise is the perfect complement to our European footprint. 

“This acquisition will enable Zayo to offer an extended range of services to our European clients and provide Globalways’ customers with access to Zayo’s extensive international network. This is a testament to our commitment to delivering unparalleled connectivity solutions and further building our presence in Germany. We are excited about the opportunity this creates for our European customers, employees, and stakeholders.”

Moritz Frenzel, Managing Director at Globalways, said: “After successfully growing Globalways to a strong and successful national internet service provider under the ownership of Relined GmbH, we’re now looking forward to enabling our customers and partners to connect international markets and expanding our product portfolio with Zayo as an ideal strategic partner that shares our vision and values.” 

Ericsson: Consumers will pay for superior 5G experience

A new study by Ericsson ConsumerLab reveals over one-in-five Canadian 5G smartphone users are willing to pay a premium for a 5G plan that ensures elevated network performance, particularly in areas of quality of experience and network performance, that caters to high-performing video streaming, gaming, and other popular apps to boost user satisfaction.

Head of Ericsson ConsumerLab, Jasmeet Singh Sethi, says: "Canadian 5G users have high expectations for their service; they're seeking not just connectivity but rather differentiated connectivity where it matters most like crowded arenas or public indoor locations, the value-added experience that enhances daily activities,” says Sethi. "Our findings reveal that if these expectations aren't met, consumers are three times more inclined to switch to a provider that can deliver a superior 5G experience, with twenty two percent of users willing to pay nine per cent more for a service that offers differentiated quality of experience over 5G."

The Ericsson report offers  four priorities for service providers:

  • 5G network satisfaction drivers are evolving beyond coverage. Post 5G buildout, service providers would benefit from prioritizing network optimizations that cater to high-performing video streaming, gaming, and other popular applications to boost user satisfaction.
  • 5G is reshaping video streaming and augmented reality (AR) usage. On average, Canadian 5G users report a 28 per cent increase in time spent streaming video in HD/4K format per day and a 59 per cent increase in time spent on watching multi-view video streaming compared to 2022. Service providers looking to increase customer engagement should offer innovative service bundles to leverage the rising demand for new video formats and AR, driven by 5G.
  • 5G performance at key locations influences consumer loyalty. Since the launch of 5G in Canada, a substantial 20 per cent of consumers have changed their service provider, and the primary driving factor behind this shift is 5G network performance. Remarkably, nearly 46 per cent of those who've made the switch did so due to the quality of their 5G network. Service providers should prioritize enhancing 5G performance in key locations to boost consumer loyalty and minimize churn rates.
  • 5G consumers will pay premiums for differentiated quality of experience . Forty-one per cent of users demand more data to justify a price increase, and 17 per cent are looking for bundles with innovative services, while 22 per cent expect superior performance and prioritize connectivity. Service providers should explore differentiated 5G monetization strategies with speed tiers, content bundles, and QoS-based pricing, leveraging 5G SA capabilities and targeted segmentation.

Cyxtera expects to complete sale to Brookfield in 1Q24

Cyxtera received approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey for the sale of substantially all of the company’s assets to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and its institutional partners.

Cyxtera expects to complete the transaction with Brookfield, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and emerge from the court-supervised process in the first quarter of 2024.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with our sale to Brookfield, which will provide Cyxtera with additional financial flexibility and enable us to benefit from Brookfield’s global infrastructure expertise,” said Nelson Fonseca, Cyxtera’s Chief Executive Officer. “Demand for our innovative data center services remains high, and we see significant opportunities ahead with our customers as we enter this next phase of growth.”

As previously announced on November 1, 2023, Cyxtera entered into an asset purchase agreement (with Brookfield for a sale of substantially all of the Company’s assets. In connection with the APA, Brookfield entered agreements with certain of the company’s landlords to purchase the real estate underlying seven of Cyxtera’s U.S. data centers. Additionally, Cyxtera amended the terms of its leases at three U.S. sites and three international sites to allow it to exit those sites in 2024. Collectively, these transactions will strengthen and optimize Cyxtera’s data center portfolio, better positioning it for the long term.

  • Earlier this month, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners will acquire substantially all of Cyxtera’s assets for $775 million.In connection with the APA and the court supervised process, Brookfield will purchase from several landlords the real estate at which seven of Cyxtera’s U.S. data centers are located. 

Keysight's quarterly sales dip to $1.31 billion

Keysight Technologies reported revenue of $1.31 billion, compared with $1.44 billion last year, for its fourth fiscal quarter ended October 31, 2023.

GAAP net income was $226 million, or $1.28 per share, compared with $299 million, or $1.66 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2022. Non-GAAP net income was $352 million, or $1.99 per share, compared with $386 million, or $2.14 per share in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Communications Solutions Group (CSG)

  • CSG reported revenue of $891 million in the fourth quarter, down 10 percent over last year, reflecting a 17 percent decline in commercial communications, while aerospace, defense, and government increased 4 percent driven by investments in defense technology modernization, electromagnetic spectrum operations, radar, and space and satellite.

Electronic Industrial Solutions Group (EISG)

  • EISG reported revenue of $420 million in the fourth quarter, down 7 percent over last year, reflecting contraction in semiconductor and manufacturing-related customer spending, while investment in new mobility automotive, advanced research, and digital health held steady.

“Keysight delivered solid fourth quarter results and finished the year with record revenue, gross margin, and operating margin,” said Satish Dhanasekaran, Keysight’s President and CEO. “In what remains a challenging macro environment, our strategic customer engagement is high, and we are continuing to capitalize on opportunities across a broad and diverse set of end markets, positioning us well for an eventual recovery.”

Kelly Bayer Rosmarin steps down as CEO of Optus

Optus Chief Executive Officer Ms Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has tendered her resignation.  

The announcement comes in the wake of an Australia-wide blackout across the Optus mobile and landline networks for most of Wednesday, November 8.

“On Friday I had the opportunity to appear before the Senate to expand on the cause of the network outage and how Optus recovered and responded. I was also able to communicate Optus’ commitment to restore trust and continue to serve customers. Having now had time for some personal reflection, I have come to the decision that my resignation is in the best interest of Optus moving forward,” she said.

“It’s been an honour and privilege to lead the team at Optus and to serve our customers. I am proud of the team’s many achievements, and grateful for the support of the Optus team, Moon, and the Group. I wish everyone and the company every success in the future.”