Microsoft acquires virtualised network software provider Metaswitch Networks

Microsoft | May 14, 2020

Microsoft on Thursday signed a definitive agreement to acquire UK-based Metaswitch Networks, a leading provider of virtualised network software and voice, data and communications solutions for operators, for an undisclosed sum. The convergence of cloud and communication networks presents a unique opportunity for Microsoft to serve operators globally via continued investment in Azure.

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VIRTUAL SERVER MANAGEMENT

AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon EC2 C7g Instances Powered by AWS-designed Graviton3 Processors

Amazon Web Services | May 24, 2022

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company today announced the general availability of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) C7g instances, the next generation of compute-optimized instances powered by AWS-designed Graviton3 processors. New C7g instances use AWS Graviton3 processors to provide up to 25% better compute performance for compute-intensive applications than current generation C6g instances powered by AWS Graviton2 processors. The higher performance of C7g instances makes it possible for customers to run more efficiently a wide range of compute-intensive workloads—from web servers, load balancers, and batch processing to electronic design automation (EDA), high performance computing (HPC), gaming, video encoding, scientific modeling, distributed analytics, machine learning inference, and ad serving. There are no minimum commitments or upfront fees to use C7g instances, and customers pay only for the amount of compute used. Since launching in 2020, Amazon EC2 instances powered by AWS-designed Graviton2 processors have provided customers with significant performance improvements and cost savings for a broad range of applications. Today, 48 of the top 50 Amazon EC2 customers use AWS Graviton2-based instances to deliver superior price performance to their customers. Customers like DirecTV, Discovery, Epic Games, Formula 1, Honeycomb.io, Intuit, Lyft, Mercardo Libre, NextRoll, Nielsen, SmugMug, Snap, Splunk, and Sprinklr have seen significant performance gains, with reduced costs, running AWS Graviton2-based instances in production. The AWS Graviton-based instance portfolio offers 13 different instances that include general purpose, compute optimized, memory optimized, storage optimized, burstable, and accelerated computing instances, so customers have the deepest and broadest choice of high-performance, cost-effective, and power-efficient compute in the cloud for all sorts of applications. As customers bring more compute-intensive workloads to the cloud to transform their organizations and fuel new opportunities, they want even better price performance and greater energy efficiency when running these demanding workloads. To provide even better price performance for a wide variety of customer applications, new C7g instances powered by next generation AWS Graviton3 processors provide up to 25% better performance for compute-intensive applications over current generation C6g instances. Compared to previous generation AWS Graviton2 processors, AWS Graviton3 processors deliver up to 2x faster performance for cryptographic workloads, up to 3x faster performance for machine learning inference, and nearly 2x higher floating point performance for scientific, machine learning, and media encoding workloads. AWS Graviton3 processors are also more energy efficient, using up to 60% less energy for the same performance than comparable EC2 instances. C7g instances are the first in the cloud to feature the latest DDR5 memory, which provides 50% higher memory bandwidth than AWS Graviton2-based instances to improve the performance of memory-intensive scientific applications like computational fluid dynamics, geoscientific simulations, and seismic processing. C7g instances also deliver 20% higher networking bandwidth than C6g instances for network intensive applications like network load balancing and data analytics. “Customers of all sizes are seeing significant performance gains and cost savings using AWS Graviton-based instances. Since we own the end-to-end chip development process, we’re able to innovate and deliver new instances to customers faster. With up to 25% better performance than current generation Graviton instances, new C7g instances powered by AWS Graviton3 processors make it easy for organizations to get the most value from running their infrastructure on AWS.” David Brown, Vice President of Amazon EC2 at AWS New C7g instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a collection of AWS-designed hardware and software innovations that streamline the delivery of isolated multi-tenancy, private networking, and fast local storage. The AWS Nitro System offloads the CPU virtualization, storage, and networking functions to dedicated hardware and software, delivering performance that is nearly indistinguishable from bare metal. For customers looking to enhance the performance of applications that require parallel processing like HPC and video encoding, C7g instances in the coming weeks will include support for Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA), which allows applications to communicate directly with network interface cards, providing lower and more consistent latency. C7g instances are available for purchase as On-Demand Instances, with Savings Plans, as Reserved Instances, or as Spot Instances. C7g instances are available today in US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon), with availability in additional AWS Regions coming later this year. Snap Inc. is a camera company focused on empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together. “We trialed the new AWS Graviton3-based Amazon EC2 C7g instances and found that they provide significant performance improvements on real workloads compared to previous generation C6g instances,” said Aaron Sheldon, Software Engineer at Snap. “We are excited to migrate our Graviton2-based workloads to Graviton3, including the messaging, storage and the friend graph workloads.” Sprinklr helps the world's biggest companies make their customers happier across 30+ digital channels—using the most advanced, sophisticated AI engine built for the enterprise to create insight-driven strategies and better customer experiences. “We run a wide variety of workloads on AWS Graviton-based instances for their significant price performance benefits,” said Jamal Mazhar, Vice President of Infrastructure and DevOps at Sprinklr. “After the announcement of AWS Graviton3, we benchmarked our workloads on the new Amazon EC2 C7g instances and observed 27% better performance compared to the previous generation instances. Based on these results, we are looking forward to adopting AWS Graviton3-based instances in production.” NextRoll, Inc. is a marketing and data technology company with a mission to accelerate growth for companies, big and small. Powered by machine learning, NextRoll’s technology gathers data, delivers reliable insights, and provides business with approachable tools to target buyers in strategic ways – all on one platform. “We have found that AWS Graviton3-based C7g instances are ideal for bidders, ad servers, and ElastiCache clusters,” said Valentino Volonghi, CTO at NextRoll. “We are seeing about 15% more requests handled by C7g instances compared to AWS Graviton2-based C6g instances. With C7g instances, we also observed up to 40% better latency. Based on these findings, we are looking forward to adopting AWS Graviton3-based C7g instances in production.” Ansys is a global leader in engineering simulation. “As engineers and designers face increasingly complex problems, cloud computing helps lower the barrier of access to high-performance computing, allowing users to solve problems faster,” said Prith Banerjee, Chief Technology Officer at Ansys. “Ansys has also been focusing on green computing initiatives with the goal of improving energy efficiency and reducing costs to customers. With the support of LS-DYNA on the AWS Graviton3 processor powered by AWS, Ansys customers will get the best of both worlds – access to a world-class multiphysics solver without compromising on speed, and lower energy and costs.” Beamr is a leading provider of image and video optimization solutions that enable professional photographers to improve their workflows, photo sharing services to improve user experience (UX) and reduce churn, and video service providers to reduce storage and delivery costs. “Beamr's JPEGmini software, written in C/C++, optimizes JPEG image files by reducing their file size without compromising quality. The application is compute-intensive and includes functions for image decoding, image encoding, and a quality measure algorithm that analyzes various image attributes,” said Dan Julius, Vice President of R&D at Beamr. “Since the mobile version of this software runs on Arm processors, we decided to test its performance on AWS Graviton3-based Amazon EC2 C7g instances. Rebuilding our software to run on C7g instances took us one working day, and the results were promising. When running on C7g instances, we saw 30% improved performance over comparable x86-based instances. Based on these results, we plan to recommend to our customers to run the Beamr JPEGmini software on Graviton3-based instances once those become GA, and we plan to benchmark Beamr’s H.264 and HEVC video encoders on Graviton instances as well.” About Amazon Web Services For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and it now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 84 Availability Zones within 26 geographic regions, with announced plans for 24 more Availability Zones and eight more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Millions of customers—including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies—trust AWS to power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs.

