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Overcoming the Delivery Challenges of ABR Streaming – by Heavy Reading
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3/5/2015  | 

For a number of years, service and content providers have sought the best way to make the dream of multiscreen video a reality by streaming live video, on-demand content and Internet video programming to laptops, connected TVs, tablets, game consoles, smartphones and other video-capable devices. However, as the number and variety of such devices have multiplied, providers have often been frustrated in their attempts to do so.

The next-generation technology designed to overcome these hurdles is adaptive bit-rate (ABR) streaming over HTTP. Unlike earlier video delivery methods such as progressive downloading over HTTP, ABR streaming enables service and content providers to adjust (or adapt) their on-demand, live and over-the-top (OTT) video streams to changing conditions – such as bandwidth fluctuations, the differences between playback devices, varying wired and wireless connection speeds and shifting wireless conditions. Thus, robust network connections and high bandwidth availability are no longer needed to stream video feeds to the growing array of IP- enabled devices.

This game-changing technology development has helped fuel the current explosion in video-enabled devices, by making it far easier and cheaper to distribute video to those devices. Thus, it has liberated consumers from their dependence on such proprietary formats as Flash, which relied on costly servers and couldn't sup- port as many video services. As a result, many consumers now expect any video content to be available on any device, over any network connection, at any time. Furthermore, consumers increasingly expect the quality of the video on their other screens to match the same high quality that they have long enjoyed on their home TV screens.

ICT Transformation Roundtable Executive Summary
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3/5/2015  | 
Bridging the Gap Between Physical & Virtual Networks: Combining OSS & NFV MANO for Successful Next- Generation Operations – by Heavy Reading
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3/3/2015  | 

Network operators recognize that they trail far behind Internet competitors when it comes to the speed and cost of service delivery. Network services are fundamental enablers of the modern economy but operators struggle to deliver them in the time-scales and with the cost profiles that spell success in today's world.

The goal of network functions virtualization (NFV) is to turn the network into an all-software environment that will enable network services to be delivered with the speed, low operational cost and agility of other digital services, including those pioneered by the Internet players. But this objective raises two challenges:

  • To implement NFV successfully, operators must put in place new management capabilities that were not previously needed in the physical network.
  • The network will not – for the foreseeable future, if ever – become an all-software, virtualized environment. Operators need to be able to manage network functions embedded in physical appliances in as streamlined a manner as virtualized network functions (VNFs). Otherwise, they will face a situation where the virtual components of an end-to-end network service can be provisioned and managed in a rapid, low-cost way, but the operations support system (OSS) for the physical network will act as a brake on overall service delivery.

This white paper discusses the new operational requirements for NFV and argues that operators cannot afford to apply these simply to VNFs, in isolation from the rest of the network. It looks at the need for a next-generation OSS stack that can converge virtual and physical network operations, based on a common service model and common capabilities. It suggests a starting point for such a transformation – activation, or service orchestration, as it is often called in a next-generation OSS environment – and a key area of focus – policy definition and management, which will be key to operational process automation across the hybrid network.

NFV Elasticity Brief: Extending NFV Benefits from Carrier-Grade Central Offices to the Network Edge
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3/3/2015  | 

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) enables service providers and operators to rapidly deploy new services with greater flexibility, improving capital and operational efficiencies. NFV decouples functionality from location which allows software-based services to be run where required in central offices, enterprises and data centers. However, a gap existed to extend the differentiating benefits of NFV to access points, small cells and base stations.

Advantech’s all-encompassing NFV Elasticity program closes this gap by supporting consistent, scalable platforms based on Intel® Architecture, with server-class processors that can run Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) at almost any location in the network. Service providers will now be able to cover peak loading using NFV-capable equipment in the core networks while efficiently provisioning a base line service capacity at the edge with enhanced access equipment running the same VNFs at lowest latency. This results in best subscriber experience and optimum resource utilization at the lowest cost.

This product brief describes the huge potential of Advantech’s NFV Elasticity initiative and the network platforms that make it possible.

