Evolution, Status and New Developments in WiFi, 3G, and LTE from a Silicon Perspective at May 11 ComSocSCV Meeting!

Session Abstract

IEEE ComSocSCV brings together the semiconductor industry leaders in the WiFi and 3G-CDMA/ 4G-LTE markets for this information packed technical meeting. Each of our esteemed speakers will present their subject matter as described in the abstracts below. A panel session with audience Q and A will follow the two presentations. The speakers will cover the technology trend (integrated technology (CDMA, OFDM, WiFi, etc..), memory size, major challenges, etc) for ICs inside broadband wireless devices (can be both base station and subscriber), the market size, key applications and opportunities.

We are looking for corporate sponsors for this event. If interested, please contact our CMO Affif Siddique at saffif@whizzsystems.com

Absract of Each Presentation

1.  Evolution of Wi-Fi,    Michael Hurlston — Sr VP at Broadcom, San Jose, CA

This talk will cover the progression of the Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) market and technology over the past 10 years. Wi-Fi has moved from a data driven application set to mobile, video and even white spaces (unused broadcast TV spectrum). In addition, the WiFi technology itself has continued to evolve from 802.11b to g and on to the faster and more throughput efficient 802.11n. With those changes have come significant advances in the areas of RF design and Integrated Circuit implementations. There are also new WiFi standards- 802.11ac and ad.  These will be explored along with a glimpse at what the future may bring. 

2.  3G and 4G Mobile Broadband Technologies and Silicon Solutions,   

Je Woo Kim, Ph.D-VP of Technology-Qualcomm, Santa Clara, CA

In the 3 part talk, we address the overall broadband wireless technologies and market trends. In section I, standards and technologies for the wireless broadband systems are described. 4G wish list and key features are addressed, too. In section II, mobile services, mobile broadband evolution and 3G/LTE multi-mode device strategy are discussed. For 3G/LTE multi-mode device strategy, the evolution path for data only LTE to VoLTE (voice)/LTE data is discussed. Silicon vendors, their products, features/technologies and product strategies for mobile broadband are compared in section III. The 3GPP progression path from LTE to LTE Advanced (true 4G) will also be examined along with the complexity of advanced features vs their actual implementation.

Please join us for what promises to be an exciting and illuminating session! 

RSVP and logistics at:  http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/comsoc/index.php#may11


Backgrounder:   Evolution of wireless network standards

1.  WiFi or IEEE 802.11:

The first published standard for Wi-Fi was 802.11-1997 published in 1997. The original standard received very little recognition. In part this was due to its relatively low bit rate of 1 or 2 MB/s. The actual bit rate depended on the physical link used to transmit the data. The 802.11-1997 standard allowed for three alternative technologies to be used:

-Infrared: which provided 1 MB/s throughput
-Frequency Hoping Spread Spectrum: which could provide either 1 or 2 MB/s throughput
-Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum: which could also provide either 1 or 2 MB/s throughput.

While the low adoption rate of this technology standard was due in part to the low bit rate, it was also due in part to the expense of the technology. In 1997 the transmitters and receivers required to use the 802.11-1997 standard were quite expensive, and that was on top of computers which, at the time, were also quite expensive (especially laptop computers, which due to their mobility have the most to gain from Wi-Fi technologies). It wasn’t until the 802.11 standard was updated in 1999 with the ‘a’ and ‘b’ designators that Wi-Fi technology gained widespread adoption. However, while 802.11a and 802.11b were published simultaneously in 1999 it was only 802.11b which gained widespread acceptance.

802.11a and 802.11b
802.11a was an improvement over 802.11-1997 because of its increased throughput. While 802.11-1997 could only transmit data at 2 MB/s, 802.11a could transmit data at 54 MB/s. This increase in the data transfer rate was due mostly to the use of the 5 GHz frequency as opposed to the 2.4 GHz frequency used in 802.11-1997 (that was the frequency used for the Frequency Hoping Spread Spectrum and the Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum options; not the Infrared option). Apart from the increase in speed, another advantage of using the 5 GHz frequency was that, at the time, there were not very many devices using that frequency so there was less interference. However, the use of the 5 GHz band had one major draw-back. Since the 5 GHz frequency uses shorter wavelengths (the frequency is inversely proportional to the wavelength; so the higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength) the technology had a shorter range and the signals could not easily pass through walls. Generally all objects have an easier time absorbing radio waves of shorter wavelengths, which means that signals traveling with short wavelengths will have a harder time traveling through walls; also even without walls if the signal is traveling in a space with a lot of objects (desks, chairs, etc.) the signal will degrade quickly.