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VMWARE

Alibaba Cloud and VMware Deliver Next-Generation Alibaba Cloud VMware Service to Accelerate Digital Innovation

Alibaba | April 21, 2022

Alibaba Cloud and VMware, Inc. today announced the next evolution of Alibaba Cloud VMware Service, a jointly-developed public cloud service. With Alibaba Cloud VMware Service, enterprises across China can accelerate enterprise cloud transformation to support digital innovation with lower costs and risk Alibaba Cloud VMware Service enables enterprises in China to migrate and modernize applications faster and seamlessly move workloads between on-premises VMware environments and Alibaba Cloud at scale. Alibaba Cloud VMware Service is operated by Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group. The service features the power of the entire VMware Cloud stack running natively on Alibaba Cloud’s advanced infrastructure to maximize performance, availability, security and increase workload density. Customers can use a consistent VMware Cloud platform that can support vMotion migration of workloads to Alibaba Cloud VMware Service with zero disruptions. “In today’s app-driven economy, more and more Chinese enterprises are adopting a hybrid cloud model to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Infrastructure Business Group at VMware. “Alibaba Cloud VMware Service helps customers modernize applications, infrastructure and operations faster with demonstrable economic benefits and less risk.” “Alibaba Cloud VMware Service enables enterprises to seamlessly migrate workload to cloud and reduce the costs of both operations and migration,” said Ms. Lijuan Chen, Vice President of Alibaba Group. “It also helps enterprises leverage leading cloud technologies to further unlock the benefits of digital transformation.” With the integration of VMware’s innovative technologies and Alibaba Cloud services, Alibaba Cloud VMware Service is an ideal cloud platform on which to run enterprise applications, featuring: Enterprise-Grade Compute, Storage, Networking Capabilities: ideal platform for customers’ enterprise applications. Designed for business-critical/tier-1 workloads with high availability, strong security, and granular resource control built into the core VMware Cloud infrastructure. Unified Infrastructure and Management: consistent infrastructure and operations. Achieve high visibility and automation through unified VMware Cloud infrastructure and management running and operating across on-premises and Alibaba Cloud environments supporting both VMs and containers. Security and Disaster Recovery: better protect apps and workloads with faster recovery outages. Create offsite disaster recovery site to safeguard VMs in any operating system and application, achieve fast and predictable recovery time objectives (RTOs), and automate disaster recovery workflows to reduce disaster recovery costs. Service complies with China's cybersecurity regulations and provides extremely high security and availability to help enable business continuity. Comprehensive App Modernization Platform: modernize enterprise applications faster. Combine Kubernetes, popular developer tools and frameworks, and access to native Alibaba Cloud services to achieve a fast path to production for applications. Attractive TCO: lower upfront migration and ongoing operating costs. Familiar vSphere capabilities maximize the value of the underlying hardware resources. Advanced infrastructure enables on-demand scaling of capacity based on business needs. Costs of retooling, re-platforming, and retraining to move vSphere workloads to non-vSphere public clouds are mostly eliminated. IT Operations Efficiency: leverage investments in people and processes. Skills built up over years of VMware experience are directly transferable to Alibaba Cloud VMware Service. No retraining or new hires are needed to accommodate the entirely different operational processes required for running traditional or cloud native applications in a VMware-based public cloud. “Seeing the benefits of the public cloud, we considered adopting hybrid cloud for our environments, but initially there wasn’t a consistent public cloud platform with the same VMware architecture,” said Mr. Ming Xu, deputy director of process and IT department at United Automotive Electronics Co., Ltd. “After deploying Alibaba Cloud VMware Service, we solved many challenges including enabling seamless cloud migration with no negative effects on the core business, efficiently managing simultaneous environments on and off the cloud, and removing the high cost of data center operations. The service also enhanced elastic scaling and rapid expansion of VMware resources on the cloud.”