Heavy Reading White Paper: Platforms for Accelerating the Virtual Infrastructure
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3/3/2015  | 

Network infrastructures are shifting from physical systems to virtual functions, and this requires a new class of network appliance that provides high-performance processing, balanced input/output (I/O) and hardware or software acceleration. Soft-ware-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are changing the way networks and services are provisioned. This new virtualized infra-structure requires a combination of standard server technology and modular systems that can be configured to support line-rate performance with network inter-faces up to 100 Gbit/s.

The increasing use of smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, and cloud-based services, such as remote storage and video on demand (VoD), is driving data bandwidth and requiring a much more flexible network. Mobile networks require a complex infrastructure that includes systems to handle data and voice connectivity, quality of service (QoS) and subscriber management. Data centers need high-speed connectivity and access to storage and other resources based on the services being provided. Conventional networks require significant investment and can take days or weeks to provision.

SDN and NFV enable a virtualized infrastructure where functions and resources can be provisioned and reallocated to meet short-term requirements. This gives service providers significant flexibility in deploying expensive hardware resources to meet customer demands. Service providers are expecting to drive new revenues and dramatically increase return on investment (ROI) by using standard server platforms that support virtual functions.

The challenge for anyone deploying SDN and NFV is delivering these benefits while still maintaining line-rate performance. Many network ports that are already running at 10 Gbit/s will quickly move to 40 Gbit/s and 100 Gbit/s as data rates continue to increase. Virtual environments extend this challenge by increasing the East-West traffic between virtual functions running on different hardware platforms. The key to meeting this challenge is to deploy hardware platforms that can support the SDN- and NFV-based virtual infrastructure and have integrated hardware and software to support high-speed network interfaces and the acceleration of critical functions, such as security processing and load balancing.

The purpose of this white paper is to examine these issues. The paper explores the requirements for delivering line-speed performance in a virtual infrastructure environment and reviews an exciting solution to this challenge that is based on a 2U rack-mount chassis with four Intel Xeon E5-4600 v2 series processors, with up to 12 cores per processor, and integrated support for up to 640 Gbit/s of I/O bandwidth. This highly-integrated solution provides the flexibility to implement security acceleration up to 400 Gbit/s and stateful load balancing across many virtual servers and networking I/O. The platform supports multiple high-speed network interfaces, including 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE). The paper also describes an off-the-shelf soft-ware solution for supporting NFV and other virtual environments on this platform with line-rate performance.

Service Chaining in Carrier Networks – by Heavy Reading
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3/2/2015  | 

Service chaining is an emerging set of technologies and processes that enable operators to configure network services dynamically in software without having to make changes to the network at the hardware level. By routing traffic flows according to a "service graph," service chaining addresses the requirement for both optimization of the network, through better utilization of resources; and monetization, through the provisioning of services that are tailored to the customer context.

This white paper examines why dynamic service chaining is useful and how it enables operators to dynamically create services using appliance-based and virtualized network functions (VNFs). It will analyze implementation options in carrier net- works, specifically addressing the role of the classifier, packet-header options and the importance of metadata.

Why "Network Ossification" Is a Problem

Service chaining is not a new idea. Insofar as network equipment is hardwired back-to-back to create a processing path, chaining of network functions in hardware is the de facto operating model. The challenge is that hardwired service chains are difficult to deploy and change. They are characterized by hand-crafted complexity, with lifecycles that are long and static. This leads to "network ossification."

In competitive markets, with rapid innovation at the application layer, this limits operators' ability to address emerging use cases and business models. Ossification, in effect, unnecessarily restricts the addressable market for telecom services – which is obviously a problem for a sector with modest top-line revenue growth.

The issue today is that the application layer (the services used by consumers) is very dynamic, with rapid evolution in end-user services, yet networks are static. To address this, network operators want to accelerate the transition to software-centric, programmable networks. Operators have seen what can be achieved within the software-defined data center networking paradigm, and they want to adapt those architectures and toolsets to bring these concepts to carrier networks.

DNS Security for Service Providers: An Active Approach at L7 - by Heavy Reading
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2/26/2015  | 

In the evolution to all-IP, the DNS has become a critical network protocol. In all but the smallest service provider networks, these transactions are now taking place at the rate of millions per second.