802.11b inherits Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum from the original 802.11-1997 standard, along with an operating frequency of 2.4 GHz. The continued use of the 2.4 GHz frequency was both a benefit and a drawback. It was a benefit because this frequency is unregulated and therefore was cheaper for manufactures to implement. It was, and is, a drawback because there are many devices which use this frequency (baby monitors, cordless phones, etc.) all of which can interfere with each other.

The major change in 802.11b was the maximum data rate. The maximum data rate of 802.11b is about 11MB/s, which is comparable to the traditional Ethernet speeds widely available in 1999 and 2000. This increase in speed meant that many consumers could use Wi-Fi, receive all of the benefits of mobility, and no drawbacks in speed. This along with significant price reductions in the technology resulted in widespread adoption of the 802.11b technology.

802.11g
As Ethernet speeds increased, so too did the 802.11 standard. In 2003 the IEEE ratified the 802.11g standard. 802.11g operates at the 2.4 GHz frequency, like 802.11b and 802.11-1997, but it uses the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) used by 802.11a. This OFDM allowed 802.11g to operate at 54 MB/s; a significant increase over 802.11b’s 11 MB/s. Like 802.11b, 802.11g gained widespread adoption amongst consumers and businesses alike.

802.11n

The latest and greatest standard is the 802.11n standard. This standard has yet to be ratified and currently exists in draft form. This, however, has not stopped manufactures from offering products based on this technology. I would not worry about it changing before ratification though, all indications point to the current draft standard being ratified in November 2009. The major evolution of the technology seen in 802.11n is Multiple Input / Multiple Output.  MIMO is realized  with multiple transmitters and multiple receivers.  If you have two transmitters and two receivers the transmitter can split the signal in half, transmit both halves at the same time and the receiver will receive both halves at the same time, recombine the halves and have the full transmission in basically half the time; this of course effectively doubles the data rate

2.  Wireless cellular communications:

The second generation (2G) wireless voice networks of the early 1990s first introduced digital cellular technology, through the deployment of third generation (3G) systems with their higher speed data networks to the much-anticipated fourth generation technology being developed today. Currently there are only two 4G candidates being actively developed today: 3GPP LTE-Advanced (the front runner) and IEEE 802.16m (which is sometimes referred to as WiMAX 2.0).

Currently, LTE Advanced appears to be the 4G technology of choice, based on most wireless operators opting for LTE.  Qualcomm will provide its perspective on cellular network evolution and directions.


Please join us for what promises to be an exciting and illuminating session!  RSVP and logistics at:  http://www.ewh.ieee.org/r6/scv/comsoc/index.php#may11

Demythifying Cyber security: IEEE ComSocSCV April 19th Meeting Summary

Background:

Cyber security impacts all areas of IT and has probably not gotten the attention it deserves.  Here are several related questions to consider and think about:

  • For Internet consumers, what web sites should you trust and what’s the risk? Will you be the unwilling victim of identity theft, a stolen email account or passwords? How can you protect yourself from these malicious attacks?
  • Are corporate data centers (i.e. servers) secured? Is your IP VPN access foolproof with respect to authentication, authorization and accounting?
  • As a potential cloud computing user/service provider/vendor, what are the real security issues with the cloud? Should we extrapolate from current data center security or think of the cloud as a distributed data center?
  • Wat is the threat and risk of electronic eavesdropping? Is encryption needed on all web and email transactions?  Is your encryption foolproof or can it be broken?
  • For government agencies, what is the risk of a cyber terror attack on government computers and Internet sites? 

Discussion:

At the April 19th IEEE ComSocSCV meeting (co-sponsored by IEEE Computer SCV), Ed Talbot and Tom Kroeger of Sandia Labs took a hard look at cyber security issues, especially the many assumptions people make that are not valid. From the session abstract:

“Current cyber security approaches are fundamentally broken. Vulnerabilities in current implementations are virtually limitless, and threats are exploiting these vulnerabilities faster than we can detect and counter them. This talk presents a qualitative survey of the current state of affairs in cyber security. We show how current cyber security implementations compound the problem by creating the illusion of security. The result is a primitive cyber society in which trust and confidence are absent or, worse yet, deceptive. This examination of cyber security is intended as a reality check with the hope of provoking the thoughtful discussion about solutions that address the core problems. We will examine this situation and present several approaches that attempt to develop a basis from which we can foster transformation in digital security.”

