Good news, bad news, weird news – it's the week in networking

Air traffic messages over the Internet? All this and more

Ciena gets to lead this week's networking roundup, courtesy of financial results that saw its share price jump nearly 13 per cent.

The investors were responding to the company's Q3 2018 results, headlined by revenue rising 12.4 per cent year-on-year to $819m, even though net income fell nearly $10 million to $50.8 million.

While optical platforms remain the company's engine-room, CEO Gary Smith highlighted a diversifying customer base, with 37 per cent of Ciena's revenue coming from non-telco customers, and 40 per cent of revenue coming from outside the US (Asia-Pacific sales were up 49 per cent, and EMEA rose 27 per cent).

While CFO Jim Moylan highlighted Ciena's ability to “leverage our early leadership position in the network automation domain with Blue Planet,” he admitted software is a “nascent” market for the company. Software sales defied the industry trend by falling from $18.4m last year to $14.3m.

OpenStack serves up Rockey version 18

OpenStack has emitted version 18, dubbed “Rocky”, with an eye to bare metal support and better upgradeability.

Its announcement explained that Ironic, its bare metal infrastructure, provides “more sophisticated management and automation capabilities,” and adds multi-tenancy support.

Other Ironic enhancements include user-managed BIOS settings and diskless environments, as well as accelerator life cycle management (Cyborg); the serverless function-as-a-service environment called Qinling; Masakari high-availability enhancements including monitoring instances for hung operating systems, data corruption or scheduling failures; and Magnum, which integrates container orchestrators as first-class OpenStack resources.

Akraino edge stack gains members, momentum

While we're talking open source networking projects: the Akraino edge stack project has gathered a bunch of new members.

As El Reg discussed in May, Akraino is designed to fill the gap between telco clouds and the mess of end user devices connecting to them.

The project has added some big names to its membership: ARM, AT&T, Dell EMC, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel Corporation, inwinSTACK, Juniper Networks, Nokia, Qualcomm, Radisys, Red Hat and Wind River.

More importantly, the project said last week, it's formed a technical steering committee, and its governing board met at the end of last week, and its first code release has landed.

Oak Ridge gets a taker for its quantum RNG

Encrypted communications outfit Qrypt has licensed a quantum random number generator (QRNG) technology created by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The company will use the QRNG for key generation, taking advantage of Oak Ridge's “true quantum sources of entropy.”

Announcing the deal, the lab explains it gets the random numbers by detecting and characterising photons.

Co-inventor Raphael Pooser said: “A field of quadrillions of photons are produced and pass through a beam splitter … our method does not require that we wait for a single photon to appear, but allows us to use the collective statistics of large numbers of them.”

This gives the Oak Ridge technology scalability Pooser said is unachievable by single-photon random number sources.

Entropy-as-a-service? You heard us right

On the topic of quantum crypto, three companies – Australian cloud provider Vault, homomorphic encryption outfit Ziroh Labs, and QuintessenceLabs – have got together to create a quantum-based ”entropy-as-a-service” offering.

They're targeting enterprise file synch and sharing applications, using QuintessenceLabs' quantum key generation and Ziroh's homomorphic encryption in Vault's protected (referring to its Australian Signals Directorate certification) cloud.

Mellanox 200 Gbps transceivers and media land

Mellanox has begun shipping 200 Gbps Ethernet and InfiniBand HDR LinkXTMoptical transceivers, active optical cables (AOCs) and direct attach copper cables (DACs).

Its first 400 Gbps QSFP-DD format DACs also landed this week.

The 200 Gbps kit ships as the LinkXTM product line and targets switch, server, and SAN connectivity.

Oh, great: civil aviation wants to route messages over the Internet Protocol

Techs from Cisco, Boeing and LinkedIn have authored an Internet-Draft emitted by the IETF: “A Simple BGP-based Mobile Routing System for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network”.

The draft is in response to a desire by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to route aeronautical telecommunications network messages over Internet protocol services.

As the draft states: “The ATN/IPS will eventually replace existing communication services with an IPv6-based service supporting pervasive Air Traffic Management (ATM) for Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), Airline Operations Controllers (AOC), and all commercial aircraft worldwide.”

Rather than representing a push to replace aeronautical private networks with the public Internet, the aim is to use IPv6 to replace the truly ancient OSI protocol stack in ICAO services (the draft does, however, offer public internet connections as an alternative to a private collection of long-haul links).

The OSI-based aeronautical telecommunications network supplements pilot voice communications with short text command and control messages.

The draft explained that aeronautical data communication in this context is kept to a minimum, because VHF data links (for example) run at 32 Kbps, and even an emerging proposal to use L-band 500 MHz to 1.5 GHz channels only envisages 1 Mbps data links.

“We ... consider an approach using a BGP overlay network routing system where a private BGP routing protocol instance is maintained between ATN/IPS Autonomous System (AS) Border Routers (ASBRs)”, the draft states. ®

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