Open Networking Foundation Releases Stratum, Next-Gen SDN Platform

Virtualizationreview | September 17, 2019

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) released Stratum, which will provide an open source foundation for the operator consortium's next-generation software-defined networking (SDN) work. In pursuit of a truly "software defined" data plane based on white-box switches, the ONF in March first unveiled the Stratum project, backed by 23 founding members, including Google. After the subsequent incubation period, the official release of Stratum was announced last week. Stratum is an open source, silicon-independent switch operating system for software-defined networks that runs on a variety of switching silicon and various whitebox switch platforms," the ONF said.

Spotlight

Walkthrough of VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 Provider setup in this lightboard tutorial by Daniel Paluszek, Staff Solutions Engineer at VMware. This video reviews the high-level setup deployment process for a provider and the different services that correspond with vCloud Availability 3.0.

Spotlight

Walkthrough of VMware vCloud Availability 3.0 Provider setup in this lightboard tutorial by Daniel Paluszek, Staff Solutions Engineer at VMware. This video reviews the high-level setup deployment process for a provider and the different services that correspond with vCloud Availability 3.0.

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WatchGuard Unveils Firebox NV5 and AP332CR to Support Remote Workers and Outdoor Environments

WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. | December 13, 2022

WatchGuard® Technologies, a global leader in unified cybersecurity, have released its Firebox NV5 VPN gateway tabletop appliance and the AP332CR, a new Wi-Fi 6 access point for rugged or outdoor deployments. Built to support MSPs and end users for purpose-driven deployment locations, these two additions to WatchGuard’s powerful lineup of security products and services further extend enterprise-grade protection for customers with distributed operations, while providing a seamless experience wherever they are. Combined with WatchGuard Cloud to deliver one simplified platform for centralized security management, both the NV5 and AP332CR are easy to deploy, configure, and report on through WatchGuard’s Unified Security Platform® framework. “WatchGuard remains laser-focused on its vision to be the security provider of choice for MSPs, empowering them with security solutions that satisfy a broad range of customer requirements and needs, including remote and distributed environments,” said Ryan Poutre, product manager at WatchGuard Technologies. “We are meeting our promise to set a new standard for security delivery – through our technology, through our team, and through WatchGuard’s thriving partner ecosystem. And together, we’ll keep raising the bar.” Continuing to expand the breadth and relevance of WatchGuard’s robust security portfolio is a key part of the company’s mission to make enterprise-grade security accessible to all organizations, and further enables the company to bring simplification and scale to every aspect of security consumption, delivery, and management. Firebox NV5: Edge Connectivity for Branch Locations and Remote Applications The Firebox NV5 is a powerful solution for distributed, secured VPN traffic and comes with a centralized security and logging solution for administrators. Designed to support remote VPN connections back to a corporate virtual or physical Firebox, the NV5 can route traffic back to the corporate security appliance using WatchGuard Branch Office VPN (BOVPN) capabilities to provide the same level of protection as a device sitting at the corporate office. With enterprise-class SD-WAN capabilities, the NV5 is ideal for deployment in remote applications like kiosks, digital signs, ATMs, and office equipment. Key Features of the Firebox NV5 include: Zero-touch deployment – WatchGuard Cloud offers a zero-touch deployment and configuration tool that comes standard with the Firebox NV5. IT teams can utilize zero-touch deployment to eliminate much of the labor involved in setting up a Firebox to work in their network ‒ all without having to leave their office. Local staff simply connects the device to power and the internet, and the NV5 automatically downloads and applies the pre-determined configuration from the corporate network. Network adaptation with SD-WAN – Businesses require network solutions that adapt to changing conditions by optimizing network performance and costs. Dynamic path selection picks the most appropriate connection based on real-time monitoring of jitter, packet loss, and latency. Utilizing this technology, the Firebox NV5 makes it easy to reduce the use of expensive MPLS or cellular data and improve network resiliency, while maintaining security. WatchGuard user experience – Many customers utilize remote applications or have small satellite offices that can be difficult and costly to secure and manage. The NV5 utilizes the same platform as other WatchGuard Firebox, Wi-Fi, authentication and endpoint solutions. Whether scheduling firmware upgrades or monitoring access points, technicians have one user experience. WatchGuard AP332CR: The Ideal Choice for Mid-Density Outdoor/Rugged Environments Wi-Fi is essential for customers to stay connected for work or as a service for their own customers. The IP67-rated AP332CR delivers superior Wi-Fi 6 performance and WPA3 encrypted security across distributed networks and is ideal for building an easily scalable network in rugged or outdoor deployment conditions. This dual-band access point delivers fast, reliable coverage with a 2x2 radio and four external, omnidirectional antennas offering up to 1.2 Gbps on the 5 GHz band. A single PoE+ port is included to support data rates up to 2.5 Gbps. Utilizing WatchGuard Cloud for deployment and configuration, the AP332CR offers a seamless experience with Wi-Fi 6 performance and WPA3 encryption ‒ making it ideal for building easily scalable networks across school campuses, public hotspots, and smaller manufacturing environments. About WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. WatchGuard® Technologies, Inc. is a global leader in unified cybersecurity. Our Unified Security Platform® approach is uniquely designed for managed service providers to deliver world-class security that increases their business scale and velocity while also improving operational efficiency. Trusted by more than 17,000 security resellers and service providers to protect more than 250,000 customers, the company’s award-winning products and services span network security and intelligence, advanced endpoint protection, multi-factor authentication, and secure Wi-Fi. Together, they offer five critical elements of a security platform: comprehensive security, shared knowledge, clarity & control, operational alignment, and automation. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.