Here are the top three (out of 14) security myths the speakers identified:

  1. The more layers of defense, the better.
  2. Burdensome security is better security (like strong passwords).
  3. Running my executables on my data on my system is secure because I control my system.

Counter examples for these three myths were provided with an interesting set of use cases and graphics which illustrated the fallacies, pitfalls and risks associated with these false notions of security.  The speakers said that vulnerabilities are  limitless with threats exploiting those vulnerabilities coming faster than they can be detected,  The speakers believe the industry needs a fresh approach or new way in which we think about security, potential vulnerabilities and counter-measures to prevent them.

The session was very well received by over 80 attendees as was evident during the very spirited Q and A session.  There were several debates among audience members and speakers.  After the meeting formally concluded at 8:15pm many attendees queued for 1 on 1 discussions with the speakers and each other. This lasted  till we were forced to leave the building at 9pm.  And then several attendees followed Ed and Tom into the parking lot to continue the discussions!

Postscript:

In an Aprl 20th email, Tom wrote: 

The Myths that we’ve discovered so far are below.  I probably need to tune up the wording on some of them and I’m sure that the list is not complete.  But it’s a place to start the dialog.  Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

  • Myth 1: More Layers of Defense Are Always Better than Fewer
  • Myth 2: Running My Executables on My Data on My System Is Secure Because I Control My System
  • Myth 3: Effective Security Is Necessarily Burdensome
  • Myth 4: Trusted Computing Eliminates the Need to Trust People
  • Myth 5: We understand our adversary
  • Myth 6: Stronger authentication will compromise anonymity
  • Myth 7: Using industry best practices provides the best value in cybersecurity
  • Myth 8: Better security will compromise availability
  • Myth 9: It’s OK for the adversary to be in the system as long as they don’t compromise mission success.
  • Myth 10: Cyber is a battle space just like land, sea, air, and space.
  • Myth 11: Improving cyber security will necessarily compromise freedom, human rights, eliminate school lunch programs, kill puppies…whatever.
  • Myth 12: The mission is more important than security.
  • Myth 13: Using the cloud will diminish availability.
  • Myth 14: A system is only as trustworthy as its weakest link

Ed asks, “Are there more???”

About IEEE ComSocSCV:

Please check out all our upcoming and archived meetings at:  www.comsocscv.org.

We also have a ComSocSCV Facebook page and a LinkedIn Group

Related blogs/ article: 

‘Demystifying Cyber Security – Myths vs Realities’ Perspective/Event Summary

http://www.semiwiki.com/forum/f2/demystifying-cyber-security-myths-vs-realities-perspective-event-summary-629.html

The Changing Face of Security: Is the U.S. Prepared for a Major Cyber-security Attack?

In a very impressive CSO Perspectives conference keynote speech on April 6th, Howard A. Schmidt, Special Assistant to the President and the Cybersecurity Coordinator, told the audience that the U.S. was taking very strong measures to prevent and defend against cyber-security attacks. President Obama has made cyber-security a top policy priority within his Administration. On May 29th of 2009 Obama stated that the “cyber threat is one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation” and that “America’s economic prosperity in the 21st century will depend on Cyber-security.”

Demythifying Cybersecurity, May/June 2010 (vol. 8 no. 3) by Edward B. Talbot, Sandia National Laboratories, CA; Deborah Frincke, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Matt Bishop, University of California, Davis

http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/MSP.2010.95

TIA Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Standardization Task Force to have 1st Meeting during TIA 2011

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) announced it will host a meeting of experts from various Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) and similar forums from around the world who will look into the trends of machine-to-machine (M2M) standardization. The goal of the meeting is fostering global coordination and harmonization in this very fast growing telecommunications area.  That experts meeting will be held in conjunction with annual industry event – TIA 2011: Inside the Network – that will take place in Dallas, TX, May 17-20, 201.

At the most recent Global Standards Collaboration meeting (GSC-15) organized by the China Communications Standardization Association (CCSA) in Beijing, in September 2010, the Chair of TIA TR-50 Smart Device Communications engineering committee was appointed Convener of the newly-created M2M Standardization Task Force (MSTF), which will meet during TIA 2011.

