Infonetics: Carrier router and switch market to recover in 2013
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Intelligent Cloud Connect from BTI Systems targets SDN-enabled cloud services
BTI Systems has introduced a new type of platform targeted at enabling cloud-based services in a more streamlined fashion. The Intelligent Cloud Connect platform integrates label-switch routing (LSR), packet-optical transport, and application server functions into a single, software-defined network (SDN) friendly system.While many SDN and cloud-focused platforms target requirements within the data center, BTI Systems says, the Intelligent Cloud Connect system addresses communications and service requirements between data centers and from data centers to peering points and partners. The system should prove particularly appealing to both service and content providers, according to Sally Bament, senior vice president, global marketing at BTI Systems. Integrating optical transport, routing, and applications servers into a single platform provides significant cost, footprint, and power savings over using discrete platforms, she adds. In fact, the company asserts that the Intelligent Cloud Connect platform can provide 4X the capacity and scalability (the 14 RU system has a capacity of 3.36 Tbps) of a typical discrete approach, while saving more than 50% on capex and opex and providing lower latency.The Intelligent Cloud Connect platform uses a series of “Universal Forwarding Module” and “Applications Server Module” blades that can be mixed and matched within the platform as requirements dictate, explained Paul Crann, senior vice president, product management and business development. The forwarding modules support data rates from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps. The application blades can support applications developed by BTI Systems, the customer, or third parties via open APIs. Crann says BTI Systems is working with application developers to create applications for the system.The system is managed via BTI Intelligent Cloud Connect software platform, which itself has open APIs to integrate with customers’ back office systems, including those that use network analytics, as well as SDN software platforms.The market analysis community appears to like what it sees from the Intelligent Cloud Connect announcement. "Data centers are becoming major confluence points for high rates of traffic growth: interconnecting data centers, and connecting data centers to access networks or peering points," said Ovum Vice President and Practice Leader Dana Cooperson via a BTI Systems press release. "As data centers are becoming much more critical in support of public and private cloud services, they are becoming both larger and more widely distributed, adding pressure on the connecting networks to scale, deliver higher-performance and differentiated services, and improve economics. BTI's Intelligent Cloud Connect, with its focus on high-availability, high-capacity, open, application-aware, and even applications-based networking, supports these goals.""Content providers want to get closer to their customers, which is propelling a growth in distributed data centers and creating urgent network requirements for scale, control, and cost reduction," said ACG Research Managing Partner Ray Mota in the same release. "The convergence of the optical and LSR layers simplifies operations and enables cost-effective scale over separate optical and router products. Integrating analytics and application awareness increases control, network utilization, and service differentiation. BTI understands these dynamics and what is required in a next-generation cloud infrastructure solution. Their approach with Intelligent Cloud Connect appears to be right on target."The new offering will roll out in two phases. The platform, its management control software, and an initial set of applications will be available for lab trials in the first half of this year. Crann says the company already has five trials set up. This first release will become generally available in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the LSR software and additional applications will become available in the second half of 2013.
Infonetics: Carrier router and switch market to recover in 2013
This year looks set to be a better one across multiple market sectors, according to Infonetics Research. Having promised better times ahead for optical transport vendors in 2013 (see “Infonetics sees 2013 growth in optical hardware sales"), the market research firm is also predicting a resurgence in the carrier router and switch market.The company has released vendor market share and preliminary analysis from its fourth quarter 2012 (4Q12) and year-end Service Provider Routers and Switches report.“The global carrier router and switch market ended 2012 with a small 4% loss, but it could have been worse,” notes Michael Howard, Infonetics’ co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks. “Significant budget flushes from operators in Europe, China, and Latin America buoyed the overall market in the final quarter of the year.”
“Looking ahead,” Howard adds, “We expect the service provider switch and router market to grow again in 2013. The US economy is in better shape and we are predicting an increase in worldwide carrier capex this year. In EMEA, activity looks good for the Middle East and, to some degree, Africa, and Europe seems to have hit bottom. If our talks with European service providers prove true, then we can expect a slow climb for the IP router and switch market there, albeit from this lower starting point. Operators know they need to spend on their networks or risk becoming uncompetitive.”For all major world regions except North America, the fourth quarter of 2012 was strong, with global IP edge and core router and Carrier Ethernet switch revenue rising to $3.8 billion, up 12% from the previous quarter.While North America was down a bit sequentially in 4Q12, the region is up 13% from the year-ago 4th quarter, the highest year-over-year gain of any region.In 2012, sales of core routers slowed more than edge routers, as the coming move to 100G is making carriers increasingly cautious as they choose the next generation of higher-capacity core routers.The top four manufacturers in the router and Carrier Ethernet switch segment stayed in dominant positions in 2012, with Cisco Systems Inc. holding steady at number one, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. boosting its market share but staying in second place, while Alcatel-Lucent moved into third position, bumping Juniper Networks to fourth.Infonetics’ quarterly routers and switches report provides worldwide, regional, China, and Japan market share, market size, forecasts, analysis, and trends for IP edge and core routers and Carrier Ethernet switches, including IP edge market analysis by application.
Aifotec joins European FP7 PLAT4M silicon photonics research project
Aifotec AG says it is part of a European project to develop a complete European silicon photonics supply chain. Led by CEA-Leti Institute for micro- and nanotechnology research, the four-year research project is already underway.The project, named “PLAT4M” (photonic libraries and technology for manufacturing), will focus on advancing an existing silicon photonics platform from a research level to one that can be transitioned to the industry, enabling a volume production and manufacturing capability for different application fields.The project is part of the EU Framework 7 initiative and funded by the European Union with a grant of €10.2 million. Together with Aifotec AG, the participating consortium includes 15 European research institutes and CMOS companies, industrial and research organizations in design and packaging, as well as end users in different application fields. The group aims to build a complete supply chain from chip-level technology to packaged circuits.
Large emerging markets are driving a surge in output of silicon photonics research and development, according to Aifotec. However, the many elementary building blocks of individual design and packaging approaches make it difficult to exploit such technology commercially. The supply chain being developed by the project partners aims to overcome this limitation. It will be based on the materials processing platforms of Leti, imec, and STMicroelectronics, supported by a unified design environment.Within the PLAT4M project, Aifotec says it will contribute its experience in photonics packaging and assembly to address the design for manufacturability. It will also address the manufacturing process and equipment aspects of the overall goal, aiming to create a coherent design flow that includes a packaging toolkit.“The unification of tools and processes is a critical element in bridging the design efforts to a level known in the electronic semiconductor industry. Uncovering and addressing the challenges across the supply chain will significantly enable higher volumes and faster time to market,” said Fredrik Prince, chief officer sales and marketing for Aifotec AG.The results will be validated across various applications, including telecom and datacom, gas sensing, light detection, and ranging (LiDAR) and vibrometry.The PLAT4M consortium also includes the University of Paris-Sud, III-V Lab, TNO, Mentor Graphics, PhoeniX BV, Si2, Tyndall-UCC, Polytec, Thales Research and Technology, and NXP.
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