Because of its importance, a company's DNS infrastructure has for some time been one of the favorite targets of hackers. The attack type traditionally associated with the DNS has been a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which overloads the servers with an overwhelmingly large volume of communication requests, thus rendering them unavailable to legitimate service requests.

The motivation and organization of attackers has changed fundamentally. Whereas early attackers tended to be isolated individuals that bore a grudge or were just social misfits, today's attackers are far more organized, much greater in number and far more heavily resourced – including organized crime, terrorist organizations and even nation states. Attack tools have also been greatly simplified, so that the expertise needed to leverage them is much less than it used to be. Many attack tools are also available online at low cost.

As a result, attackers are investing a lot of resources in finding new ways to attack and manipulate DNS resources for criminal ends. Not only are attackers finding new ways to overwhelm the DNS resources of businesses and services providers and render them inoperable. They are also leveraging and manipulating the DNS protocol itself as one of the most effective attack vectors for the exfiltration – stealing – of highly valuable, proprietary information from consumers and businesses, including service providers themselves.

Huawei Storage Becomes an Industry Backbone
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2/26/2015  | 
Huawei's Open Cloud Strategy
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2/26/2015  | 
Light Reading Report: NFV Market Report: Virtual CPE
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2/18/2015  | 

Network functions virtualization (NFV) has become one of the hottest areas of communications industry research and development in recent years for a number of reasons:

  • It could help operators introduce and manage new applications and services more efficiently and more quickly
  • It should improve the self-service options available to end users, particularly enterprises
  • It eventually offers network operators the prospect of reduced capex and opex
  • It’s a development being driven and directed by the service provider community, rather than the vendors

As a result, and with multiple proofs of concept, tests and trials already undertaken, there is a great deal of anticipation surrounding the introduction of virtualized functions into commercial communications service provider networks: Everyone wants to know if NFV can become a reality.

So 2015 is going to be a key year for NFV as the impact of the first commercial deployments, many of which are focused on the introduction of virtual customer premises equipment (CPE), becomes clearer and early findings work their way back into the ecosystem.

While there was a lot of excitement initially about the prospect of virtualizing mobile packet core functionality, virtual CPE has become the de facto proving ground of choice for network operators, mainly because it can be contained and is not at the heart of critical voice applications management (which the packet core is).

That doesn’t mean that introducing virtual CPE capabilities is easy – far from it. But deploying orchestration capabilities and virtual functions (for firewalls, VPNs and so on) that enable multiple CPE elements to be replaced with a single physical element at a user location enables operators to get invaluable real-world experience, quickly establish what potential economies are possible and discover the new as-yet-unidentified opportunities that always go hand-in-hand with any radical technology evolution.

We’re still at the very early stages of NFV and the introduction of virtual CPE, but this report lays out the opportunities and challenges associated with the trend and digs into the experiences of early movers, such as Colt.

We hope this report provides some useful early insights into the virtual CPE sector.

Take Charge of the Cloud Platform for NFV to Maximize Success by Heavy Reading
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2/18/2015  | 

Network operators must master the cloud if they are to realize the competitive benefits that network functions virtualization (NFV) can confer. These benefits include the ability to bring new features and services to market faster than rivals and the streamlining of operational costs so that operators can both boost profit margins and remain price-competitive.

The cloud is a highly automated and efficient platform for running software-based workloads, such as virtualized network functions (VNFs). Cloud application programming interfaces (APIs) enable the programmatic creation of execution environments that match the requirements of individual workloads, while cloud platform intelligence ensures that these environments are multiplexed efficiently across hardware resources, scale on demand and meet performance service-level agreements (SLAs).

Because the cloud is more than a collection of virtualized servers, it requires a new operational approach. Network operators that step up and acquire the knowledge, skills and processes needed to run the cloud platform for NFV will control their own destinies. In other words, they will take charge of the direction of their network business in the 21st century. The cloud is becoming central to the success of thousands of enterprises across the globe. Network operators can draw on the considerable body of experience and best practices that have been built up by these enterprises and their cloud platform suppliers.

