VIAVI Solutions | February 22, 2022
Rohde & Schwarz (R&S) and Viavi Solutions Inc. (VIAVI) announced they have partnered to offer an integrated solution for conformance testing of O-RAN Radio Units (O-RUs). The two companies, leaders in wireless communication test and active in specifications development in the O-RAN ALLIANCE, have combined their industry-leading capabilities. Central to the joint solution is the O-RU Test Manager which provides a seamless user experience. The solution will be demonstrated at MWC Barcelona 2022, February 28-March 3, at the Rohde & Schwarz Booth #5A80.
O-RAN is making radio access networks more open, disaggregated and flexible. Opening the network architecture can foster innovation, accommodate individual needs and enhance network efficiency. Therefore, O-RAN is experiencing rapid advancement and growth in the technology ecosystem. The O-RAN ALLIANCE includes over 300 service providers, vendors and research institutions, and the number of participants in O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021 doubled from the previous year.
Network disaggregation as in O-RAN brings new challenges in terms of interoperability between the network equipment of different vendors. Fronthaul conformance tests, defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, ensure that the evolving O-RUs are interoperable with the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU). The joint test solution already supported benchmarking and validation tests at multiple locations during PlugFests and will now be showcased at MWC Barcelona 2022. It includes:
The R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software from Rohde & Schwarz, to emulate a real-world radio environment by generating, capturing and analyzing RF signals, extended for O-RAN applications.
The TM500 O-RU Tester from VIAVI, implementing the O-RAN Distributed Unit (O-DU) side of the M-plane and C/U-plane functionality necessary to configure the interface with the O-RU and exchange of I/Q data over the Open Fronthaul.
The O-RU Test Manager application, providing a single point of control for the integrated system, simplifying testcase workflow while allowing deeper data inspection and analysis as needed.
The number of companies involved in O-RAN continues to grow, including traditional network operators and network equipment manufacturers, as well as new vendors, system integrators, chipset developers, OTICs and other labs. This large ecosystem will benefit from a partnership of two industry leaders, including the long-standing experience in RF testing and high-performance test and measurement solutions from Rohde & Schwarz, and VIAVI's experience in network emulation, including demonstrator competency and CUSM plane generation."
Alexander Pabst, Vice President Market Segment Wireless Communications at Rohde & Schwarz
"Both VIAVI and R&S have collaborated with top service providers and vendors on rolling out previous generations of mobile technology, and our partnership delivers a best-of-breed approach with a unified customer experience," said Ian Langley, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Business Unit, VIAVI. "As software and hardware become disaggregated in O-RAN, testing has proven invaluable in helping the industry identify and fix potential issues earlier in the development cycle, so the technology can move from lab to trial to live deployment."
At MWC Barcelona, R&S Stand #5A80, VIAVI and R&S will jointly demonstrate O-RAN WG4 fronthaul conformance testing. An O-RU Reference Design is validated by VIAVI's automated TM500 O-RU tester with R&S SMW200A vector signal generator, R&S FSVA3000 signal and spectrum analyzer and the R&S VSE signal analysis software.
About Rohde & Schwarz
The Rohde & Schwarz technology group is among the trailblazers when it comes to paving the way for a safer and connected world with its leading solutions in test & measurement, technology systems, and networks & cybersecurity. Founded more than 85 years ago, the group is a reliable partner for industry and government customers around the globe. On June 30, 2021, Rohde & Schwarz had around 13,000 employees worldwide. The independent group achieved a net revenue of EUR 2.28 billion in the 2020/2021 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany.
VIAVI is a global provider of network test, monitoring and assurance solutions for communications service providers, enterprises, network equipment manufacturers, government and avionics. We help these customers harness the power of instruments, automation, intelligence and virtualization to Command the network. VIAVI is also a leader in light management solutions for 3D sensing, anti-counterfeiting, consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, and defense applications.
Broadcom | June 21, 2022
Broadcom Inc., an American designer, developer, manufacturer, and supplier of a wide range of semiconductor and infrastructure software products, announced acquiring U.S.-based cloud computing and virtualization technology company VMware, Inc. The acquisition was completed with the transaction of cash and stocks worth approximately US$61 billion.
Broadcom’s CEO, Hock Tan expressed optimism about the chances for success of the merged companies, with plans to fuse Broadcom's existing security and infrastructure software into VMware's portfolio.