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Sophos Firewall Unleashes Xstream Power for Distributed and Enterprise Edge Computing

Sophos | November 22, 2022

Sophos, a global leader in innovating and delivering cybersecurity as a service, today introduced new Sophos Firewall capabilities to better meet the complex and demanding needs of distributed and enterprise edge computing. Sophos Firewall now delivers performance enhancements that accelerate encrypted traffic inspection, dynamic traffic routing for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), added resiliency with software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) load balancing and high-availability enhancements, and seamless integration with Microsoft Azure Active Directory. “One of the key benefits of the Xstream architecture and Flow Processors is that they are programmable. This means that while other firewalls get slower over time, we can increase performance, even when we add new features and capabilities, Our design ensures customers’ investment in Sophos Firewall is future-proofed and enables seamless transition to a cloud-enabled world. SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) demand a more efficient platform, which is not only resilient but also makes day-to-day management easier and faster than ever.” Daniel Cole, vice president of network security product management at Sophos The effective and reliable assessment of network traffic is critical in protecting against threat actors, as evidenced in Sophos’ 2023 Threat Report that published today. Distributed offices, remote workforces, cloud workloads, custom-built legacy apps, and a growing reliance on global software-as-a-service providers create a configuration and risk management headache for network security managers. Sophos Firewall now provides the performance, protection and resiliency that distributed enterprises require, while simplifying the management of complex networks. Benefits include: Advanced performance and protection: A new high-performance dynamic routing engine and Xstream Transport Layer Security (TLS) FastPath acceleration improves encrypted traffic inspection while also adding headroom for traffic that requires deep-packet inspection; the asymmetric cryptographic capabilities within Xstream Flow Processors – included in every XGS Series appliance – enable TLS inspection on even the most demanding networks Added resiliency and peace of mind: New SD-WAN load balancing for performance and reliability in the event of an internet service providers’ (ISP) outage along with enhancements to high-availability clusters ensure maximum business continuity and uptime for mission critical networks Improved ease of management: Managing network security is easier than ever with new Microsoft Azure Active Directory integration for seamless administrator single sign-on and new host and service object search Sophos Firewall integrates with Sophos ZTNA (zero trust network access) under one unified management plane and is a key pillar of Sophos’ SASE strategy, providing a more simplified, scalable and secure solution over traditional remote-access virtual private networks (VPN). The network solution is also part of the Sophos Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which integrates Sophos’ entire portfolio of products, services and Sophos X-Ops threat intelligence for faster and more contextual and synchronized detection, protection and response. Availability Sophos Firewall is available for immediate purchase exclusively through Sophos’ global channel of partners and Managed Service Providers (MSPs). It is easily managed in the cloud-native Sophos Central platform alongside other solutions, where users can oversee installations, respond to alerts and track licenses and upcoming renewal dates via a single, intuitive interface, or by Sophos Managed Detection and Response (MDR). What Analysts, Channel Partners and Customers Say “With their latest firewall release, Sophos has leveraged the flexibility of their Xstream architecture to deliver improvements in performance for VPN throughput and more efficient handling of TLS encrypted traffic, which is vitally important in today’s encrypted world,” said Christopher Rodriguez, research director of IDC’s Security & Trust practice. “They’ve also completed the build-out of their networking feature set to provide an integrated SD-WAN solution. Combined with other recent enhancements to their secure access portfolio like ZTNA as a Service, they’re positioning to provide the features and capabilities that larger distributed enterprise organizations demand, while also building out a SASE strategy that will appeal to organizations of all sizes.” “As a multinational technology consulting firm that’s relied on Sophos Firewall since it was first incepted, Seidor Networks intimately knows the offering is a must-have solution for protecting against malware and other unwanted network traffic,” said Sean Hancock, ISP manager at Seidor Networks. “Sophos is continuously innovating and adding new features that are industry best. This new version of Sophos Firewall raises the bar even higher with unrivaled network protection and performance; and when you pair Sophos Firewall with Sophos XDR, the results are truly next level as endpoints and firewalls share real-time threat intelligence for further improved network visibility and lateral movement control.” “The new Sophos Firewall software has multiple advantages for all of our customers,” said Marc Hurrelmann, chief executive officer at Midland IT. “Many of the features added have been designed to address the challenges that larger organizations are facing with implementing SD-WAN, optimizing performance, scaling their network, improving resiliency and up-time, and enhancing management efficiency. Smaller organizations will benefit from all the added value packed into Sophos Firewall with better performance, protection, networking, and management.” About Sophos Sophos is a worldwide leader and innovator of advanced cybersecurity solutions, including Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and incident response services and a broad portfolio of endpoint, network, email, and cloud security technologies that help organizations defeat cyberattacks. As one of the largest pure-play cybersecurity providers, Sophos defends more than 500,000 organizations and more than 100 million users globally from active adversaries, ransomware, phishing, malware, and more. Sophos’ services and products connect through its cloud-based Sophos Central management console and are powered by Sophos X-Ops, the company’s cross-domain threat intelligence unit. Sophos X-Ops intelligence optimizes the entire Sophos Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem, which includes a centralized data lake that leverages a rich set of open APIs available to customers, partners, developers, and other cybersecurity and information technology vendors. Sophos provides cybersecurity-as-a-service to organizations needing fully-managed, turnkey security solutions. Customers can also manage their cybersecurity directly with Sophos’ security operations platform or use a hybrid approach by supplementing their in-house teams with Sophos’ services, including threat hunting and remediation. Sophos sells through reseller partners and managed service providers (MSPs) worldwide. Sophos is headquartered in Oxford, U.K.

