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3 networking startups rearchitect routing

Startups played a pivotal role in disrupting the business of network switching. Today, they’re on track to do the same to routing.

Software under development by upstarts Arrcus, DriveNets and Volta Networks represents a new routing architecture, industry analysts agreed. Cloud service providers, SaaS providers, telcos and the largest financial institutions are the most likely candidates for deploying the networking startups’ technology in the data center and at the edge.

The vendors’ software could also be useful for peering among internet service providers and for data center interconnects (DCIs). Colocation companies like Equinix, Digital Realty Trust and Global Switch use DCIs to connect their facilities to customer data centers.

Market research firm IDC recently named the three companies 2019 innovators for their work in decoupling routing software from its underlying hardware. Separating management, control and data planes from the device make it possible to run the software on commodity products powered by merchant silicon from companies like Broadcom and Intel.

Severing software from hardware and running it on commodity gear — a process called disaggregation — reduces operational expenses. Companies can lower labor costs by managing multiple routers at once, instead of each one separately. The architecture also adds flexibility by making it possible to distribute and manage physical and virtual routers across data centers or at the network edge.

“Effectively, you’ve got a Lego that you can mix and match based on your requirements,” said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. “It leads to a standardized environment where you can run the same software across all of it.”

Disaggregation from switching to routing

Disaggregation in network switching, a nearly 10-year trend, forced incumbents Cisco and Juniper Networks to acquire startups that had developed software capable of providing centralized network management. The transition led to an overhaul in the way the companies’ products manage switching fabrics.

New technologies developed by Arrcus, DriveNets and Volta show that there’s “an evolution in disaggregation to the routing layer,” Casemore said. Each of the vendors is initially targeting their products at communication and cloud service providers.

“It’s really compelling technology,” Casemore said.

Here is a brief description of each of the networking startups, including the key differentiators and market challenges listed in the 2019 IDC Innovators report on disaggregated routing platforms:

— Arrcus built a network operating system, called ArcOS, with extensive routing protocol support. This year, for example, the vendor incorporated the Link State Vector Routing (LSVR) protocol into ArcOS for organizations running hyperscale data centers and large cloud environments.

Arrcus has built its data plane adaptation layer to separate ArcOS from the underlying hardware. ArcOS is also the first independent NOS to support devices powered by Broadcom’s Trident 3, Tomahawk 3, Jericho+ or Jericho2 network silicon. The Jericho2 platform is for 100 Gb and 400 Gb routing.

Despite its innovative technology, Arrcus still has to prove it can deliver significant cost savings and ROI. The company also has to show a simple process for buying and supporting the underlying hardware.

Arrcus, based in San Jose, Calif., has more than 60 employees and has raised $45 million in funding.

— DriveNets developed a container-based router control plane for merchant silicon-based white boxes. Hardware manufacturers bundle the software with their products and sell it under a license that is free from capacity constraints.

The architecture provides carriers with a routing model that uses a cluster of low-cost white boxes capable of scaling to any size. DriveNets based the model on the one used in hyperscale data centers.

DriveNets’ hurdles include convincing communication service providers to change how they procure, deploy and manage router infrastructure. “The adoption of the DriveNets architecture might be slowed by the need for communication service providers to redesign internal processes and management systems,” IDC said.

DriveNets, based in Ra’anana, Israel, has more than 200 employees and has raised $117 million in funding.

— Volta built a cloud-native, cloud-hosted control plane that can spin up and manage as many as 255 instances of virtual routers on a single, on-premises commodity switch. The use of switching gear provides a “significant cost advantage,” while also making Volta technology useful for provider edge routing. Volta’s technology could be helpful to carriers overhauling cell sites to support next-generation 5G wireless technology.

Volta’s technology and its subscription model that covers support, maintenance and hardware warranty could provide significantly lower capital and operational expenses. However, as a startup, in a competitive industry, it faces a “significant challenge” in winning deals over better-known competitors with more money.

Volta, based in Cambridge, Mass., has 51 employees and has raised $3.3 million in funding.

Moving toward software-based routing

Companies with hyperscale data centers, like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, have favored disaggregated networking software on standardized hardware for years. Today, major service providers and financial institutions use the same white box switches. Users include AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, JPMorgan Chase and Fidelity Investments.

As a result, in 2018, the share of the global Ethernet data center switching market held by Cisco and Juniper fell, while that of bare-metal switching manufacturers increased, according to IDC.

Analysts believe the same dynamics will likely play out in routing. “People are now noticing and realizing that white box approaches can work. They’re mature,” said Roy Chua, a principal analyst at AvidThink.

Potentially, these companies become M&A targets if they have traction in some high-value accounts.
Brad CasemoreAnalyst, IDC

Analysts expect carriers to seriously consider white box routers as they build out their network edge to deliver 5G services.

“They’re actually trying to move away from [physical] routers and toward software-based routing,” said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research. “None of this has been hugely deployed yet. But I think we’re going to see significant deployments in 2020 and 2021 in the 5G market.”

Routing sales for Cisco and Juniper have been declining. However, the decrease is primarily due to carriers cutting back on spending after they found they couldn’t wring any more revenue from consumers, Casemore said.