“TIA’s objective is to continue to be a catalyst for the development of effective standards for information and communications technology,” said TIA President Grant Seiffert. “The co-location of the MSTF meeting with TIA 2011 aims at providing real-time information firmly grounded on facts and a thorough understanding of the M2M Standardization environment.”

The MSTF is to report on its activities and recommendations to GSC-16, which will be hosted by the ICT Standards Advisory Council of Canada (ISACC), and held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada during the week that starts October 31, 2011. Although the MSTF meeting is not open to the public, some of its speakers and attendees will participate in various panels of the M2M track of TIA 2011 and will be able to address the current status of this exploding market, the manifold opportunities of the technology, and share the progress made in the area of standardization.

Dr. Jeffrey O. Smith, Chief Technology Officer of Numerex, Chair of TIA TR-50 and Convener of the MSTF added, “I am very pleased with the response from our fellow SDOs. In addition to the United States, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, and Europe will be represented at the meeting, boding well for the quality of the work and the recommendations to GSC-16 . We have already started to liaise and collaborate with other prominent international standardization groups focused on M2M, and the results have been thus far very productive and illuminating.”  Dr Smith spoke at IEEE ComSocSCV’s M2M workshop @ SCU on Sept 25, 2010.

MSTF organizer Alain Louchez, also of Numerex, recently wrote, “We gave a presentation about TIA TR-50, the upcoming M2M Standardization Task Force (MSTF) meeting and TIA 2011 during the first meeting of the ITU-T JCA (Joint Coordination Activity) on IoT (Internet of Things). That meeting took place on March 15, 2011.  There is definitely a convergence of common concerns and scope.  Hyoung Jun Kim and the whole JCA IoT group are very interested in getting associated with the forthcoming MSTF meeting in Dallas, TX.”

For more info on the ITU-T JCA IoT group, please visit:

http://www.itu.int/en/itu-t/jca/iot/Pages/default.aspx

Reference: 

http://techblog.comsoc.org/2011/03/24/call-for-interest-m2m-standardization-task-force-especially-encouraging-ieee-standards-based-involvement

ITU-T Cloud Focus Group Progresses Several Documents at April 2011 Meeting

Introduction

ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) was established by ITU-T TSAG agreement at its meeting in Geneva, 8-11 February 2010 followed by ITU-T study groups and membership consultation.

The Terms of Reference of the Focus Group are available at: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/cloud/Pages/tor.aspx

The Focus Group will contribute to the telecommunication aspects of cloud computing, i.e., the transport via telecommunications networks, security aspects of telecommunications, service requirements, etc., in order to support services/applications of “cloud computing” making use of telecommunication networks; specifically:

  • identify potential impacts on standards development and priorities for standards needed to promote and facilitate telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing
  • investigate the need for future study items for fixed and mobile networks in the scope of ITU-T
  • analyze which components would benefit most from interoperability and standardization
  • familiarize ITU-T and standardization communities with emerging attributes and challenges of telecommunication/ICT support for cloud computing
  • analyze the rate of change for cloud computing attributes, functions and features for the purpose of assessing the appropriate timing of standardization of telecommunication/ICT in support of cloud computing

The Focus Group will collaborate with worldwide cloud computing communities (e.g., research institutes, forums, academia) including other SDOs and consortia.

For more information on the ITU-T Cloud FG, please visit:  http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/cloud/Pages/default.aspx


Results of April 2011 Meeting of ITU-T Cloud FG

The fifth ITU-T Focus Group on Cloud Computing (FG Cloud) meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 5 to 8 April, 2011. 39 participants brought 65 contributions, input liaisons and presentations to the meeting.

The principal outputs of this meeting were revised drafts of six documents (which are only available to ITU-T member organizations):

-Introduction to the cloud ecosystem: definitions, taxonomies, use cases, high level requirements and capabilities.
-Functional requirements and reference architecture.
-Infrastructure and network enabled cloud.
-Cloud security, threats and requirements.  A “Cloud Security Deliverable” document will be generated at the next FG meeting
-Benefits of cloud computing from telecom/ICT perspectives.
-Overview of Standard Development Organizations (SDOs) involved in cloud computing. 

Note: The FG will consider Open Virtualization Format (OVF) v1.0 as a virtualization technology.  It will soon be an international standard through an ANSI fast track submission in ISO/IEC JTC 1.

