APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Rakuten Symphony, Intel and Juniper Networks Introduce Next Generation Distributed RAN and Transport Solution

Rakuten Symphony | October 27, 2021

Intel Corporation, Juniper Networks, and Rakuten Symphony today announced a collaborative effort to develop Symware, a pioneering, carrier-grade Open RAN (Radio Access Network) solution for mobile network operators to modernize radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture. This Symware multipurpose edge appliance provides operators with the flexibility to densify their network, accommodate various network topologies, and support new features while reducing the required hardware per site.

Mobile network operators around the world are starting to deploy Open RAN and cloud-native architecture in their networks, which will provide them greater agility, enable smarter security, and empower them with new levels of automation while broadening and securing their supply chain.

“Rakuten Symphony constantly looks to introduce leading-edge innovations to accelerate network transformations,With our partners, we have developed a cost-performance optimized appliance that simplifies the cell site deployment for 4G, 5G and future generations of mobile technology. Symware provides operators with the ultimate future-proof cell site solution that enables them to flexibly densify their network and accommodate various network topologies at the lowest cost.”

Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony

The Symware multipurpose edge appliance combines the containerized cell site routing functionality and a containerized Distributed Unit on a single general purpose server platform, which significantly reduces the capital and operating expenditures for an operator. Offering consistent carrier-grade routing stack across both physical and virtual Radio Access Networks, the solution readily enables 5G network slicing features both in RAN and transport domains including slice isolation, slice monitoring and dynamic traffic steering through segment routing. The solution supports automation with zero-touch provisioning, rolling updates, telemetry and analytics for all the components, and is based on the Kubernetes® ecosystem for orchestration and networking.

Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group added, “We continue to see the industry shift to take advantage of the many benefits provided by the cloudification of the RAN. By utilizing our Next Generation Intel® Xeon® D Processors and FlexRANTM reference software, this collaboration showcases how RAN workloads can be consolidated onto a single server and meet the performance, capacity and cost requirements of 5G RAN deployments.”

Raj Yavatkar, Juniper’s CTO, stated “Removing the obstacles of deploying ORAN in disaggregated production networks is critical for 5G growth. Integrated routing and ORAN in a single platform delivers cost and operational benefits for network operators. Combined with industry leading Intel technology and Rakuten’s DU software, Juniper’s disaggregated and state-of-art routing stack offers operators a unique solution for delivering differentiated 5G services including network slicing.”

Developed with Rakuten Symphony’s unmatched know-how and experience with cloud-native and Open RAN-based networks, leading containerized RAN software from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, Next Generation Intel® Xeon® D Processors and FlexRANTM reference software, and Juniper’s carrier-hardened cloud-native routing stack, Symware will give operators more opportunity to create innovations within their networks, while broadening and securing their supply chain.

About Intel
Intel is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better.

About Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks is dedicated to dramatically simplifying network operations and driving superior experiences for end users. Our solutions deliver industry-leading insight, automation, security and AI to drive real business results. We believe that powering connections will bring us closer together while empowering us all to solve the world’s greatest challenges of well-being, sustainability and equality.

About Rakuten Symphony
Rakuten Symphony, a Rakuten Group organization with operations across Japan, Singapore, India, EMEA, and the United States, develops and brings to the global marketplace cloud-native, open RAN telco infrastructure platforms, services and solutions, through the Rakuten Communications Platform.

Spotlight

In the continuous and fast changing landscape of mobile telecommunications, the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 15 has just kicked off officially triggering officially the new era of fifth Generation of Telecommunication: 5G. Legacy technologies are still deployed and the market. Among them, incotrovertibly, LTE (Long Term Evolution) has been playing a key role in the adoption of 4G (fourth Generation) since it was commercially launched in early 2010. In a matter of a few years, LTE has been successfully deployed around the world driving the entire wireless ecosystem to connect over 1 in 4 mobile users worldwide, a trend that is continuing to grow tremendously [1].


Other News
HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Sunlight.io launches first hyperconverged stack supporting the NVIDIA Jetson-based Lenovo ThinkEdge SE70 to make edge AI deployable at scale