This white paper outlines the benefits of a "cloud first" approach to NFV, in which operators take VNFs straight to the cloud. It argues that a horizontal cloud, capable of running as many VNFs from different vendors as possible, delivers the greatest transformation. Since industry dynamics may at first drive operators to acquire multiple cloud platforms to support NFV, this paper advises on ways in which operators can prepare for platform convergence in the future. Finally, it describes the steps that operators need to take to step up and own the cloud for themselves, rather than ceding control over this vital asset to external suppliers.

Catch the Right Customers
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2/17/2015  | 
In this article we share some consumer research recently conducted by Huawei’s Customer Experience Transformation Center (CETC) which answers these questions for the general case. The answers are quite revealing, with some customer segments much more desirable than others, and each group having distinct priorities.
Achieving Security Integrity in NFV
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2/17/2015  | 
The business challenges faced by communication service providers are well known. Specifically, revenues remain threatened by increasing competition from more agile competitors. As a result, service providers are turning to new technologies, such as Network Function Virtualization (NFV), to enable both new service innovations and to reduce costs. In order to realize the full commercial benefits, identifying and overcoming some of the practical and critical operational considerations will be required. Security is one of the most critical considerations, which must not be an afterthought. Identity Access Management strategies must accommodate a variety of network equipment, multiple generations of technologies and scale to support hundreds of thousands of equipment types, including virtual infrastructure, virtual network functions, servers and systems. This whitepaper explores some of the emerging security challenges created with NFV environments, and provides recommendations regarding what requirements service providers should consider.
Quality Brand MBB Network in the Era of User Experience
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2/17/2015  | 
SOC: an Essential Approach to Implementing User-centric Operations
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2/17/2015  | 
Carrier Grade NFV Checklist for Network Functions Virtualization
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2/17/2015  | 

The term “carrier grade” has been an often used—and misused—term. To some it refers to high-availability network elements, or “five 9s” availability, or network links that fail over in 50 milliseconds. But carrier grade has a much wider scope. It is not limited to telco requirements for equipment quality, reliability, availability, and maintainability. Carrier grade encompasses a much broader range of carrier requirements, such as for equipment management, billing, security, traffic performance, packaging, and powering, as well as for practices used for development, product support, and operations.

The carrier network continues to undergo significant transformation that requires the modernization of what we mean by carrier grade. The carrier network is no longer constructed using purpose-built equipment running proprietary software. Network equipment providers (NEPs) no longer design their systems in-house. They build products by developing network applications on commercially available software systems that run on standardized multi-core hardware platforms. This enables NEPs to focus their resources on designing higher-value applications to better differentiate their products from those of the competition.

Infographic: Paving the Way for Service Agility
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2/17/2015  | 
Evolved Programmable Network Solution Overview
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2/12/2015  | 

Service providers already face enormous demands on their network and data center assets from exploding mobility, video, and cloud-based applications. We are now in the era of the Internet of Everything (IoE) that will accelerate new metrics of scale never seen before. How can service providers reduce costs and improve efficiency and resource usage, even as they expand their business for new revenue-generating services?

According to The Cisco Visual Networking Index™ (Cisco VNI™), global network transformations will be accelerated by exponential growth in IP, cloud, mobile, video, and machine-to-machine (M2M) traffic growth. IP traffic alone will grow 300 percent to 1.4 zettabytes annually by 2017. With exponential growth comes opportunity. Cloud service providers have changed the rules of an age-old service-delivery game. Profitability is about rapidly delivering customer-focused, application-based services over lean, agile, automated IPv6 cloud-based networks.

In response to this game-changing shift, traditional telecommunication service providers will evolve their business models by taking advantage of innovations in software-defined networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies. Rewards of evolution will include intelligent flexibility for offering real-time repurposing of physical and virtual infrastructure - allowing providers to monetize and accelerate service delivery and capitalize on their unique link to the consumer and the data center.

Evolved Programmable Network Infographic
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2/12/2015  | 

The EPN Era – The importance of data center scale brought us virtualization. As the data center and the network began to merge another obvious question arose, "Should we employ virtualization in the network?"

Computing and the Internet become synonomous. People no longer play games by themselves or browse independently. Instead of going to a store to buy a game or video things are o¬ffered on-demand.

