Tuesday, December 19, 2017

AWS activates new region in Paris, its 18th globally

Amazon Web Services activated AWS EU (Paris) Region, its 18th infrastructure zone globally for a total of 49 availability zones, and its fourth region in Europe, joining existing regions in Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The new AWS EU (Paris) Region offers three Availability Zones.

AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require a rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks

For data sovereignty concerns, the new AWS EU (Paris) Region will ensure that corporate data is stored in France and will not move unless the customer moves it. AWS also operates three Edge Network Locations in Paris and one in Marseille.

By early 2019, AWS expects to activate another 12 Availability Zones and four regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and a second AWS GovCloud Region.

“For over a decade, AWS has been supporting French builders and entrepreneurs, in enterprises and startups, on their quest to reinvent and evolve their customer’s experiences,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We have tens of thousands of French customers using AWS from regions outside of France, but we’ve heard them loud and clear and are excited to deliver them an AWS Region in France, so they can easily operate their most latency-sensitive workloads or house any data that needs to reside on French soil.”

Broadcom delivers its 12.8 Tbps Tomahawk 3 switching silicon

Broadcom announced commercial shipments of its StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Ethernet switch silicon boasting 12.8 Terabits/sec in a single device -- double that of any other switching chip currently in the market.

Tomahawk 3 paves the way for high-density, standards-based 400GbE, 200GbE, and 100GbE switching and routing for hyperscale cloud networks. The latest gen silicon is expected to be adopted by leading network equipment OEMs as well as by hyperscale cloud companies.

Third party companies cited in the product announcement included Microsoft, Alibaba, Arista Networks, Baidu, Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Tencent, Accton, Celestica, Delta Networks, Quanta, Applied Optoelectronics, Foxconn Interconnect Technologies, Intel Silicon Photonics, and Luxtera.

The new chip, which arrives 14 months after Broadcom introduced its 6.4Tbps product generation, offers 40% lower power consumption per 100GbE switch port and up to 75% lower cost per 100GbE switch port.

Key features of the StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Series:

  • Supports 32 x 400GbE, 64 x 200GbE, or 128 x 100GbE line-rate switching and routing on a single chip
  • Delivers 40% reduction in power per 100Gbps, and up to 75% lower cost per 100Gbps, versus alternatives
  • New, state-of-the-art, integrated 12.8Tbps shared-buffer architecture offers 3X to 5X higher incast absorption and provides the highest performance and lowest end-to-end latency for RoCEv2 based workloads
  • Broadview Gen 3 integrated network instrumentation feature set and software suite provides full visibility to network operators into packet flow behavior, traffic management state, and switch internal performance
  • Supports all packet processing and traffic management requirements for next-gen hyperscale network use cases: >2X IP route forwarding scale, 2X ECMP scale, Dynamic Load Balancing and Group Multipathing, In-Band Network Telemetry, Elephant Flow detection and re-prioritization
  • Robust connectivity using 256 instances of the best performing and longest-reach 50G PAM-4 integrated SerDes core, enabling long-reach (LR) East-West optical links and Direct-Attached-Copper (DAC) in-rack cabling in the data center, fully compliant to new IEEE standards for 50/100/200/400GbE
  • Implemented on proven, high-volume 16nm process technology node, ensuring fastest time to CY2018 production network deployment for hyperscale customers 


“The Tomahawk franchise is the flagship for cutting-edge, single-chip performance and integration among Broadcom’s multi-vectored Ethernet switch silicon portfolio, tailored to the unique and rigorous demands of hyperscale data center operators,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products at Broadcom. “I am proud of our world-class engineering team for innovating and delivering the 12.8Tbps Tomahawk 3 chip in a record 14 months after we released Tomahawk 2. We’ve applied great focus and diligence working with our hyperscale customers to ensure this product is the ideal fit for their upcoming high-radix 100/400GbE deployments and aggressive Terabit-per-dollar and Terabit-per-Watt targets. Broadcom is proving yet again that customers can rely on us to lead the industry on switch silicon performance and execution at every generation.”

