Monday, November 27, 2023

Networking notes from AWS re:Invent 2023

In an afternoon keynote at AWS:reInvent 2023 in Las Vegas, Dave Brown, VP of Amazon EC2 Networking and Compute Services, presented the latest innovations in AWS core networking infrastructure, VPC networking, data center networking for AI/ML, security, and global connectivity.

Some highlights:

  • AWS now has 35 regions in operation, with four new regions expected to come online soon: New Zealand, Canada, Thailand, and Malaysia.

  • There are now 35 AWS Local Zones in operation and 19 more will be coming online soon.  First launched in Los Angeles three years ago, the initial use case was cloud-based video production for the media industry.

  • There are now 130 AWS Direct Connect locations, all supporting 100 Gbps fiber interconnects

  • There are now 600 PoPs for Amazon CloudFront, its content delivery network service

  • AWS Nitro has been fundamental to EC2 and network bandwidth continues to rise at a rapid clip.  The lates P5 instances using NVIDIA H100 can access up to 3200 Gbps. The AI/ML workloads will continue to scale up.  Anthropic Claude already uses 10,000 GPUs.

  • New network topologies for connecting all these GPUs are needed. AWS calls thse “Ultra Clusters” and is moving beyond CLOS architecture.

  • AWS is introducing an Instance Topology API to help customers understand how many hops are between their instances across an Ultracluster. The API provides info on where your instance are located.

  • AWS has developed its own routing solution based on its own Scalable Reliable Datagram protocol.  This has been running internally for several years, and on certain high-end customer instances. AWS is announcing that SRD is now available on all Nitro instances. Among its capabilities, flow limits expand from 5 Gbps to 25 Gbps

  • The AWS Cloud WAN service continues to grow while adding features. The service allows enterprises to create network segments. Globla network WANs can be automated and managed from a single portal.  The latest capability is AWS Cloud WAN Tunnel-less Connect.

Salesforce significantly expands its use of AWS

Under an expanded strategic partnership, Salesforce will significantly expand its use of AWS across its full portfolio and is taking an AWS-native approach to its most strategic and fastest growing innovation, the Salesforce Data Cloud. 

The agrement will lead to deepening product integrations across data and artificial intelligence, and for the first time offering select Salesforce products on the AWS Marketplace. 

  • Salesforce will expand its use of AWS, including compute, storage, data, and AI technologies. 
  • AWS will  expand its use of Salesforce products such as Salesforce Data Cloud.

“Today’s announcement is an incredible milestone in the evolution of our longstanding partnership with AWS,” said Marc Benioff, chair and CEO, Salesforce. “We’re bringing together the #No. 1 AI CRM provider and the leading cloud provider to deliver a trusted, open, integrated data and AI platform, and ensuring we meet massive customer demand for our products on the AWS Marketplace. With these enhancements to our partnership, we’re enabling all of our customers to be more innovative, productive and successful in this new AI era.”

“Salesforce and AWS make it easy for developers to securely access and leverage data and generative AI technologies to drive rapid transformation for their organizations and industries,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO, AWS. “With this expanded partnership, our joint customers gain powerful new ways to innovate, collaborate, and build more customer-focused applications using the broadest and deepest set of cloud services.”

Australia’s nbn hits new traffic peak - 26.76 Tbps

Australia’s nbn set a new peak traffic record on 3 November, when gamers smashed the old record by downloading a Fortnite update and new Call of Duty game. This is the equivalent of more than half a million simultaneous Fortnite downloads at 50 Mbps, or more than 1.1 million simultaneous 4K video streams.

The new record beat the previous high of 24.98 Tbps set in June and was almost 19 per cent higher than the average traffic peak on the nbn network in October of 22.5 Tbps – the equivalent of more than 900,000 simultaneous 4K video streams.

Dr Robert Joyce, Head of Customer Strategy and Innovation at nbn, said: “Around 8.6 million homes and businesses are now connected to our network, and we carry over 80 per cent of Australia’s download traffic. We monitor the network 24/7 for customer trends and to stay ahead of demand. 

“Our 2023 Top Network Insights show our customers are using more data than ever. New network usage records were set and broken three times in the last 12 months. 

“We’ve built a network that’s kept ahead of data demand and will continue to support Australians as their need for speed and increased data volumes continues to grow. 

“With data usage more than tripling in the past seven years, and with average households now having around 21 connected devices, it’s a timely reminder to check your home broadband plan is still meeting what you want from your broadband service.”