But with 5G deployments on the horizon, incumbents like Cisco and Juniper are probably watching networking startups closely to see which ones are winning deals for routing technology.

“Potentially, these companies become M&A targets if they have traction in some high-value accounts,” Casemore said.

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For Sale – AORUS X5V7CF3. i7-7820hk, 1070 8gb, 32gb ddr4, 512gb m2, 1tb 7200, 4K gsync.

Hey all. I played 20 minutes of Doom in 4K on this laptop. Then over the next year I only turned it on 10 times or so to use Excel. Im selling simply because I don’t use it. With such little use everything is still in great condition as can be seen from the pictures. There is one tiny mark on the top of the laptop about 1mm in size, beyond that there isn’t another mark or blemish to be seen.

Im including my Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse for whoever buys this laptop. I bought the…

AORUS X5V7CF3. i7-7820hk, 1070 8gb, 32gb ddr4, 512gb m2, 1tb 7200, 4K gsync.

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For Sale – ASUS ROG GTX980 Poseidon Platinum

Selling my GTX980 as i rarely use my PC for gaming anymore . Its played everything I have chucked at it in the past and is still a brilliant card. It has the hybrid cooler, I’ve always ran it on air but it can be used in a proper water cooled rig. Just removed from PC today

Here’s the official Asus page :- POSEIDON-GTX980-P-4GD5 | Graphics Cards | ASUS United Kingdom
And there are plenty of reviews to back up the performance .

Price is £150 plus postage, its a good size box and quite hefty . I could deliver if you are local

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Price and currency: £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT,Cash if being delivered
Location: Holywell , Tyne and Wear
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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AI and fish farming: High-tech help for a sushi and sashimi favorite in Japan – Asia News Center

The institute’s Shirahama Station – about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Osaka – has long played a crucial role in the farming of 10 species of fish, including Red Sea Bream. It hatches larvae and raises them in tanks to “fingerlings” – juvenile fish that have developed fins and scales but haven’t yet grown more than 10 centimeters long or about the length of a human finger.

The Institute sells about 12 million Red Sea Bream fingerlings, or about 70 percent of its annual production and about 20 percent of the total market, to offshore fish farms around the country where they grow to full size.

ALSO READ: Indoor vertical farming in Asia and beyond: Digging deep in data

To produce so many fingerlings requires a lot of human effort. Every New Year and Fall, these tiny fish are pumped out of their nursery tanks and onto four conveyor belts where they are hand sorted by teams of three who ensure each is the correct size and free of deformities. Counting the fingerlings and culling out the odd-shaped one is a laborious quality control task that requires knowledge and concentration.

Still, Naoki Taniguchi – who manages the Institute’s Larval Rearing Division and is Deputy General Manager of the Aquaculture Technology and Production Center – doesn’t regard it as the best use of his highly skilled workforce.

The conveyor rolls on as busy workers hand sort the fingerlings. Photo: Microsoft Japan

“Some members of our staff have as much as 30 years of experience,” he says. “Sorting work is very time-consuming and takes up to eight hours a day during the busy shipping periods.”

He wants a better way and says: “At a time when it is exceeding difficult to attract talented people, we need to mechanize processes to work efficiently.”

Taniguchi and his research colleagues think a combination of image analysis, AI, and ML technologies can result in a solution to replicate what human sorters do now. And, the Institute is currently developing such an automated sorting system using Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning Studio and Azure IoT Hub. In the meantime, the same Microsoft technologies have been used to ease another pain point: the need for a person to constantly adjust the pump flow that delivers the fingerlings to the conveyor belt. If the flow is too high, sorters will fall behind. If the flow is too low, production times will suffer.

The speed of the pump is crucial in the sorting process. Photo: Microsoft Japan

Microsoft Japan has addressed this with Toyota Tsusho Corporation – which also played a role in the Institute’s groundbreaking Blue Fin Tuna research. Together, they have developed an AI-driven sorting system that calculates optimum flows and makes automatic adjustments.

This software solution uses image analysis to count the number of fish on the conveyor belt and the spaces between them. It also uses ML to understand how the sorters complete their task at different volumes of fingerlings.

“If we can use AI to automate and mechanize simple judgment tasks, we can reduce the number of workers needed from three to two, which will allow that third person to do other work or make it easier for the workers to take breaks and improve work efficiency,” says Taniguchi.

The Institute believes that freeing up the time for more rewarding tasks will improve work practices for current employees. Perhaps, more importantly, it will make aquaculture a more attractive career choice for a new generation.

Kindai University’s fish hatcheries. Photo: Microsoft Japan

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI

For sale is my 980TI. Decided to upgrade but to be honest its played everthing spot on that I have tried thus far. Just have the upgrade bug so up for sale.

Cracking card, very quiet and I have not picked up any coil whine when in use.

Used for occasional gaming only and will come in its original box etc.

Currently in use (still hunting around for a 1080ti so open to trades plus cash your way for the right card) and will be sent out within 24hours of payment.

Original purchased Sept 2016…

Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX980TI