Sabey Data Centers pulls in $675m in financing

Seattle-based Sabey Data Centers, which owns and operates data center campuses in Seattle, Ashburn (VA), Quincy (WA) and Wenatchee (WA), closed a $675 million financing package led by TD Securities, including a $425 million 5-year term loan and a $250 million 5-year revolver. 

The company said proceeds of the term loan will be used to refinance existing property-level debt into a corporate facility, while the revolver will be used to fund capital expenditures for data center development and strategic initiatives.  Sabey plans to expand its data center campuses in Northern Virginia as well as in Central Washington, which benefits from low power rates and a mild climate ideal for efficient cooling.

“From a strategic perspective, this transaction will provide the capital we need to stay ahead of market conditions. The data center development market is extremely active, especially with prospective tenants who are demanding large blocks of inventory as a condition for entering into a lease deal,” stated Rob Rockwood, President, Sabey Data Centers. “The leasing paradigm has changed. Up to the recent past, data center users would move onto a campus and then build out incrementally, on an ‘as needed’ basis. This is no longer the case.”

Bharti Airtel to acquire Tigo Rwanda

Bharti Airtel Limited agreed to acquire Millicom's Rwanda mobile network, which operates under the Tigo Rwanda brand. The companies said the price is approximately 6x 2017 adjusted EBITDA, payable over two years, consisting of a mix of cash, vendor loan note and earn out. Media sources put the price at about US$6 billion.

Tigo Rwanda has about 3.25 million customers. By integrating the assets with its own Airtel Rwanda, Bharti will hold approximately 40% of the market, behind MTN.

Airtel Africa also has operations in 15 other countries, including some acquired properties in Uganda (Warid), Congo B (Warid), Kenya (yu Mobile), and Ghana (Millicom).

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel stated: "Airtel has taken proactive steps in Africa to consolidate and realign the market structure in the last few remaining countries where its operations are lagging on account of lower market share and presence of too many operators. Airtel and Tigo have already merged their operations to create a strong viable entity in Ghana. Today, it has taken yet another important step to acquire Tigo Rwanda to become a profitable and a strong challenger in a two-player market."

Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Millicom, commented: "The sale of our business in Rwanda is in line with our strategy to focus on providing advanced fixed and mobile data services in Latin America. We are very grateful to the government of Rwanda for their support throughout the last eight years, which allowed us to extend digital inclusion to thousands of Rwandans."

CyrusOne builds a massive data center campus near Atlanta

CyrusOne unveiled plans to build a massive data center campus in Atlanta to serve its expanding customer base of hyperscale cloud providers and Fortune 1000 enterprise customers.

The new 44-acre campus is located in the Riverside West Industrial Park in the Atlanta suburb of Douglasville, Georgia. Upon full buildout, the site will include three data centers, with 440,000 square feet of data center space and 50 megawatts of critical power. CyrusOne expects to begin construction in Q1 2018 and complete the first data center building by summer. The data centers will have access to multiple cloud providers and will be linked to the CyrusOne National Internet Exchange (National IX), which delivers interconnection between other CyrusOne locations across the country. Customers will additionally have direct access to one of the largest fiber hubs in the United States.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal welcome the project, valuing the direct investment at $200 million. The campus is projected to generate an additional $600 million in investments over time.

“Leadership in technology, financial services, manufacturing, education, and connectivity make Atlanta an especially attractive market for our cloud and enterprise customers,” said Tesh Durvasula, chief commercial officer, CyrusOne. “Atlanta’s diverse economy moves fast and CyrusOne operates in the same manner. Our new Douglasville site is an ideal location for companies fueling Atlanta’s growth to leverage CyrusOne’s state-of-the-art data center solution in this dynamic region.”