Next-Gen OSS - Unleashing Network Potential
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2/12/2015  | 
Huawei: A key Leader in CEM standards development
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2/12/2015  | 
Video: Cisco CPAK: Innovative CMOS Photonics - From OFC ’14
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2/11/2015  | 
Simplify and Automate for Enhanced Service Agility
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2/11/2015  | 
Faster, changing market demands. Revenue pressures. New business models and applications. With so much in service provider environments in flux, it's no surprise that operational processes have to change as well. The Internet of Everything demands faster business responsiveness and economies of scale. Services and their features must be made available more quickly and with lower cost to ensure competitiveness and acceptable margins.
Best Practices for Service Agility: Embrace Orchestration
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2/11/2015  | 

Service provider networks are encountering major challenges, as they address these opportunities, while simultaneously meeting market demands for more mobile, social, and visual offerings - as well as rich media applications that demand higher performance. Among the most significant challenges is a lack of service agility.

This challenge starts with a cumbersome lifecycle, with slow service creation, modification, and end of life. These processes, in turn, affect business agility, hurting competitiveness and the bottom line. A faster-moving and more nimble service provider can turn this situation around into a crucial competitive advantage.

Three current industry initiatives promise to greatly improve the agility of service providers and deliver many other benefits:

  • The increased programmability between applications and networks, achieved through software defined networking (SDN)
  • The transformation of network architectures and operations through Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), which can achieve dynamic, elastic, and adaptable infrastructures
  • The availability of software development ecosystems for broader participation, using open source and simpler open APIs to achieve faster innovation

When these capabilities are combined, they offer service providers a path to more dynamic, agile networks. But a successful move to greater agility requires best practices for deploying and using these new tools. Without these practices, the complexity and scale of service provider environments will impede progress towards greater agility.

High-Performance Hardware: Enhance Its Use in SDN
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2/11/2015  | 

Commercial off-the-shelf hardware, such as servers with x86 processors that use software-based forwarding capabilities or emergent white-box switches, will find a place in many use cases. But a more important consideration is the evolving role of high-performance hardware in SDN.As service providers optimize their networks to take full advantage of the very best tools in SDN, network functions virtualization (NFV), and other technologies, they need to strategically assess their hardware choices, based on functions and performance requirements and the intended business outcome for individual applications and services.

Low-cost, off-the-shelf hardware can support many standard applications. But high-performance hardware, such as core data-center switches that support more stringent I/O requirements, high throughput, and high reliability, is still crucial. Of course, every provider needs to drive network costs down, and using more mass-produced hardware can be one way to do that. But the SDN and NFV solutions that you deploy must satisfy the top requirements across applications, services, service provider architectures, and topologies, now and in the future.

Software-Defined Networking - Discover How to Save Money and Generate New Revenue
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2/11/2015  | 

Abstraction helps simplify development or modification of new or existing services and applications, and that simplification drives costs down and contributes to faster revenue returns. Many people in the industry advocate the relocation of control functions to centralized general-purpose servers, typically x86 class in data centers. This approach offers lower costs through the use of lower-priced, mass-produced hardware for the forwarding devices.

In addition, the SDN community is discussing how service providers can use SDN to make money. These discussions typically include three main methods:

  • Repurposing existing revenue-generating network services onto a software-defined network that promises greater flexibility and a lower cost structure, resulting in higher margins
  • The ability to modify or spin up services much faster, capturing new opportunities to enhance revenue
  • A lower-cost, more-flexible network, which can promote more application innovation in a dynamic service environment, opening new markets
SDN: Perspectives, Strategies, and Use Cases (Heavy Reading)
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2/11/2015  | 
Priming the Telco Data Center for NFV (Heavy Reading)
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2/11/2015  | 
8 Must Have Technologies For Next-gen Video Processing Solutions
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2/9/2015  | 

Solutions that enable VSPs to rapidly roll out the innovate live-to-VoD, live-streaming and over-the-top (OTT) services that today’s consumers demand. Powering these services is cost prohibitive, or technically unfeasible with traditional video processing infrastructures.

The e-book discusses why it’s important to lay a strategic video processing foundation that includes elements such as a virtualized, cloud-enabled architecture, ultra-high-density COTS hardware deployment options and an open transcoding pipeline.

