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Monday, July 29, 2013

Huawei working to develop 5G technology

It can provide speed of 10 GBps, which is 100 times faster than the mobile technology used these days

As people across the world get used to the fourth generation (4G) mobile technology, Chinese equipment maker Huawei Technologies has said it is working on the fifth generation (5G), which is likely to be available for use by 2020.

The company said presently 200 people are working on the project and it has earmarked a specified amount for the research and development of the technology. It, however, refused to share details about the amount to be spent for the development of the technology.

Huawei Technologies official Wen Tong said that by 2020, there will be billions of connections and 5G can provide massive connectivity. The technology will enable people to have a fibre network like user experience on a wireless connection.

It can provide speed of 10 GBps, which is 100 times faster than the mobile technology used these days, Tong added.

South Korean giant Samsung has also announced that it has successfully tested 5G technology and it will be ready for commercial roll-out by 2020.

Mobile operators across the world have started moving towards the high-speed long term evolution (LTE) or 4G networks and Huawei provides equipment to 85 such networks.

The company is also undertaking a trial run to test the speed on its 4G technology on high speed MagLev train in Shanghai.

Huawei has deployed an LTE network to support wireless connectivity on the train, which runs between the centre of the Shanghai district to the International Airport. The total length of the track is 31 km and the train achieves a speed of up to 431 km per hour.

The company said on that speed, its 4G technology can provide a download speed of up to 50 MBps.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The future is 5G

5G wireless networks are expected to emerge in the market between 2020 and 2030

5G or 5th generation mobile technology is a term used to describe the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G standards. 5G is expected to meet the diverse requirements of the future.

There has been a new mobile generation appearing about every tenth year. The 1G system, was introduced in 1981. This was followed by the 2G system which started to roll out in 1992 and the 3G system made its appearance in 2001. 4G systems were standardised in 2012. Thus, mobile communications technologies that are expected to appear beyond 2020 are referred to as 5G.

However, there is as yet no agreed definition of 5G as it is still very much in the concept stage. It needs to be noted that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency that defines industry standards, nor standardisation bodies such as 3GPP and WiMAX Forum have established standards for 5G technologies as yet. Thus, for some skeptics, all talk of 5G, even before 4G has properly taken off, is merely a marketing gimmick. Marketers love to appropriate such terms for their advertising campaigns.

Players like Ericsson expect 5G solutions to not consist of a single technology but rather an integrated combination of radio-access technologies. This would include existing mobile-broadband technologies such as HSPA and LTE that will continue to evolve and will provide the backbone of the overall solution beyond 2020. There will also be new complementary technologies. Smart antennas, expanded spectrum and improved coordination between base stations will be some of the new innovations.

Why 5G is required

5G is needed because of the explosive growth in video traffic, the acute shortage of spectrum, the growing need to minimise the energy requirements of web devices and network infrastructure and to cater to the insatiable desire for higher data speed rates.

For the customer, the difference between 4G and 5G technologies will be in higher  speeds, lower battery consumption, better coverage, higher number of supported devices, lower infrastructure costs, higher versatility and scalability or higher reliability of communications.

The METIS project, co-funded by the European Commission, aims at reaching worldwide consensus on the future global mobile and wireless communications system. The overall technical goal is to provide a system concept that supports 1,000 times higher efficiency as compared with current LTE deployments.

The University of Surrey has been given the go-ahead to set up a 5G Innovation Centre backed up by a total of £35m investment from a combination of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund and a consortium of key mobile operators and infrastructure providers including Huawei, Samsung, Telefonica Europe, Fujitsu Laboratories Europe, Rohde & Schwarz and AIRCOM International.

Though there is no globally agreed 5G standard yet, South Korea is exploring spectrum bands like 13 GHz, 18 Ghz and 27 GHz for 5G technology, which will be capable of transmitting data at speeds in excess of a 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps).

Taiwan, which now lags behind in the development of 4G technologies after having wrongly bet on the now less accepted WiMAX technologies wants to be in the forefront to develop 5G technology.

Major companies in wireless technology are also jockeying for position to influence the next wave of standards beyond 4G LTE. In the Metis project, Huawei is playing the leading role in the Radio Link Technology stream.

South Korea's Samsung Electronics, which has announced that it wants to make available 5G to the public by 2020, said that it had successfully tested ultra-fast fifth generation data transfer using millimeter-wave transceiver technology in May 2013. Semiconductor company Broadcom has unveiled a new combo chip that promises to deliver the fifth generation of broadband wireless connectivity.


In order to sustain the continuous growth of wireless business, and to support the industry’s response the ‘Big Data’ challenge, 5G wireless networks are expected to emerge in the market between 2020 and 2030.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Difference between SDN, OpenFlow and OpenStack?

SDN is a broadly defined term focused in on evolving the networking paradigm by leveraging software principles for solving networking challenges such as day to day operations.

