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Telecoms industry must rethink the way it builds

A new book launched by the team at Bell Labs outlines why networks being built today are not ready for the demands of tomorrow.

We are at the dawn of a new era in networking that will be shaped by the digitisation and connection of everything and everyone with the goal of optimising human decision-making and automating everyday routines and processes.

This is the core message from Dr Marcus Weldon, CTO of Alcatel-Lucent and President of Bell Labs, in a new book written with his Bell Labs team, called The Future X Network: A Bell Labs Perspective.

It is the first book published by the eight-time Nobel Prize-winning Bell Labs research team in its 90 years of existence. Weldon says the book aims to set a technological context for these changes and begin a dialog that will help the industry set the right course for the profound change ahead. The change, he says, will be driven by this technological revolution – only the sixth such revolution of the modern era.

“The communications industry is facing unprecedented challenges to meet ever-evolving user demands. Over the next few years, the industry will have to re-think how it builds, deploys, and operates its networks, while making the right technology and market decisions to thrive,” said Emmett Dages, President of CRC Press. “The Future X Network provides a rare insider’s perspective into the future direction of the industry and the technological breakthroughs that will be required at the architectural and systems levels.”

The book outlines how Bell Labs sees this new technological era unfolding and the key breakthroughs needed at both the architectural and systems levels, as well the market realignments that will result. Each chapter of the book is dedicated to a major area of change and the network, systems and business model innovation that will underpin this new digital future.  The book includes challenging perspectives on the Internet of Things, security, cloud, wireless, the home, broadband, the enterprise and more.

“We are at the nexus of a human technological revolution that will be different than any prior era, as it will simultaneously be both global and local, with innovation occurring everywhere,” says Weldon. “The global-local collision of markets and technologies will make this technological revolution one of the most disruptive and far-reaching – it will make the first ‘information age’ driven by the creation of the internet and the Web seem more like a preamble than an age in itself.”

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Veeam passes $1bn, prepares for cloud’s ‘Act II’

The leader in cloud data management reveals how it will harness the next growth phase of the data revolution, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

Veeam Software, the quiet leader in backup solutions for cloud data management,has announced that it has passed $1-billion in revenues, and is preparing for the next phase of sustained growth in the sector.

Now, it is unveiling what it calls Act II, following five years of rapid growth through modernisation of the data centre. At the VeeamON 2019conferencein Miami this week, company co-founder Ratmir Timashev declared that the opportunities in this new era, focused on managing data for the hybrid cloud, would drive the next phase of growth.

“Veeam created the VMware backup market and has dominated it as the leader for the last decade,” said Timashev, who is also executive vice president for sales and marketing at the organisation. “This was Veeam’s Act I and I am delighted that we have surpassed the $1 billion mark; in 2013 I predicted we’d achieve this in less than six years. 

“However, the market is now changing. Backup is still critical, but customers are now building hybrid clouds with AWS, Azure, IBM and Google, and they need more than just backup. To succeed in this changing environment, Veeam has had to adapt. Veeam, with its 60,000-plus channel and service provider partners and the broadest ecosystem of technology partners, including Cisco, HPE, NetApp, Nutanix and Pure Storage, is best positioned to dominate the new cloud data management in our Act II.”

Veeam has been the leading provider of backup, recovery and replication solutions for more than a decade, and is growing rapidly at a time when other players in the backup market are struggling to innovate on demand.

“Backup is not sexy and they made a pretty successful company out of something that others seem to be screwing up,” said Roy Illsley, Distinguished Analyst at Ovum, speaking in Miami after the VeeamOn conference. “Others have not invested much in new products and they don’t solve key challenges that most organisations want solved. Theyre resting on their laurels and are stuck in the physical world of backup instead of embracing the cloud.”

Illsley readily buys into the Veeam tagline. “It just works”. 

“They are very good at marketing but are also a good engineering comany that does produce the goods. Their big strength, that it just works, is a reliable feature they have built into their product portfolio.”

Veeam said in statement from the event that, while it had initially focused on server virtualisation for VMware environments, in recent years it had expanded this core offering. It was now delivering integration with multiple hypervisors, physical servers and endpoints, along with public and software-as-a-service workloads, while partnering with leading cloud, storage, server, hyperconverged (HCI) and application vendors.

This week, it  announced a new “with Veeam”program, which brings in enterprise storage and hyperconverged (HCI) vendors to provide customers with comprehensive secondary storage solutions that combine Veeam software with industry-leading infrastructure systems. Companies like ExaGrid and Nutanix have already announced partnerships.

Timashev said: “From day one, we have focused on partnerships to deliver customer value. Working with our storage and cloud partners, we are delivering choice, flexibility and value to customers of all sizes.”

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‘Energy scavenging’ gets funding

As the drive towards a 5G future gathers momentum, the University of Surrey’s research into technology that could power countless internet enabled devices – including those needed for autonomous cars – has won over £1M from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industry partners.

Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) has been working on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENG), an energy harvesting technology capable of ‘scavenging’ energy from movements such as human motion, machine vibration, wind and vehicle movements to power small electronic components. 

TENG energy harvesting is based on a combination of electrostatic charging and electrostatic induction, providing high output, peak efficiency and low-cost solutions for small scale electronic devices. It’s thought such devices will be vital for the smart sensors needed to enable driverless cars to work safely, wearable electronics, health sensors in ‘smart hospitals’ and robotics in ‘smart factories.’ 

The ATI will be partnered on this development project with the Georgia Institute of Technology, QinetiQ, MAS Holdings, National Physical Laboratory, Soochow University and Jaguar Land Rover. 

Professor Ravi Silva, Director of the ATI and the principal investigator of the TENG project, said: “TENG technology is ideal to power the next generation of electronic devices due to its small footprint and capacity to integrate into systems we use every day. Here at the ATI, we are constantly looking to develop such advanced technologies leading towards our quest to realise worldwide “free energy”.

“TENGs are an ideal candidate to power the autonomous electronic systems for Internet of Things applications and wearable electronic devices. We believe this research grant will allow us to further the design of optimized energy harvesters.”

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