Read this e-book to learn about the technologies that video service providers (VSPs) must deploy to win and retain subscribers, while reducing CAPEX and OPEX—both today and in future.

HUAWEI SMARTCARE® AND NPS A POWERFUL SYNERGY
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2/5/2015  | 
Using results from a recent project, this paper demonstrates how HUAWEI SmartCare® CEM solution can drive your NPS (Net Promoter Score) improvement program. The key factors which minfluence NPS can be identified, prioritized and incorporated into a model which accurately predicts NPS results. The insight provided will allow your organization to focus on those changes which will most positively impact NPS for your entire user-base, including the silent majority who never respond to surveys.
Automating Defenses Against Increasingly Sophisticated DDoS Attacks – by Heavy Reading
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1/28/2015  | 

DDoS Attacks Threaten Our Digital Lifestyle

There was a time when DDoS attacks were small-scale affairs. An antisocial individual with computing skills, looking to exact revenge on an organization that had crossed him, would swamp that organization's IT resources with high volumes of messages, to overwhelm those resources and take them out of service. These early attacks were rare, often amateurish, and often driven by personal grudges. Since these first attacks were launched in an era that preceded mass-market penetration of fixed broadband, e-commerce, mobile broadband and social networking, they tended to have a fairly limited impact.

In developed countries, the digital landscape has changed so dramatically in recent years that we now think in terms of the majority of people in these countries leading a "digital lifestyle." And that digital lifestyle has become increasingly vulnerable to DDoS attacks and both their short- and longer-term impacts.

Evolution of OSS From Support to Enablement – by Heavy Reading
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1/27/2015  | 
Encoding.com 2015 Global Media Format Report
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1/23/2015  | 
Encoding.com has collected a massive media processing data set across 2000+ video publishers. This comprehensive report provides insights and analysis of the following mission critical media information.
  • Closed Caption Formats
  • Screen Resolutions
  • Adaptive Bitrate Standards
  • Video Codecs & Containers
  • Static Image Formats
  • Digital Rights Management
HP NFV Director Solution Overview
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1/22/2015  | 

HP NFV Director brings together HP capabilities in operations support systems (OSS) and IT management to provide a comprehensive, multivendor NFV orchestrator solution. The solution will handle the complexities and abstractions introduced by virtualization. By leveraging the existing HP OSS functionality for the non-virtualized aspects of management, it enables you to move into the world of NFV while protecting your current investment, bridging old with new, and building on current operational processes.

HP NFV Director is designed to meet the evolving ETSI specifications for the NFV orchestrator functionality. This includes the orchestration and management of virtual network functions (VNF) and network services, providing the global resource management, and consistently applying global, cross-VNF, and VNF-specific policies.

HP NFV Director is based on proven OSS and IT management products. It is designed with the experience of early network functions virtualization trials and proof of concepts with major communications service providers and network equipment providers. Providing the required operational support, it enables you to focus on your NFV services and strategy.

HP NFV Director enables you to:

  • Safely transition your network from physical to virtualized mode
  • Fully realize the benefit of the NFV promise by properly operationalizing the deployment
  • Easily integrate virtualized network functions into your OSS and IT environment
  • Grow from simple virtualization use cases to complex use cases
  • Avoid creating new technical or organizational silos of management for network functions virtualization
  • Fully benefit from a standards-based and multivendor approach
  • Enable easier and quicker deployment of network functions for faster innovation and increased revenue
White Paper - Transforming OSS for NFV
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1/22/2015  | 

Network functions virtualization (NFV) is a core structural change in the way telecommunications infrastructure is deployed. This, in turn, will bring significant changes in the way that services are delivered by communications service providers (CSPs)—and hence have an important impact on operations support systems (OSS).

Communications service providers (CSPs) are required to streamline their cost structures and operations while increasing portfolio competitiveness and drastically slashing time to market. Network functions virtualization promises all this and more.

As often indicated by operational teams, however, NFV will have a significant impact on CSP operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS). This will require at least revisiting, if not a major redesign, to keep pace with the automation, elasticity, capacity optimization, and scalability advantages allegedly brought by network functions virtualization.