The following items will also be progressed at future FG meetings:

-Accessibility, virtual terminals and Eco-friendly Cloud Computing – accessibility general principle and relationship with Cloud.
-Resources Management. The Cloud FG will provide a document which lists the specifications available on the resources management and provide a gap analysis.

Of all these activities, the most relevant to the actual cloud network is the deliverable output covering Infrastructure and network enabled cloud.  This is the closest that the Cloud FG will come to defining a UNI and/or NNI for various configurations of cloud computing

The activity of that work area will be focused on:

– the ability to link existing networks services, Internet connectivity, L2/L3 VPN efficiently to public or private cloud services.

– the ability to link a flexible L2 & L3 network management and cloud technology forming an integrated cloud infrastructure enabling cloud services.  Both intra and inter-cloud scenarios are being considered.

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For more information on the ITU-T Cloud FG, please visit:  http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/focusgroups/cloud/Pages/default.aspx

Please post a comment or contact the author if you are interested in this ITU-T activity or the IEEE Cloud standards projects (see previous post).

IEEE CLOUD COMPUTING INITIATIVE – Will it have legs?

On April 4th, IEEE announced the launch of its new Cloud Computing draft standards. Designed to serve as the catalyst for innovation in the cloud computing arena, it is claimed to be “the first broad-scope, forward-looking cloud computing initiative to be put forth by a global standards development organization (SDO).” These two Cloud standards development projects are being undertaken by two new IEEE Working Groups sponsored by IEEE Computer Society (ComSoc has no jurisdiction or official role):

  • IEEE P2301™  Draft Guide for Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles

http://standards.ieee.org/develop/wg/CPWG-2301_WG.html

  • IEEE P2302™  Draft Standard for Intercloud Interoperability and Federation

http://standards.ieee.org/develop/wg/ICWG-2302_WG.html

IEEE P2301 is to provide a road map for cloud vendors, service providers, and other key cloud providers for use in their cloud environments. If IEEE P2301 is a solid, widely adopted standard, it could aid users in procuring, developing, building, and using standards-based cloud computing products and services.  Th the objective would be to enable portability, increased commonality, and interoperability.

IEEE P2302 is to define the topology, protocols, functionality, and governance required to support cloud-to-cloud interoperability.  We hope this includes the Network to Network Interface (NNI) for Private to Pubic, Private to Private, and Public to Public Clouds.  That would enable different Cloud provider networks to be interconnected in a standardized way.  It is an area that we think IEEE should liaise with ITU-T FG Cloud (see Closing Comments below).

“Since its inception, the Internet has gone through radical changes driven by the twin engines of continued technology advancement and evolving user expectations,” said Steve Diamond, chair, IEEE Cloud Computing Initiative. “Cloud computing today is very much akin to the nascent Internet – a disruptive technology and business model that is primed for explosive growth and rapid transformation. But without a flexible, common framework for interoperability, innovation could become stifled, leaving us with a siloed ecosystem. By leveraging its uniquely deep and broad technological resources and expertise, IEEE is helping to minimize fragmentation and ensure that cloud computing realizes its full potential.” 

“Cloud computing will change everything. It is one of the three aspects of the ‘perfect storm’ of technology waves currently sweeping across humanity, the other two being massive deployment of very smart mobile devices, and ubiquitous high-speed connectivity,” said David Bernstein, IEEE P2301 and IEEE P2302 WG chair, and managing director, Cloud Strategy Partners. “The cloud will tie all of these coming advancements together. We’re truly embarking on a new age of innovation.”

“IEEE is in a uniquely powerful position to impact and shape the face of the burgeoning cloud computing revolution. Driven by a membership dedicated to technology innovation, IEEE continues to set the pace and methodology for contemporary standards development,” said Judith Gorman, managing director, IEEE-SA. “These newest standards will not only follow the consensus-based process championed by IEEE, but will also leverage the latest in technology development best practices, such as live global test beds and open source references. Cloud computing will showcase our ability to deliver exceptional, universally relevant standards created with these leading edge methodologies.”

For more information about IEEE P2301 and IEEE P2302, which are sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society , or to join their respective WGs, please visit the IEEE P2031 page and the IEEE P2032 page.

More information at:  http://standards.ieee.org/news/2011/cloud.html

Another Opinion:

Infoworld is quite skeptical in an article titled:  IEEE’s cloud portability project: A fool’s errand?