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Verizon expands VRAN leadership position with addition of first Ericsson VRAN cell site into its network

Verizon | December 09, 2022

Verizon, the leader in Virtualized Radio Access Network (VRAN) innovation, announced today it has extended its network virtualization efforts with the addition of the first Ericsson virtualized cell site (also referred to as Ericsson Cloud RAN), with support from Intel and RedHat providing the processing and cloud-native orchestration functions. The advancements in Radio Access Network virtualization allows Verizon to rapidly respond to customers’ varied latency and computing needs, and provides greater flexibility and agility in the introduction of new products and services. The move to a cloud-native, virtualized architecture with standardized interfaces in every part of the network leads to greater flexibility, faster delivery of services, greater scalability, and improved cost efficiency in networks. Verizon has been a global leader in virtualizing its network, announcing recently it already has 8,000 cell sites already virtualized in its network with an eye towards virtualizing 20,000 sites. Virtualizing the far edge of the RAN – the cell sites closest to the customer - is a function of decoupling the hardware and software associated with a cell tower and transitioning the software so that it’s not just stored in the cloud, but is designed for a cloud-native architecture and operation. Just this week, Verizon and Ericsson published a position paper outlining the optimal technology path for VRAN in order to maximize the performance and efficiency of the network, disaggregate hardware from software, and simplify deployment wherever possible. This technology is built into the first Ericsson virtualized cell site deployed in the Verizon network. Components of VRAN Verizon coordinated with many ecosystem partners to welcome Ericsson’s first virtualized cell site. Ericsson provided its commercial 5G Cloud RAN solution, consisting of a virtualized Central Unit (vCU), a virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU), and radio units. This software-based 5G Cloud RAN solution spans across all of Verizon’s frequency bands, utilizing both FDD and TDD 5G spectrum assets, including Massive MIMO support for C-band and interconnecting previously deployed equipment to enable Ericsson Spectrum Sharing between LTE and NR carriers. The Ericsson Cloud RAN solution offers Verizon efficiency and in network deployment and operational management transformation. Intel provided its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810 to deliver the processing, acceleration and connectivity requirements. Red Hat provided Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes to manage their fleet at scale in collaboration with Red Hat Consulting. As part of the solution, Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management delivers cloud-scale manageability by configuring the 5G RAN using a Distributed Unit (DU) profile, which deploys real-time OS kernel optimizations to run vRAN and other cloud-native application workloads from a single console. Red Hat OpenShift also incorporates zero-touch provisioning to enable distributed deployment at scale required to operate a large scale RAN. Virtualization paves the way for exciting innovation Verizon has been leading the way in virtualization with its vendor partners for years. Verizon began the journey by virtualizing the core of its network. In the years since, Verizon has been working with partners in lab trials and field tests and has been deploying cloud-based cell sites, building programmability into the network to meet the needs of today’s 5G customers and 5G solutions of tomorrow. Key 5G use cases focused on providing the best, most efficient network for customers, will heavily rely on the programmability of virtualized networks. Networks must serve IoT devices that do very little networking and stay in place, smartphones with infinite opportunities to use data in a highly mobile environment, and complex solutions like Augmented Reality that require massive computing capabilities on the edge of the network. These various network solutions rely on a correlated variety of resources from the network, which until recently have been defined rigidly and manually. Using orchestration and automation capabilities at scale on virtual infrastructure, Verizon automates network configuration changes and resource scaling dynamically based on demand. This is one of the greatest benefits of virtualizing a network - essentially building programmability into the network. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

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