CyrusOne operates 44 data center facilities across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Red Hat sales pop 22% yoy in latest quarter

Red Hat posted sales of $748 million for its fiscal quarter ended November 30, 2017, up 22% year-over-year, or 20% measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $657 million, up 21% year-over-year, and now constituting 88% of total revenue.

Subscription revenue from Infrastructure-related offerings for the quarter was $495 million, an increase of 15% year-over-year
Subscription revenue from Application Development-related and other emerging technology offerings for the quarter was $162 million, an increase of 44%year-over-year

"We again delivered over 20% year-over-year growth in both subscription revenue and total revenue due to strong customer demand for hybrid cloud technologies, including our core technologies, container platforms, and solutions that enable and manage multiple clouds and private cloud environments," stated Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat.

GAAP operating income for the quarter was $118 million, up 47% year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating income for the third quarter was $179 million, up 25% year-over-year. For the third quarter, GAAP operating margin was 15.8% and the non-GAAP operating margin was 23.9%.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $101 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, compared with $68 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Elliptic Labs offers ultrasound sensor for Qualcomm's Neural Engine

Elliptic Labs, a start-up with headquarters in Oslo and offices in San Francisco, and Shanghai have demonstrated its touch-free ultrasound gesture technology running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine (NPE).

Elliptic Labs’ ultrasound virtual sensors can be implemented in electronic devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, to detect natural hand movements in the air above, in front of and to the side of the screen. The detected hand movement can trigger actions such as taking a selfie or group photo.

Elliptic Labs’ ultrasound virtual sensors can also now be used in conjunction with the Snapdragon
NPE’s machine learning and artificial intelligence optimization tools.

Elliptic Labs noted that its INNER BEAUTY proximity sensor technology is used in the hugely popular Mi Mix phone from Chinese powerhouse Xiaomi.

“Any OEM or developer using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine from Qualcomm Technologies can now benefit from our expertise in machine learning and user experience design,” said Laila Danielsen, CEO of Elliptic Labs. “Whether people want to use our technology to take pictures, record videos or play music, it is clear that intuitive, touch-free gestures are important for the next generation of user experiences in the mobile, VR and IoT markets. Leveraging NPE, we are able to more rapidly deliver touch-free gestures that are natural extensions of human interaction.”

Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform

Qualcomm introduced its latest generation Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, promising the performance for eXtended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence (AI), lightning-fast connectivity, and featuring a new secure processing unit (SPU) for protecting mobile devices.

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform includes an integrated Qualcomm Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and Qualcomm Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem for cinematic video capture by flagship mobile devices. It is designed to deliver innovations for new XR experiences that span virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Snapdragon 845 is the first mobile platform to enable room-scale 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)—for features such as wall-collision detection. Additionally, Snapdragon 845 introduces “Adreno foveation,” which substantially reduces power consumption, improves visual quality and boosts XR application performance, as compared to the previous generation.

“As leaders in mobile technology, we will transform the mobile experience with comprehensive advancements in visual processing, AI, security and connectivity,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is the next horizon of innovation and is going to transform the way people use their mobile devices to make their lives better.”

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is currently sampling.

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Zain extends IP/MPLS with Cisco segment routing

Zain Group is leveraging Cisco's advanced segment routing platforms and WAN automation to bring distributed intelligence and centralized control to its IP/MPLS network.

The deployment will enable simplification, scalability and open innovation for the network. Cisco said its technology will also help Zain Group optimize network operations and offer a richer suite of differentiated services.

“The capabilities of Cisco’s segment routing, automation and our best of breed routing engines enable Zain Group to implement a programmable network that allows them to rapidly adapt to future customer needs,” said Ali Amer, Managing Director, Global Service Provider Sales, Cisco Middle East and Africa. “By fast tracking their network automation, Zain Group are future-proofing their network with an agile, scalable and secure architecture that supports their growth strategy and enhances their competitiveness.”

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