As a consequence, NFV adoption means OSS transformation, with all the challenges that such a journey will entail. Whether a radical change or a gradual approach is chosen to address the OSS component of the NFV deployment, service providers will have to look at designing a target management architecture—derived by current approaches, such as TM Forum Business Process Framework (eTOM), but extended to address NFV, based on solid pillars—to guarantee a futureproof journey and a smooth transition from the current situation, systems, platforms, and processes.

The HP OSS vision is for service providers to break the OSS silos and migrate to a dynamic production environment, based on the concept of service operations factory (SOF). This is where the integration between fulfilment and assurance will create a virtuous circle to make service management more agile, effective, and complete.

At the same time, the service operations factory will drastically reduce time to market and improve end-to-end service visibility. Completed by data analytics functionality, such an approach also is designed to align OSS capability with the benefits promised by the NFV implementation in terms of cost-effectiveness and service management agility. It offers service providers a future-proof platform and a smooth transition to the hybrid virtual and non-virtual world independently from the direction the NFV journey will take them.

OPNFV: An Open Platform to Accelerate NFV
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1/22/2015  | 

OPNFV will enable industry collaboration to advance the evolution of NFV and ensure consistency, performance and interoperability among virtualized network infrastructures. OPNFV will work closely with ETSI’s NFV ISG, among other standards bodies, to drive the consistent implementation of an open and standard NFV reference platform.

The initial scope of OPNFV will be to provide NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), Virtualized Infrastructure Management (VIM), and APIs to other NFV elements, which together form the basic infrastructure required for Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs) and Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) components. Increasingly, standards are being drafted in conjunction with major open source projects. OPNFV will work with many of these projects to coordinate continuous integration and testing of NFV solutions.

Enterprise Radio Access Network Enables New NFV-Based Services at the Edge – SpiderCloud
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1/22/2015  | 

Before the creation of the enterprise radio access network (E-RAN), there was not a cost effective method to deliver cellular service into medium to large buildings. Equally problematic, if mobile operators needed to host a cloud at the edge, they had to provision a separate server at the site and manage it throughout its lifecycle.

Overcoming these challenges, the E-RAN small cell system from SpiderCloud Wireless* provides cellular service to indoor areas spanning upwards of 50,000 square feet to 1.5 million square feet of space, and supports over 10,000 voice and data subscribers. The E-RAN’s unique architecture features a Services Module with a quad-core Intel® Xeon® processor, whose costs can be amortized across up to 100 small cell radios, thus providing an economical edge cloud hosting location that also supports network functions virtualization (NFV). Since the E-RAN enables access to the Internet, mobile core, enterprise DMZ, and 3G/LTE radio access networks, this edge cloud hosting location enables independent software vendors (ISVs) to build unique innovative applications: enterprise-facing, standalone, enterprise cloud helper, and telecom analytics/operations.

This Intel® Network Builders solution brief describes this E-RAN system, which has been in commercial service for several years on three continents in the world’s largest mobile operators. The system meets their stringent service quality per 3G/LTE performance indicators (KPIs) that are critical to mobile operators and enterprises. Due to its unique architectural location, the SpiderCloud Services Module gives rise to new opportunities in edge cloud enterprise services and telecom operations applications.

Performance Solution for NFV Reduces Cost-per-bit and Simplifies Service Deployment – Radisys
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1/22/2015  | 

The 100G-capable Radisys T-100 family increases traffic throughput over the prior generation, thereby greatly increasing network capacity and efficiency, and is supported by a rich set of middleware and security applications, thus reducing the effort to develop new services. Moreover, operators can protect their software investments because their code will run on next-generation Intel® processors.

With the Radisys T-100, network equipment developers can build solutions using a single architecture to consolidate all their workloads, thus simplifying development and lowering hardware cost. The scalability and virtualization capabilities of Intel processor-based platforms enable system engineers to develop a cost-competitive family of products based on a common code base. Radisys systems, supported by a broad ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs), reduce the effort and time needed to bring NFV-based solutions to market.

Delivering Dynamic End-to-End Orchestration for Cloud, WAN, NFV, and SDN – Amartus
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1/22/2015  | 

The new architectural approaches, like network functions virtualization (NFV), software-defined networking (SDN), and cloud computing, provide the flexible infrastructure, but the existing operation support systems (OSSs) are too slow and cumbersome to support it.