Sunlight | June 30, 2022

Sunlight.io, the edge infrastructure company, today announced support for the NVIDIA Jetson™ edge AI platform, and the Lenovo SE70, with the launch of its beta program — ‘Project Rosie.’ Sunlight NexVisor is the first full hyperconverged stack to support the Arm-CPU-based NVIDIA Jetson. Sunlight NexVisor coupled with the Lenovo SE70 makes it easy to deploy AI applications anywhere at the edge. Application developers can be the first to access the technology and test their AI applications by applying here. AI is a ‘killer application’ at the edge where it is bringing real-time “insight to action” across a wide range of use cases. For example, computer vision — combining cameras, video streaming and analytics — is being implemented at drive-thrus nationwide for faster and more personalized food ordering; on manufacturing production lines to instantly identify and remove faulty items; and across smart cities to enhance population and crowd security. These sorts of AI applications need high levels of processing power with low latency and reliable networking in order to give real-time results. Enterprises want to replicate the simplicity of the hyperconverged infrastructure they enjoy in their core data centers for their edge AI applications. However, datacenter HCI isn’t able to run in the constrained environments that exist at the edge due to their large RAM and CPU overhead and lack of edge management capabilities. This makes edge deployments extremely resource intensive to manage and hard to scale. Sunlight NexVisor is the only hyperconverged stack that is able to run on both x86 and Arm architectures and with a tiny footprint suitable for constrained edge environments. It includes centralized management and application deployment capabilities. NVIDIA Jetson is the world's leading platform for AI at the edge. NVIDIA Jetson modules are small form-factor, high-performance computers containing an Arm processor and GPU. The combination of Sunlight NexVisor and the NVIDIA Jetson-powered Lenovo ThinkEdge SE70 makes it possible to run demanding edge AI applications in harsh environments that span hundreds or thousands of sites with easy single-pane-of-glass management, low TCO and tiny power and space requirements. Sunlight is a member of NVIDIA Inception, a global program designed to nurture cutting-edge startups. Scott Tease, Lenovo’s VP for HPC and AI said, "Our customers realize the advantages of edge AI and deploying solutions closer to the point of data capture to run real-time inferencing. That is why we are so excited to be partnering up with Sunlight as they support our edge portfolio to significantly improve the efficiency and economics of AI deployments for customers worldwide." “We are excited to launch this exclusive beta program for users who need to run efficient, manageable AI out where the data is generated — at the edge. “Sunlight already offers full support for the Lenovo ThinkEdge and ThinkSystem range, including the Intel-based SE30, SE50, SE350 and SE450. Together, we’ve been able to produce a truly industry-first solution by combining Sunlight’s turn-key, edge-as-a-service offering with Lenovo’s leading AI edge platform powered by NVIDIA Jetson. Sunlight was born out of a collaboration with Arm back in 2013 to build a lightweight hypervisor, and we’re seeing huge demand for the use of Arm-based servers at the edge due to their performance and power-efficiency.” Julian Chesterfield, Founder and CEO of Sunlight About Sunlight The Sunlight Edge is a reliable, secure, zero-touch and economic infrastructure that helps turn your critical edge data into real-time insight and action across your retail stores, manufacturing lines and smart cities. Sunlight makes running and managing applications and infrastructure at the edge as easy as in the cloud. Sunlight works with efficient, ruggedized edge hardware — so you can consolidate all of your in-location edge applications with full isolation, security and high availability.

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STORAGE MANAGEMENT

Redington announces strategic partnership with Infoblox

Redington (India) Ltd | June 03, 2022

The network security solutions demand has expanded on a larger scale in this digital transformation Era. Redington, the largest IT Infrastructure & Solutions Distributor has entered a strategic partnership with Infoblox, the leader in cloud-first DNS management and security services. "We are excited to announce our partnership with Infoblox, providing secure Cloud-Managed Network Services and protect business from every threat with seamless communication and threat prevention. As the landscape of networks evolve, Infoblox helps organizations in their challenging environment by integrating network components, managing core network services and by connecting the hybrid and multi-cloud networks. This will help our channel partners meet the increased security needs of their customers as their business changes. Mr. R. Venkatesh President, Enterprise Business Group, Redington India Limited The collaboration helps Redington's extensive customer base across IT and ITES, BFSI, Pharma, Manufacturing and other sectors simplify, scale, and secure their networks for hybrid environments, which are foundational for remote work. "Redington is delighted to partner with Infoblox, which delivers network infrastructure and secured experience in the digital transformation Era. This will help in the expansion of our security portfolio as well as the enhancement of our partners to provide best of breed solutions," said Mr.Jabez , VP of network and server storage Infoblox holds over 50 percent of the DDI market share and serves more than 12,000 customers globally, including 70% of the Fortune 500 companies. Its BloxOne DDI and BloxOne Threat Defense solutions provide network visibility and protection for customers with a unified view. Infoblox provides the industry's most robust DDI solution and security services, which can be easily integrated with other vendors. By using a combination of Behaviors Analysis & Machine Learning along with traditional Reputation and Signature protection it protects exfiltrated data constellations and continues to defend and protect against new attacks using DNS. "As the modern enterprise transforms their workplace into the cloud, organizations in India rely on Infoblox to scale, simplify and secure their increasingly distributed and complex networks," said Rajeev Sreedhar, Managing Director, India & SAARC at Infoblox. "With this partnership, our customers can expect to see the winning combination of Redington's extensive security experience and value-added distribution strength with our cloud-first DNS management and security solutions." Infoblox collaboration helps Redington to better their network security portfolio and it would strengthen our customer and partner's business. About Redington (India) Ltd Redington India provides end-to-end supply chain solutions for all categories of Information Technology, Telecom, Lifestyle, Healthcare, and Solar products. It has footprints across 37 markets through 60 subsidiary offices. With over 290+ brands associations and 39,500+ channel partners, it is transforming the distribution and supply chain ecosystem through synergy between innovation and technology adoption. About Infoblox Infoblox delivers the next-level network experience with its Secure Cloud-Managed Network Services. As the pioneer in providing the world's most reliable, secure, and automated networks, we are relentless in our pursuit of next level network simplicity. A recognized industry leader, Infoblox has more than 12,000 customers, including more than 70% of the Fortune 500.