OpenFlow is the first practical example of a protocol that enables the separation of control & data plane.

OpenStack is a set of software modules that when used together helps an organization build private & public cloud offerings. OpenStack has compute, storage & networking elements which enable customers an alternative, open source, choice for building their cloud environments. OpenStack can be deployed in traditional network environments, OpenFlow based networks.

OpenStack is independent from SDN or OpenFlow.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

What is Entropy Label?

In any network currently load balancing is achieved by Link Aggregation or Equal Cost Multipath (ECMP) mechanism. ECMP is multiple paths with same cost to reach a particular destination. Any path can be used to reach the destination. 

While ECMP load balancing can be per packet, it may result in Jitter or delay and even Out-of-Order packets to ultimate destination. Current ECMP load balancing is flow specific where it will consider Src/Dst IP address, Transport protocol (UDP or TCP), and Src/Dst Port details from the packet, collectively can be considered as KEYS and input the same to load balancing algorithm to get the egress link. 

With MPLS network, Transit LSR in order to get the KEYS for load balancing algorithm may require to perform deep packet inspection. A new idea is proposed to eliminate the need to have Transit LSR to perform deep packet inspection. The Idea is to have ingress LER pull the KEYS from the native packet, input the same to load balancing algorithm and place the resulting value as label known as ENTROPY LABEL and send across the MPLS network. Any LSR along the path can use the, already hashed value in entropy label for load balancing.

Below are few points to remember about Entropy label,

• Will not be used for forwarding decision and is used only to carry load balancing information.
• Will be generated by Ingress LER
• Must be at the bottom of the label stack with Bottom of Stack set to 1
• Must have TTL value set to “0”

Since Entropy label will now be the bottom most label, application label like VPN label (in case of MPLS VPN) or Tuel label (In case of L2VPN) will not be with BoS=1. Any egress (supporting entropy label feature) when receiving MPLS packet with Application label with BoS=0, understands that there is one more label which is entropy label and will pop the same and send across.

What is Entropy Label Indicator?

In Some applications like MPLS VPN, egress PE will have Application label as the bottom most and so can understand that there is entropy label if the application label is with BoS=0. But there are few applications like CsC VPN, where the egress PE of Carrier provider will pop the application label and will send labeled packet to Carrier customer device. In this case, the application label will always be with BoS=0. So we need other way to identify if there is Entropy label. This is does by Entropy Label Indicator (ELI).

On control plane, Egress LER will signal ELI value (label assignment as usual) to remote Ingress LER devices. So when Entropy label is pushed by Ingress, it will push ELI label on top of Entropy label with BoS=0 and TTl=0.


How Entropy Label Support and optional Entropy Label Indicator signaled between LER?

With LDP signaling, a new SUB-TLV (Entropy Label SUB-TLV) is used (Type to be decided). It contains 20 bit “VALUE” space which will be zero when ELI is not required and will be non-zero if ELI is required and this value will be used in ELI label.

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |U|F|        Type (TBD)         |           Length (8)          |
   |               Value                   |     Must Be Zero      |

With BGP Signaling, a new Optional, Transitive Path Attribute (Tentatively known as Entropy Label Attribute) will be used in BGP UPDATE while advertising the NLRI.

With RSVP-TE, Entropy Label Attribute TLV will be signaled in LSP_ATTRIBUTES OBJECT in both PATH message and RESV message.

How does it function at DataPlane?

1.       Ingress LER on receiving the packet will look into FIB table to identify the egress LER and the associated label details.
2.       Once Egress LER is identified, it will check if Entropy label is supported by egress LER. If it doesn’t support, it simply pushes the label details and send across to intermittent LSR devices.
3.       If Egress LER supports Entropy label and if it doesn’t require ELI, Ingress PE will push where TL is the Tunnel Label is the top label to reach Egress PE, AL is the Application Label and EL is the Entropy label with Entropy value which is calculated by running hashing function on KEYS from native packet; S=0; TTL=0.
4.       If Egress LER supports Entropy label and if it  requires ELI, Ingress PE will push where TL is the Tunnel Label is the top label to reach Egress PE, AL is the Application Label, ELI label is the one signaled by egress PE and EL is the Entropy label with Entropy value which is calculated by running hashing function on KEYS from native packet; S=0; TTL=0
5.       Any Transit LSR will use the value in Entropy Label if load balancing is required.
6.       Egress PE on receiving the MPLS packet will check if Application Label is set as Bottom of Stack. If yes, it will removes the last/bottom label and send across.
7.       If Application is not set as Bottom of stack, Egress PE will check if bottom label is set with S=0 and TTL=0. If yes, it will confirm if the ELI is the value advertised by self.
8.       If Application is not set as Bottom of stack, Egress PE will check if bottom label is set with S=1 and TTL=0, it understood that this is Entropy label and will remove before sending to CE device.

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