This Intel® Network Builders solution brief discusses the Amartus Chameleon SDS and how it offers a solution.

Amartus Chameleon SDS, built on an Intel® Xeon® processor-based platform, is a new breed of run-time programmable, meta-model driven, multi-vendor, and multi-technology service management and orchestration software that supports the full service life-cycle on a single unified platform and takes advantage of the massive scaling offered by cloud computing. Its future-proof design abstracts the resource and service layers to isolate their orchestration from the complexities of the network. As a result, it significantly reduces the rollout time and streamlines operations, which are the key elements of service providers’ commercial success.

Intel and Brocade NFV Solutions Helps to Reduce Operational Expenses and Support Revenue Growth
Information Resources  | 
1/22/2015  | 

To support a fully virtualized infrastructure, the network needs to learn from the compute and cloud computing forces that have changed everything; it needs to adapt to support multi-core processing, centralized management and shared infrastructures that will enable the simple portability of compute resources and services.

The Brocade Vyatta vRouter and vADX running on Intel® processor-based servers offer performance to support the varied needs of service providers and their customers. With Intel and Brocade, Service Providers can transform their network to match the agility, efficiency and scale of their virtual compute and storage infrastructures. As a result, they can create a fully virtualized environment that reduces operational expenses to deliver existing and new services at utility prices and support their revenue growth.

Achieving Carrier-Grade OpenStack for NFV - by Heavy Reading
Information Resources  | 
1/20/2015  | 

Network functions virtualization (NFV) offers communications service providers the promise of more rapid service creation, easier management and lower delivery cost. With sustained competitive pressures, including from newer Web-scale players, service providers are responding to this message and moving with urgency to trans- form their networks and operations.

Many of the components of the platform to deliver NFV have come from community-led developments such as OpenStack and Apache. These have been driven mostly from the enterprise world. Service providers, however, have significantly more stringent requirements than enterprises, meaning work needs to be done in order to make these components truly carrier-grade.

Companies such as HP and Wind River have enhanced and innovated on top of open source solutions, including OpenStack and Linux. They have addressed the key areas of performance, scalability, resiliency, reliability, security and manageability to provide an NFV platform that is carrier-grade.

Video: Get Up to Speed with the Cloud Xpress
Information Resources  | 
1/14/2015  | 
Y.1564: SAM Demystified White Paper
Information Resources  | 
1/14/2015  | 

For more than a decade, RFC2544, the IETF standard for "Benchmarking Methodology for Network Interconnect Devices," had been the de-facto standard for testing Ethernet services, even though it was designed to test networking equipment in a lab environment. The newer ITU-T Y.1564 SAM (Service Activation Methodology) was created to specifically address packet-based services and overcome the RFC2544 shortcomings. The objective of this paper is to provide a clear understanding of the definitions and methodology of ITU-T Y.1564 standard.

Business Ethernet Revisited: The Testing Imperative White Paper
Information Resources  | 
1/14/2015  | 

The business services opportunity for the cable industry still beckons. Ethernet has emerged as a key enabling technology for its speed, low cost and flexibility. Cable operators have gained a small share of the telco-dominated business services market but are relatively stronger in retail and wholesale Ethernet services. Testing plays a critical role in the installation and maintenance of these services, which typically require adherence to service level agreements (SLAs). In this white paper, we examine how the prerequisite to testing is a workforce trained to use test and measurement (T&M) equipment.

Testing the Next-Gen Network: Make Way for 100GE White Paper
Information Resources  | 
1/14/2015  | 

Telecommunications networks of the future will continue to carry a mix of technologies. But as legacy infrastructure declines, the evolving Gigabit Ethernet (GE) market is poised to play an increasingly larger role.

Network operators already constrained by 10GE circuits have deployed 40GE, and some are now scaling 100GE across backbone, metro and even access platforms. Standards, favorable costs and growing network traffic help explain Ethernet's appeal. As 40GE and 100GE circuits become more widespread, operators will need to enhance their test and measurement (T&M) equipment accordingly.

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Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
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BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.