UK outlines five Quantum Missions

 As part of its National Quantum Strategy outlined earlier this year, which called for an investment of £2.5 billion (US$3.15 billion) in quantum over the next ten years , the UK Government published five key missions that provide more specific goals:

  • Mission 1
    By 2035, there will be accessible, UK-based quantum computers capable of running 1 trillion (error-free logical) operations and supporting applications that provide benefits well in excess of classical supercomputers across key sectors of the economy.
  • Mission 2
    By 2035, the UK will have deployed the world’s most advanced quantum network at scale, pioneering the future quantum internet.
  • Mission 3
    By 2030, every NHS Trust will benefit from quantum sensing-enabled solutions, helping those with chronic illness live healthier, longer lives through early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Mission 4
    By 2030, quantum navigation systems, including clocks, will be deployed on aircraft, providing next-generation accuracy for resilience that is independent of satellite signals.
  • Mission 5
    By 2030, mobile, networked quantum sensors will have unlocked new situational awareness capabilities, exploited across critical infrastructure in the transport, telecoms, energy, and defence sectors.

Telespazio's Space Centre Signs on with Sparkle's Sicily Hub

Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo, 67%, and Thales, 33%,  and one of the world’s leading operators in satellite services, signed an agreement with Spakle for fibre-optic access to the Sparkle Sicily Hub in Palermo. 

The Scanzano Space Centre - operational since 1989 and located near the artificial lake of the same name about 47 kilometres away from Palermo - is specialized in providing hosting and housing services for large international satellite operators using low earth (LEO), medium earth (MEO) and geostationary (GEO) orbit constellations. These services require resilient and stable connections with a high level of performance.

Under the agreement, the Scanzano Space Centre is connected via its own fibre optic ring to Sparkle's Sicily Hub in Palermo - a state-of-the-art neutral data center and key Internet hub in the Mediterranean thanks to the presence of content platforms and cloud applications of the world's major players and the connection of all international cables landing in Sicily - with the consequent opportunity of offering its customers high-speed and reliable connections worldwide.

In addition, with the activation of Sparkle's new BlueMed submarine cable - connecting Italy with France, Greece and several countries bordering the Mediterranean all the way to Aqaba in Jordan - the Scanzano Space Centre will be able to count on connections at multiples of 100 or 400 Gbps to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In Italy, where the cable is active since September, BlueMed increases the resilience of Sparkle’s network by offering a safe and diverse route between Sicily and Milan, with a latency reduced by 50% compared to the terrestrial backbones connecting the two capitals.

“With access to Sparkle's Sicily Hub, the Scanzano Space Centre consolidates and expands its capacity to connect to the global network, enabling Telespazio to offer its customers connectivity services with increasing speeds and high reliability. This is essential to promote the Scanzano centre as a Mediterranean satellite hub, enhancing its geographical position,” said Alessandra Farese, SVP Satellite Systems and Operations of Telespazio.

Safaricom Kenya deploys Nokia AVA Energy Efficiency

Safaricom Kenya has deployed Nokia’s AVA Energy Efficiency software to achieve lower power consumption and costs over its 5G, 4G, and 3G networks.

The rollout, covering approximately 30,000 5G, 4G, and 3G cells, is expected to lead to planned network energy cost savings of 8-10%, and follows the recent successful completion of a pilot program with Safaricom Kenya. 

Nokia AVA for Energy uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to shut idle and unused equipment automatically during low usage periods whilst maintaining customer experience; this is done in conjunction with Nokia Radio Energy Efficiency features. 

Nokia says it is engaged or completed more than 50 energy saving projects with CSPs.

Ooredoo Qatar brings 4G to Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms

Ooredoo Qatar is working with Ericsson to install a 4G network on offshore oil and gas platforms. The network will connect the oil and gas enterprise customer’s facilities with arriving ships.

Ericsson is Ooredoo Qatar’s radio access network (RAN) supplier.

Thani Al Malki, Chief Business Officer of Ooredoo Qatar, says: “Ooredoo Qatar is committed to providing our enterprise customers with the best possible connectivity solutions. Our collaboration with Ericsson on this project allows us to leverage our extensive network infrastructure, modernized with Ericsson's technology and expertise as our RAN supplier, to provide our oil and gas enterprise customers with a cutting-edge offshore 4G network. We are proud to be a part of this innovative project and look forward to its successful implementation."