” I have my doubts that anything useful will come out of the IEEE efforts in any reasonable timeframe. The other standards groups involved in cloud computing have found that many of the cloud providers are more concerned with driving into a quickly emerging market and being purchased for high multiples than about using standards.”

http://www.infoworld.com/d/cloud-computing/ieees-cloud-portability-project-fools-errand-057?source=footer

Closing Comments:   

So far there’s been no single standards making body or forum that has defined any Cloud Computing standards/ specifications that have been implemented by Cloud Service Providers.  Will this IEEE inititative be any different?  In our opinion, IEEE has not been serious about Cloud Computing (till now) and is starting its two Cloud draft standards very late compared to other organizations.  Note this article pubished 11 months ago references a call for interest in the IEEE Cloud Computing Study Group:

http://techblog.comsoc.org/2010/05/28/itu-cloud-computing-focus-group-and-ieee-cloud-computing-standards-study-group-will-they-fill-the-standards-void

Despite over one year of deliberations, the detailed scope for either of the two Cloud  Working Groups haven’t been defined yet.  The network aspects of Cloud have only been addressed by the ITU-T Focus Group, which is meeting this week in Geneva (see previous articles summarizing their work).  They are discussing over 30 contributions!  We hope that  ITU-T and IEEE can work together and collaborate effectively on Cloud Computing standards, especially the interoperability aspects of IEEE P2302?   However, no IEEE representative has been attending ITU-T FG Cloud meetings.

Nonetheless, we hope that IEEE’s Cloud standards will be successful and not just paper tigers!

Savvis Announces Cloud Alliance Program – Will the Network be the Show Stopper for Cloud Computing?

Overview:

At an invitation only event in Palo Alto, CA on March 31st, Savvis, Inc.  announced its Cloud computing Alliance Program for channel partners.  Savvis is a  global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises (see About Savvis section below for more info on the company).  Through the flexible, multi-level program, Savvis alliance partners are able to offer Savvis cloud services, as well as managed hosting, colocation, network services and managed security services, to their clients. By registering as an alliance partner, participants receive access to Savvis’ assets and intellectual property through the partner portal at www.savvis.com/alliances.

“We are investing in the growth and successes of our partners globally,” said Jaywant Rao, vice president of global alliances for Savvis. “Our goal is to deliver an agile, streamlined and highly beneficial experience to our partners based on collaboration and the sharing of expertise.”  And it was quite impressive to hear testimonials from the numerous alliance partners that gave short speeches at Savvis’ March 31st coming out party.  Cisco and Oracle are amongst the infrastructure vendors that Savvis is using to delver cloud computing based services to their customers.  Thompson-Reuters, Cognizant, Forsythe Technologies and Gravitant are other partners that presented strong endorsement of Savvis’ IT infrastructure capabilities. Thompson-Reuters is working with the company to offer an Elektron Financial Cloud for ultra fast electronic trading/  Gravitant and Savvis have deployed a “Texas Cloud” available in that state.

The Savvis Alliances Program is customized to meet the unique, individual needs of system integrators, managed service providers, telecommunications companies, application providers, and technology vendors. Several companies have already joined the program at launch.

Savvis claims they “take cloud services to the next level with the converged cloud, our secure, high-performance cloud infrastructure. The combination of our global, low-latency distribution network, our managed virtualized hosting environment and our unique business model allows Savvis to design complete, end-to-end, quality of service-enabled solutions for our clients.”

Details of the Cloud Alliance Program: – Q&A
1. What Savvis offerings are targeted at partners?
Savvis offers enterprise-class IT solutions that are available through partners as part of the Savvis Alliances Program. These offerings broadly fall into the following categories:

  • Managed hosting
  • Colocation
  • Cloud
  • Network services
  • Managed security services

2. How do the solutions benefit Savvis partners?
Savvis solutions help partners drive new offerings to the market by allowing them to bundle, integrate or white-label Savvis solutions. All of these offerings enable enterprise-class end-customer solutions to be deployed in a global infrastructure. These offerings are available to Partners with varying levels of margins and pricing options, helping Partners to drive net new top line revenue for themselves.

3. What is the profile of the target partner for this program?
Savvis carefully crafted the program to meet different needs for different partners. Not all partners are created equal, and it was really important to understand this in order to create a partner-oriented program rather than a Savvis-offering-focused program. The program is aimed at:

  • Systems integrators
  • Managed service providers
  • Telco/carriers
  • Application providers
  • Technology providers

4. What partner engagement models are available?
Partners can work with Savvis under the following engagement models:

  • Referral: Partners refer opportunities to Savvis in return for fees tied to the size of the deal.
  • Reseller: Partners re-sell Savvis offerings on their contract to their end-customers and in turn get built-in margin pricing.