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VIRTUAL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE

Les Mills takes martial arts into the metaverse with BODYCOMBAT VR app

Odders Lab | February 07, 2022

BODYCOMBAT – the world's most popular martial arts workout, enjoyed by millions globally each week – moves into the metaverse as fitness and gaming converge Les Mills is bringing exercise motivation to the metaverse with the launch of the BODYCOMBAT VR app, fusing globally-renowned trainers with virtual reality (VR) for an out-of-this-world fitness gaming experience. The group fitness leader has teamed up with VR specialist Odders Labs to transform the world-famous BODYCOMBAT™ workout into a high-octane VR gaming app on the Quest Platform. Led by BODYCOMBAT's legendary program directors Rachael Newsham and Dan Cohen – the game pits players against martial arts challenges across a variety of levels, spanning intergalactic deserts and neo-city skylines. Players earn points for their effort and technique, with Rachael and Dan providing coaching cues and motivation to power them through the workouts. Rachael Newsham, Program Director of BODYCOMBAT, said: "The cultural convergence between fitness and gaming is sparking exciting collaborations and innovative products, so naturally we jumped at the chance to team up with Odders Labs to create something truly magical. "The BODYCOMBAT VR app transports you into the middle of the most popular martial arts workout on the planet. The gamification and stunning VR vistas combine with the incredible moves, music and instruction that BODYCOMBAT is famous for to create an exhilarating experience that's so fun you forget you're even exercising. "Our mission is to create a fitter planet and we hope the launch of the BODYCOMBAT VR app enables us to reach new audiences and break down barriers to exercise, helping more people to start their fitness journey and reap the rewards of an active lifestyle." After many years of taking BODYCOMBAT classes in gyms and at home, it's been an incredible journey to work on bringing the experience to VR.” Jaime Pichardo Garcia, Odders Labs Business Director “This is a new step towards the future of fitness, and a revolution for VR workouts by bringing one of the biggest IPs in the fitness world with the same focus as Odders: innovation as the key differentiation of our products." Standout features of the game include: Bodycombat’s Signature Style The BODYCOMBAT VR app goes beyond jabs, hooks, and uppercuts. Squat and slip to dodge walls, throw sky punches to break targets, ram home hammer punches, and grab targets to slam with your knee! Access all types of workouts – including boxing fitness, speed workouts, core exercises, lower body, and more. Unbeatable Results All workouts are scientifically-designed to deliver results, with players able to track their performance and progress throughout the app experience. First-class Coaches World-famous Instructors Dan Cohen & Rachael Newsham are on hand to help hone technique and motivate players to push through each and every workout. Amazing Music Specially-curated soundtracks featuring the hottest up-and-coming artists to keep players pumped throughout their workouts. About Les Mills Les Mills is the global leader in group fitness and creator of 20 programs available in leading fitness facilities around the world. Les Mills programs include the world's first group exercise resistance training workout BODYPUMP, BODYCOMBAT (martial arts), RPM (indoor cycling), BODYBALANCE (yoga), LES MILLS GRIT™ (30-minute high-intensity interval training) and the revolutionary immersive cycle experience, THE TRIP™. Each workout is refreshed and updated with new choreography and music every three months. The company was founded by Les Mills – a four-time Olympian and head coach of New Zealand's track and field team – who opened his first gym in 1968 with the aim of taking elite sports training to the masses. Today, Les Mills workouts are delivered by 140,000 certified Instructors in 21,000 clubs across 100 countries and are available as live, livestream, virtual and immersive classes, as well as via the LES MILLS+ streaming platform. About Odders Lab Odders Lab is an innovative VR development studio creating unique titles with a spin. Based in Seville, Spain, we develop consistent products with a spin by adding unique characteristics that make our titles stand out from the crowd. With this focus on innovation, it was just a no-brainer to create a partnership with LES MILLS to bring the most innovative fitness experience to the VR market.