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HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

Inspur Announces MLPerf v2.0 Results for AI Servers

Inspur | July 04, 2022

The open engineering consortium MLCommons released the latest MLPerf Training v2.0 results, with Inspur AI servers leading in closed division single-node performance. MLPerf is the world’s most influential benchmark for AI performance. It is managed by MLCommons, with members from more than 50 global leading AI companies and top academic institutions, including Inspur Information, Google, Facebook, NVIDIA, Intel, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California, Berkeley. MLPerf AI Training benchmarks are held twice a year to track improvements in computing performance and provide authoritative data guidance for users. The latest MLPerf Training v2.0 attracted 21 global manufacturers and research institutions, including Inspur Information, Google, NVIDIA, Baidu, Intel-Habana, and Graphcore. There were 264 submissions, a 50% increase over the previous round. The eight AI benchmarks cover current mainstream usage AI scenarios, including image classification with ResNet, medical image segmentation with 3D U-Net, light-weight object detection with RetinaNet, heavy-weight object detection with Mask R-CNN, speech recognition with RNN-T, natural language processing with BERT, recommendation with DLRM, and reinforcement learning with MiniGo. Among the closed division benchmarks for single-node systems, Inspur Information with its high-end AI servers was the top performer in natural language processing with BERT, recommendation with DLRM, and speech recognition with RNN-T. It won the most titles among single-node system submitters. For mainstream high-end AI servers equipped with eight NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs, Inspur Information AI servers were top ranked in five tasks (BERT, DLRM, RNN-T, ResNet and Mask R-CNN). Continuing to lead in AI computing performance Inspur AI servers continue to achieve AI performance breakthroughs through comprehensive software and hardware optimization. Compared to the MLPerf v0.5 results in 2018, Inspur AI servers showed significant performance improvements of up to 789% for typical 8-GPU server models. The leading performance of Inspur AI servers in MLPerf is a result of its outstanding design innovation and full-stack optimization capabilities for AI. Focusing on the bottleneck of intensive I/O transmission in AI training, the PCIe retimer-free design of Inspur AI servers allows for high-speed interconnection between CPUs and GPUs for reduced communication delays. For high-load, multi-GPU collaborative task scheduling, data transmission between NUMA nodes and GPUs is optimized to ensure that data I/O in training tasks is at the highest performance state. In terms of heat dissipation, Inspur Information takes the lead in deploying eight 500W high-end NVIDIA Tensor Core A100 GPUs in a 4U space, and supports air cooling and liquid cooling. Meanwhile, Inspur AI servers continue to optimize pre-training data processing performance, and adopt combined optimization strategies such as hyperparameter and NCCL parameter, as well as the many enhancements provided by the NVIDIA AI software stack, to maximize AI model training performance. Greatly improving Transformer training performance Pre-trained massive models based on the Transformer neural network architecture have led to the development of a new generation of AI algorithms. The BERT model in the MLPerf benchmarks is based on the Transformer architecture. Transformer’s concise and stackable architecture makes the training of massive models with huge parameters possible. This has led to a huge improvement in large model algorithms, but necessitates higher requirements for processing performance, communication interconnection, I/O performance, parallel extensions, topology and heat dissipation for AI systems. In the BERT benchmark, Inspur AI servers further improved BERT training performance by using methods including optimizing data preprocessing, improving dense parameter communication between NVIDIA GPUs and automatic optimization of hyperparameters, etc. Inspur Information AI servers can complete BERT model training of approximately 330 million parameters in just 15.869 minutes using 2,850,176 pieces of data from the Wikipedia data set, a performance improvement of 309% compared to the top performance of 49.01 minutes in Training v0.7. To this point, Inspur AI servers have won the MLPerf Training BERT benchmark for the third consecutive time. Inspur Information’s two AI servers with top scores in MLPerf Training v2.0 are NF5488A5 and NF5688M6. The NF5488A5 is one of the first servers in the world to support eight NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs with NVIDIA NVLink technology and two AMD Milan CPUs in a 4U space. It supports both liquid cooling and air cooling. It has won a total of 40 MLPerf titles. NF5688M6 is a scalable AI server designed for large-scale data center optimization. It supports eight NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and two Intel Ice Lake CPUs, up to 13 PCIe Gen4 IO, and has won a total of 25 MLPerf titles. About Inspur Information Inspur Information is a leading provider of data center infrastructure, cloud computing, and AI solutions. It is the world’s 2nd largest server manufacturer. Through engineering and innovation, Inspur Information delivers cutting-edge computing hardware design and extensive product offerings to address important technology sectors such as open computing, cloud data center, AI, and deep learning. Performance-optimized and purpose-built, our world-class solutions empower customers to tackle specific workloads and real-world challenges.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC to Acquire J. Lee Associates, Inc.

Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC. | June 01, 2022

Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC (“TIS”), a premier infrastructure services provider in the power, fiber, and wireless communications construction industries, today announced the completed acquisition of J. Lee Associates, Inc. (“J. Lee”), a wireless communications construction company, that has been providing a range of services for the wireless industry in the New England area for almost twenty years. Terms of the J. Lee Associates, Inc. transaction were not disclosed. J. Lee will operate as a part of American Cell Enterprises, LLC (“American Cell Enterprises”), one of three TIS operating companies. Beginning with its acquisition of LeCom Utility Contractors, this is the fourth such acquisition made by TIS in the last year and further builds out the TIS platform of operating companies. Tim Luden, CEO of American Cell Enterprises, and J. Lee President James Van Sicklin will continue to oversee the J. Lee operations. “I am very excited to be working with Jim and his team. J. Lee brings new capabilities to ACE with a new geography. This will give us another great opportunity to expand the ACE footprint.,” said American Cell Enterprises CEO, Tim Luden. James Van Sicklin, President of J. Lee added, “We are excited to be joining forces with the TIS Group family of companies as part of American Cell Enterprises. This presents us with a unique opportunity to grow, provide an opportunity for our employees, and expand our ability to service our customers.” “As our fourth acquisition, J. Lee Associates, Inc. will serve as a key building block in the services we provide to our customers in the wireless communications industry. “Jim and his leadership team are a very welcome addition to our expanding capabilities. This partnership represents another strong piece of our ability to provide a breadth of power, fiber, and wireless communications services to customers across our growing service area.” Rudy Esteves, CEO of TIS J. Lee represents yet another key piece of growth for the TIS family of companies, as its team continues to entertain interest in acquiring new partners who support the power utility, fiber deployment, and wireless communications industries. About J. Lee Associates, Inc. Located in Marlborough, MA, J. Lee, a Veteran-owned company, was formed in 2003 to provide network development consulting and contracting services to the wireless industry. J. Lee’s proven and successful delivery of professional consulting services as well as general contracting services allows it the ability to provide a single service, or a comprehensive end-to-end solution, depending upon customer needs. J. Lee is staffed with local, experienced full-time professionals and are organized into two distinct service offerings, Professional Services and Field Operations. About Thayer Infrastructure Services, LLC. Thayer Infrastructure Services Group consists of Thayer Power & Communication, LLC; LeCom Utility Contractors, Inc.; and American Cell Enterprises, LLC. All three operating companies are leading providers of mission-critical infrastructure repair, maintenance, upgrade and construction services for the electrical utility, wireline and wireless communications industries. American Cell Enterprises is the TIS group operating company dedicated to providing the full range of turnkey wireless infrastructure solutions. The TIS family of companies has a deep understanding and strong track record of delivering exceptional day-to-day safety, quality, and service. Acquired by private equity firm Calera Capital in 2020, the Company is based in Warren, Michigan, and offers its services across a large regional area including the Central Midwestern, Northeastern, and the Southeastern United States.

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Spotlight

In the continuous and fast changing landscape of mobile telecommunications, the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) Release 15 has just kicked off officially triggering officially the new era of fifth Generation of Telecommunication: 5G. Legacy technologies are still deployed and the market. Among them, incotrovertibly, LTE (Long Term Evolution) has been playing a key role in the adoption of 4G (fourth Generation) since it was commercially launched in early 2010. In a matter of a few years, LTE has been successfully deployed around the world driving the entire wireless ecosystem to connect over 1 in 4 mobile users worldwide, a trend that is continuing to grow tremendously [1].

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