5. What are the three levels of the Savvis Alliances Program?
The Savvis Alliances Program features three levels:

  • Strategic: Global partners that demonstrate a deep investment in sales and marketing enablement for driving Savvis offerings via their own distribution channels. For example, in the U.S. this typically applies to companies in the Fortune 1000 category.
  • Preferred: Regional or vertical-specific partners that provide coverage for a given geography or application offering. Typically these partners focus on mid/small market.
  • Affiliate: Partners that wish to engage with Savvis for a one-time transaction as a reseller.

6. How should partners engage with Savvis?
The best place to start is by visiting the Savvis Alliances Program website at www.savvis.com/Alliances. There, potential partners can learn more about the program, including levels and services, and register to become a partner.

7. What is the Savvis Alliances Partner Portal?
The partner portal (www.savvis.com/Alliances) is designed to support the partner community. For new partners evaluating a Savvis relationship, the portal presents an overview of the program, outlining the different membership levels with associated benefits and requirements, listing the resources available to members and providing an online application to engage with Savvis.
For existing partners, the password-protected section of the portal gives access to Savvis assets and intellectual property such as marketing and sales enablement tools, training courses and a collaboration forum for partners to network and exchange ideas.

8. What is your international strategy for partners?
International growth is a high priority for Savvis, and we have made several investments to drive growth in key global regions. We operate 31 data centers around the globe and, through partnerships, have direct access to many other data centers. Our reach extends to places such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Brazil and Germany. We are working with strategic partners in key geographies to enter additional markets, including India (Bharti airtel) and others. A large share of our international revenue is targeted to come from partners with multi-tiered distribution models, and we have invested in dedicated teams to drive that program globally.

9. How does the joint selling program work?
Savvis keeps a database of its partners and their core competencies (i.e., expertise in a vertical market or regional presence). Partners with a client opportunity can connect with other partners on joint selling when a specific core competency is required.

Interview with Savvis CTO Bryan Doerr:

In a one on one chat, Bryan agreed with me that the network aspects of Cloud Computing had been severely neglected by the industry.  In the absence of any standards or guidelines, each cloud service/ network provider has to make specific agreeements with EACH cloud customer.  AT&T does this and so does Savvis.  Clearly this doesn’t scale to accomodate many smaller customers that want to migrate their apps and storage to the cloud. 

Savvis uses an IP MPLS network that can offer various grades of network sharing/ separation, QoS and other metrics.  But in absence of a standard UNI or NNI, many questions arise. 

In a follow up discussion with Bryan and his networking experts,  we plan to report on the network aspects of Saviss”converged cloud.”  These include: guaranteed performance, QoS (e.g. latency, jitter, thruput, error rates, etc), availability, reliability,  protection/ restoration/ disaster recovery on failure of either servers and/or the network, SLAs, monitoring for SLA compliance (3rd party?), authentication and authorization, provisioning/reprovisioning, policy control, network management (including back end/ OSS/BSS functions), and security.

About Savvis

Savvis, Inc. (NASDAQ:SVVS) is an outsourcing provider of managed computing and network infrastructure for IT applications. By outsourcing to Savvis, enterprises can focus on their core business while Savvis ensures the quality of their IT infrastructure. Leading IT organizations around the world have selected Savvis to help them improve their service levels, reduce capital expense and deal with the rising costs of bandwidth, energy, real estate, staff and expertise. As a pioneer in utility computing, Savvis understands and harnesses the latest advances in technology such as virtualization, cloud computing and support process automation.  Savvis focuses exclusively on providing IT services to business enterprises. Because of its global infrastructure, management systems and business model, Savvis has the unique capability to deliver fully managed and integrated IT solutions to enterprises with offices around the word.  Facts:             

• Nearly 2,500 unique business and government clients, including more than 30 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500
• More than 2,200 employees with deep expertise in technical operations, customer support, engineering and consulting
• $933 million in revenue in 2010.

