IDF 2015: Dancing Robots vs. Dancing Networks

Peter Jarich

Peter Jarich

Summary Bullets:

  • Intel Developer Forum (IDF) is an opportunity for the silicon giant to engage with its customers and partners, while showcasing what those companies are already doing with its technologies.
  • A handful of flashy demos and initiatives captured the media’s attention: dancing spider robots, IoT solutions, wearables, a cancer-fighting cloud platform.
  • Its Network Builders Fast Track launch might have been easy to overlook against this noise, but highlights its commitment to accelerating network transformation and the role it plays in SDN and NFV.
  • Beyond driving its own innovations, whether or not the market needs another initiative to drive interoperability and use-case integration remains to be seen.

If you only read about this year’s Intel Developer Forum in the popular technology blogs, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was like a mini-CES. It had wearables. It had IoT solutions. It had competitions for “makers.” It had robots – lots of robots. Despite their cute dance routines, it was a horrible place to be if you’re afraid of a future robot apocalypse. Read more of this post

Mavenir Resurfaces as ‘Mitel Mobility’ – Stabilized but Synergies Yet Awaited

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • After a shaky start, Mitel’s acquisition and integration of Mavenir Systems has resulted in the launch of ‘Mitel Mobility.’
  • While revenues have recovered, the next challenge is to show that the acquisition can exploit the promised IP-based service synergies.

On August 1st, after three months of integration into Mitel following completion of its acquisition, Mavenir Systems has emerged, re-branded as ‘Mitel Mobility.’ Until this milestone, the last five months of Mavenir’s history have been largely hidden from public view following its acquisition announcement at the beginning of Mobile World Congress in March. In terms of public perception, the acquisition didn’t get off to a very good start, with the company gaining the accolade of the “worst news conference” of the show from one reporter as well as most companies (and quite a few analysts) to which Current Analysis spoke, having real difficulty in working out quite what was the rationale for the acquisition. The bemusement was not just confined to outsiders; apart from Mavenir’s CEO seeming somewhat unprepared to talk about the acquisition, employees of Ulticom, which itself had recently been acquired by Mavenir, reportedly rushed to their browsers to find out who on earth it was that they were working for now. Read more of this post

ON.Lab’s ONOS Deployed in Two More Research Networks – New Applications Support WAN Scenarios

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Uses ICONA, an application developed on top of ONOS, to extend its capabilities to support intra-domain sessions which leverage BGP to established router-to-router connectivity.
  • Uses an ONOS SDN-IP peering application hosted on Americas Lightpaths (AmLight), creating SDN facility based on OpenFlow which interconnects five Latin American research and education networks (RENs).

ONOS continues to gain exposure and provide an effective platform for researchers and network developers to continue to evolve SDN-based solutions and help the industry transform from closed vendor-specific network devices to those using open software and COTS hardware. First, ON.Lab announced, in concert with GEANT, an ONOS deployment in a pan-European network that interconnects Europe’s national research and education networks; a second announcement, in concert with Florida International University, involved deployment to interconnect five Latin American RENs. Both announcements provide valid proof points to support the goal established by ON.Lab, which is to create a carrier-grade platform to host critical network applications using open source software. Read more of this post

Virtual EPCs Appear to be Gaining Momentum to Support New Services

Glenn Hunt

Glenn Hunt

Summary Bullets:

  • Virtual EPCs (vEPC) begin to see commercial application, but PoCs and trials still outweigh deployments by a wide margin.
  • Operators appear to be sampling the wares of multiple vendors before taking the plunge – small and larger vendors claim significant operator interest in their solutions.

Current Analysis recently updated its mid-year assessments of the products of the six primary mobile core vendors, all of which continue to add enhancements to their traditional physical EPC solutions; but over the past period they have also expanded their virtual EPC (vEPC) offers and note considerable traction (albeit mostly on the trial and PoC front) with operators from all geographies. This is only natural since the promise of network virtualization, if only partly realized, could significantly change network architectures, benefiting both consumers and operators. Read more of this post

Hardware Disaggregation: Truly SDN-Optimized Network Elements?

Rick Talbot

Rick Talbot

Summary Bullets:

  • SDN orchestration opens the door to network element disaggregation – performing wavelength, TDM and packet switching and optical transport in separate network elements.
  • Operators will need to choose between the best-of-breed benefits of network element disaggregation versus the shared powering, cooling and management of P-OTPs.

Much of the discussion around NFV has addressed separating virtual functions from physical devices. However, the capabilities introduced by SDN set the stage to present an even more radical possibility for the network. Read more of this post

What Do the Latest Announcements Tell Us About Virtualized VoLTE?

David Snow

David Snow

Summary Bullets:

  • Vodafone Italy’s virtualized VoLTE launch and China Mobile’s planned launch provide a good opportunity to assess the current state of vendors’ virtualized IMS technology
  • While there are many unanswered questions, particularly around NFV MANO, the overwhelming conclusion is that operator confidence just stepped up a gear

After the disappointment of Telkom Austria’s live virtualized VoLTE (vVoLTE) project being suspended last month (see “Even the “Downs” of NFV Projects Point “Up” in this blog), we’ve seen a couple of really significant commercial vVoLTE contracts publicized over the past few weeks – this time from the larger players. First, Huawei and Nokia Networks trumpeted their vVoLTE launch with Vodafone Italy and secondly Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and ZTE announced their participation in China Mobile’s VoLTE launch with Alcatel-Lucent contributing its vVoLTE solution, Rapport. Read more of this post

Data Center Interconnection – Not Quite So Simple

Rick Talbot

Rick Talbot

Summary Bullets:

  • Data center interconnection (DCI) transport is emerging as potentially a massive optical transport opportunity.
  • Regardless of the often-quoted demand for a simple point-to-point DCI transport solution, some applications are likely to be better served with a packet-optical solution.

DCI has become somewhat of a darling of the optical transport networking world. Once Facebook explained that most of the traffic that connects to its data centers (which is approximately 10% of the data flow within the data centers) came from other data centers, the market perceived that DCI would be a very big business, perhaps ultimately as large as all of telco transport. Simultaneously, many data center operators claimed that their requirements for DCI were not complex; all that was needed was to provide high-capacity/density and low-cost/power point-to-point connections between the data centers. In fact, some web-scale companies such as Microsoft and Google proposed a concept of do-it-yourself (DIY) transport in which the data center operator would purchase and assemble optical components to achieve a highly cost-effective DCI transport solution. Optical systems vendors, after fretting about losing out on this new DCI business segment, realized that this application actually presented them with a high volume (albeit at low margin) opportunity on top of their existing business. Some of the more nimble of those vendors quickly developed and introduced customized DCI transport platforms – Infinera’s Cloud Xpress, Cyan’s (now Ciena’s) N-Series, Ciena’s WaveServer and ADVA’s CloudConnect. After this mad dash to introduce products to address the point-to-point DCI application, perhaps it is time to examine the data center transport marketplace with a bit more perspective. Read more of this post