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VIRTUAL SERVER INFRASTRUCTURE

Expanding the Open RAN Ecosystem with a Wide Portfolio of High-Performance O-RAN Compliant Radios

Mavenir | February 24, 2022

Mavenir, the Network Software Provider building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects, announces a wide portfolio of O-RAN compliant Radio Units (RUs) – expanding the Open RAN radio ecosystem, to provide Communications Service Providers (CSPs) with a wider choice of radios as they progress in rolling out open and interoperable networks. OpenBeam, the Future of Radio, is providing CSPs with a comprehensive portfolio of O-RAN compliant radio products spanning micro, macro, millimeter wave (mmWave) and massive MIMO (mMIMO) to support Open RAN deployments in 2022 and beyond. The OpenBeam radio portfolio covers a wide range of spectrum, both licensed and unlicensed and strictly follows the philosophy of open interfaces and O-RAN 7.2 interface to which Mavenir is strongly committed with Open RAN CU/DU products. OpenBeam radios will be available to the Open RAN Ecosystem including vendors, operators, and system integrators. According to Dell’Oro’s January 2022 reporti, total Open RAN revenues remain on track to approach $6B or 15% of the overall RAN market by 2026. Additionally, in the Remote Radio Unit (RRU) and Active Antennas Unit (AAU), the growth of Open RAN Units shows CAGR >50% versus a declining number of traditional legacy radios. Alongside a strong existing ecosystem of partners that Mavenir MAVair Open vRAN interworks with (more than 15 O-RAN RRU partners), the new OpenBeam suite provides an innovative and comprehensive radio portfolio that is specifically designed for the growing needs of CSPs with agile, cost-efficient, smart radios to meet critical demands on the network now, and as the network changes and expands. The radio solutions can be used for a wide range of use cases, including basic coverage across all frequency bands for enterprise, urban and rural deployment opportunities. The robust set of options address the needs of CSPs to be agile and cost-efficient with low power consumption, low wind load, and are built with integrated intelligence and automation. Designed for the growing needs of private enterprises to public networks, the portfolio supports both new and legacy radio access technologies. All radios have a modular design, using proven technology to support both beamforming and multi-band needs. We have engaged with customers globally to curate a comprehensive O-RAN portfolio that addresses the needs of both private enterprises as well as traditional communication providers. OpenBeam portfolio covers a wide range of deployment scenarios starting from micro-RUs to 64TR Massive MIMO Radios. OpenBeam radios deliver industry-leading performance and energy efficiency packed in a small footprint.” Rajesh Srinivasa, Senior Vice President of Radio Business Unit at Mavenir Pardeep Kohli, Chief Executive Officer at Mavenir, said, “With the incredible growth of virtualization and Open RAN, we always believed that the ecosystem had to be accelerated as this is fundamental for the success of the future of networks. Mavenir has been working with many partners in the ecosystem, and we have also injected more direct contributions when it comes to innovative design. “Mavenir is a strong believer in new generation software-based networks which are orchestrated by artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics software and adapt in a dynamic way to the user behaviors and market demands. The intelligent, dynamic and adaptable software, together with strong underlying automation, is what drives innovation in the future of networks.” About Mavenir Mavenir is building the future of networks and pioneering advanced technology, focusing on the vision of a single, software-based automated network that runs on any cloud. As the industry's only end-to-end, cloud-native network software provider, Mavenir is focused on transforming the way the world connects, accelerating software network transformation for 250+ Communications Service Providers in over 120 countries, which serve more than 50% of the world’s subscribers.

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