Products & Services:                                                                                                                                                                                                                Savvis provides IT infrastructure services that can be used as part of a total outsourcing solution or to selectively support specific applications or business units.  Services include:
• Cloud – one of the industry’s broadest lines of enterprise-class cloud services
• Colocation, Managed Hosting and Utility Compute – facilities and operations; compute, storage and network
• Network – converged applications; community of interest networks; private lines; Internet
• Security – managed security services and consulting
• Industry Solutions – financial, government and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
• Professional Services – infrastructure, security, business continuity, compliance and program management

Infrastructure:
The Savvis infrastructure extends to 45 countries and includes:
• 31 data centers, encompassing approximately 1.5 million square feet of raised floor
• 22,000 managed circuits in a private network supporting multiple application service levels
• Tier-1 OC-192 Internet backbone with more than 17,000 miles of fiber

For more information about the Savvis Alliances Program, visit www.savvis.com/alliances. In addition to providing details about the program, the site includes a portal through which channel partners can access marketing, sales and technical materials.

1st official 4G standard approved: IEEE Std 802.16m

Today the IEEE-SA Standards Board officially approved IEEE P802.16m/D12 as IEEE Std 802.16m. Publication is scheduled for early May.  The ITU-R previously recognized the 802.16m draft standard in progress as meeting the requirements of IMT Advanced  Now it’s a done deal.  (Note that the term “WiMAX” is the WiMAX Forum trade name for IEEE 802.16 Wireless MAN technology).

The new IEEE 802.16m standard is backward compatible with the most current version of  IEEE 802.16e-2005

 IEEE 802.16 Working Group’s Session #72 took place on 14-17 March 2011 in Singapore.  Here are a few selected task group reports:

1. The ITU-R Liaison Group met through the week and prepared a number of documents. For more details, see the ITU-R Liaison Group Report. Highlights include:

  • A contribution to ITU-R Working Party 5D (WP 5D) contains the details of the WirelessMAN-Advanced specification to be included in the ITU’s IMT-Advanced Recommendation. In parallel, a formal notification was provided to ITU-R regarding the WirelessMAN-Advanced “Global Core Specification” (GCS).
  • A statement was issued to the WirelessMAN-Advanced Transposing Organizations (WATO) – namely, ARIB, TTA, WiMAX Forum, and IEEE – summarizing the WATO meeting held on 15 March in conjunction with 802.16 Session #72.
  • A contribution notified WP 5D of IEEE’s intent to update the IEEE 802.16 specification in the next update of ITU’s IMT-2000 recommendation.

 

GRIDMAN Task Group
The Working Group’s GRIDMAN Task Group met to discuss activity under the P802.16n project. The project is amending IEEE Std 802.16 to provide for “Higher Reliability Networks.” The TG reviewed many contributions and established two Rapporteur Groups to make further progress between meetings. Four teleconferences were scheduled. The WG called for contributions proposals for the Amendment Working Document (AWD) based on the completed System Requirements Document (SRD). The TG issued a closing report, with minutes to follow.

Machine-to-Machine Task Group
The Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Task Group met to address the P802.16p project, which is amending IEEE Std 802.16 to provide “Enhancements to Support Machine-to-Machine Applications.” The 802.16p Amendment Working Document (AWD) was progressed. The TG called for comments on the AWD and the System Requirements Document (SRD). It also issued a Call for Contributions for a new 802.16p Evaluation Methodologies Document (EMD). A closing report and minutes were issued.

More details at:  <http://ieee802.org/16/meetings/mtg72/report.html>.

IEEE 802.16 Session #73 will take place on 16-19 May 2011 in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
 <http://ieee802.org/16/meetings/mtg73>

Plans are being made for a Smart Grid workshop on Monday morning. 

Who Will Implement 802.16m?

At the CEATAC trade show in Tokyo last year, Samsung demonstrated a pre-standard 802.16m network that achieved a speed of 330M bps. The standard is designed to provide speeds of about 100M bps to end users. It can use several techniques to surpass the performance of current WiMAX technology, including MIMO (multiple-in, multiple out) technology for sending more than one stream of data. It can also be used with small base stations called femtocells and with self-organizing networks, according to the IEEE.


Comment: With all the large telcos opting for LTE and Clearwire having trouble raising funds to build out its WiMAX network, we wonder what telcos will actually implement IEEE 802.16m and will it be able to interwork/ handoff to LTE/ LTE Advanced. We think the entire WiMAX ecosystem should refocus their efforts on a low cost version of Fixed WiMAX that can be used to provide fixed broadband access to rural or underserved/ unserved areas in both developed and developing countries.

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