"Hock Tan is a very shrewd business guy. He is aware of financial implications, both short and long-term, for his company with these acquisitions. Will he bleed it dry? I suppose that's a possibility, but it's not clear yet."
Brian Kirsch, an IT architect and instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College
VMware users and employees were concerned that the company would face the same fate as others after being acquired by Broadcom, but they are adopting a wait-and-see attitude. However, post the statement mentioned above, the stakeholders of VMware are now worried that the innovative technologies of the company will land on Broadcom Inc.’s chopping block, same as previously acquired companies.
The concerns of VMware employees and users are justified, seeing the position of companies such as CA Technologies in 2018 and Symantec's Enterprise Software Business in 2019 after the adoption of the “acquire and axe” policy by Broadcom.
One of the VMware insiders who deals with multiple tech teams at the company mentioned that Broadcom will sell off the VMware products and solutions, except the most profitable ones.
He further stated, "Some employees are nervous because of the cuts they figure are coming. Others are concerned they won't invest in some products like NSX Intelligence that look like they have a promising future."
VMware | March 25, 2021
With the arrival of vSphere 7 Update 2 in early March 2021, VMware took a significant step into the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and now support for Nvidia AI software has arrived on its flagship platform.
This wasn't entirely surprising. Nvidia and VMware announced a collaboration during September's online VMworld event, intending to have Nvidia's AI Enterprise software accessible on VMware's platform for deploying and managing virtual machines.
With this latest release, vSphere is "exclusively certified" to run Nvidia's AI Enterprise applications and frameworks, which have now been containerized and can be run through an organization's infrastructure rather than in a silo. This, of course, means more support for Nvidia GPUs, which are needed to run the software.
"It opens up for both of us a good opportunity," Lee Caswell, vice president of marketing at VMware, told ITPro Today. "We're looking to go and help AI become mainstream in the enterprise. They're looking to open that up for all of our 300,000 vSphere customers, who can now have access to these new capabilities."
Access to this market is vital for Nvidia because it will improve revenues in their data center division, which generated $6.7 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Obtaining a position in the emerging enterprise AI market is also essential for VMware, which has spent the last few years expanding its offerings beyond the virtualization technology it pioneered, mostly by acquisitions; in 2018, VMware added cloud-native technology to its portfolio with the purchase of the Kubernetes startup Heptio, and about a year later bought back Pivotal a cloud-native platform. Access to this market is vital for Nvidia because it will improve revenues in their data center division, which generated $6.7 billion in the previous fiscal year.
Obtaining a position in the emerging enterprise AI market is also essential for VMware, which has spent the last few years expanding its offerings beyond the virtualization technology it pioneered, mostly by acquisitions; in 2018, VMware added cloud-native technology to its portfolio with the purchase of the Kubernetes startup Heptio, and about a year later bought back Pivotal a cloud-native platform.
Nvidia and Vsphere
Caswell explained that traditionally, AI software has been run on bare metal to prevent possible performance loss associated with moving compute-heavy workloads to VMs or containers. The issue with this approach is that bare metal deployments are not portable. As a result, AI workloads are limited to silos, which is a problem for enterprises who want to use AI on-the-fly throughout their IT infrastructure.
VMware and Nvidia were able to containerize Nvidia's AI Enterprise software with almost the same benchmarked performance levels as operating on bare metal by using properties inherent in vSphere's hypervisor. This makes Nvidia AI software easily available across an organization's infrastructure, resolving the issue of ensuring portability while sacrificing substantial efficiency.
To function properly, AI software must be able to take advantage of GPUs, which take most of the load off of a server's CPUs by doing much of the heavy lifting. VMware has added support for Nvidia's A100 Tensor Core GPUs, which are used in Nvidia-Certified Systems, Nvidia-tested and licensed server designs sold exclusively by eight equipment manufacturers, including ASUS, Dell EMC, HPE, and Supermicro.
In addition to running AI workloads, GPUs can be used for other vSphere features, such as Multi-Instance GPU, which enables GPU cycles to be shared by many users, and Distributed Resource Scheduler for automated workload placement to prevent performance bottlenecks.
"Up to seven VMs can now share a single GPU," Caswell said. "That's a more cost-effective way to deploy at the enterprise