Showing posts with label Cisco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cisco. Show all posts

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cisco to acquire Cmpute.io for cloud optimization tools

Cisco will acquire Cmpute.io, a start-up based in Bangalore that optimizes applications by moving workloads between private and multiple public clouds or region, based on current performance metrics and/or spot pricing.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cmpute.io, also known as 47Line Technologies, analyzes cloud-deployed workloads and consumption patterns. Its cost-optimization strategies help customers
minimize cloud instance overprovisioning.

Cmpute.io’s team and technology will join Cisco CloudCenter.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Bell Canada implements Cisco Segment Routing in next-gen core

Bell Canada has implemented Cisco Segment Routing in its next-generation core network. Specifically, Bell recently upgraded the‎ first four IP core routers to support seamless connection between network data centers and its Smart Core network. The deployment is part of Bell's ‘Network 3.0’ transformation plan.

Cisco Segment Routing delivers network automation and software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities to simplify network operations, increase network robustness, optimize network utilization and offer innovative network services.

Cisco predicts Internet traffic per month per user in Canada will be up to 142.6 GB in 2020, from 63.3 GB in 2016 – with 74% of Internet traffic being video.

“Segment routing is a significant step forward on our mission to transform the way our network interacts with our people, processes and technology at Bell,” said Stephen Howe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Bell Canada. “As our Network 3.0 transformation progresses, and with segment routing now in place, we now have the foundation to enable greater network reliability, as well as enhanced speed and agility from Bell in responding to clients’ needs. Using new IP routing protocols, we can improve the reliability and performance of our Smart Core network, including our network data centers, helping us to better manage overall network operations and offer our customers a superior service experience.”


Sunday, November 19, 2017

NTT East implements Cisco NFV

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone East Corporation has adopted a full-stack, ETSI-compliant NFV solution validated and supported by Cisco for its new Maruraku Office service, which is aimed at small and medium enterprises and which consolidates Internet lines, firewalls, routers, storage and business phones in the cloud.

Specifically, NTT East deployed Cisco Network Services Orchestrator (NSO), Cisco Elastic Services Controller (ESC), and the Cisco Network Functions Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) solution, including Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS) and Cisco Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (VIM).

Cisco to Automate NTT DOCOMO’s Network Device Provisioning


Cisco is supplying its Network Services Orchestrator to help NTT DOCOMO carry out network device provisioning and transform its service lifecycle. Cisco noted that DOCOMO deployed a network functions virtualization (NFV) system last year, but due to the complexity and time-consuming operations with network device provisioning, it has taken the initiative to fully improve its business efficiency by applying “automation” to various operations. The...


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cisco posts $12.1 billion in revenue, cash pile grows to $71.6 billion

Cisco reported total revenue of $12.1 billion for the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, down 2%, with product revenue down 3% and service revenue up 1%. Net income GAAP was $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion or $0.61 per share.

"Our results in Q1 demonstrate the continued progress we're making on our strategy," said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.

Some highlights for the quarter

  • 2% of total revenue was from recurring offers
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 1% to $7.350 billion, EMEA down 3% to $2.909 billion,  and APJC down 1% to $1.877 billion. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by Security and Applications, which increased by 8% and 6%, respectively. 
  • Infrastructure Platforms revenue decreased by 4%.
  • The new Catalyst 9000 has been adopted by 1,100 customers in the first three months.
  • Product gross margins were 60.1%, down from 63.4% a year ago
  • Service gross margins were 64.5%, down from 65.1% a year ago
  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments at the end of the quarter were $71.6 billion, of which $2.5 billion was in the United States and the rest abroad.
This quarter, Cisco changed the way it categorizes product revenue. Here's how the classification matches up.


Cisco launches $1 billion City Infrastructure Financing Program.

Cisco is launching a $1 billion City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program to help municipalities around the world to adopt smart city technologies. The funding will be provided through Cisco Capital in partnership with private equity firm Digital Alpha Advisors and pension fund investors APG Asset Management (APG) and Whitehelm Capital. 

“Funding is a major stumbling block for municipalities beginning their smart city transformation,” said Anil Menon, Global President of Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities. “With our partners, Cisco will bring the capital and expertise it takes to make smart city projects a reality. Digital Alpha, APG, and Whitehelm Capital bring a fresh perspective on investment in an area that has previously been perceived as too new and, therefore, too difficult to finance.”

Cisco has recently renamed its connected digital platform as "Cisco Kinetic for Cities" and added features to support public safety. The platform now supports real-time notification of emergency information, drawing on IoT data sources and Cisco Spark Collaboration tools.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cisco and Google Partner on New Hybrid Cloud Solution

Cisco and Google Cloud have formed a partnership to deliver a hybrid cloud solutions that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform. The pilot implementations are expected to be launched early next year, with commercial rollout later in 2018.

The main idea is to deliver a consistent Kubernetes environment for both on-premises Cisco Private Cloud Infrastructure and Google’s managed Kubernetes service, Google Container Engine.

The companies said their open hybrid cloud offering will provide enterprises with a way to run, secure and monitor workloads, thus enabling them to optimize their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid vendor lock in.

Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid solution highlights:


  • Orchestration and Management – Policy-based Kubernetes orchestration and lifecycle management of resources, applications and services across hybrid environments
  • Networking – Extend network policy and configurations to multiple on-premises and cloud environments
  • Security – Extend Security policy and monitor applications behavior
  • Visibility and Control – Real-time network and application performance monitoring and automation
  • Cloud-ready Infrastructure – Hyperconverged platform supporting existing application and cloud-native Kubernetes environments
  • Service Management with Istio – Open-source solution provides a uniform way to connect, secure, manage and monitor microservices
  • API Management – Google's Apigee enterprise-class API management enables legacy workloads running on premises to connect to the cloud through APIs
  • Developer Ready – Cisco's DevNet Developer Center provides tools and resources for cloud and enterprise developers to code in hybrid environments
  • Support – Joint coordinated technical support for the solution

"Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer— agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support," said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer, Cisco. "We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers."

"This joint solution from Google and Cisco facilitates an easy and incremental approach to tapping the benefits of the Cloud. This is what we hear customers asking for," said Diane Greene, CEO, Google Cloud.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cisco to acquire Broadsoft for collaboration software

Cisco agreed to acquire BroadSoft $55 per share, in cash, for an aggregate price of $1.9 billion. The companies said the deal is driven by the opportunities presented for business collaboration tools, especially integrated experiences across meetings, calling and contact centers, both on-premise and in the cloud.

Broadsoft, which is based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a leading provider of unified communications (UC) software and services. It Broadsoft Business product is an open communication suite with mobility and security features for enterprises. Its flagship BroadWorks application software lets service providers deploy an extensive portfolio of business communications and collaboration services from a common network platform. BroadWorks operates in IMS and next-generation network configurations, delivering services over traditional wireline, mobile (2G, 3G, VoLTE, WiFi), wireless and cable networks. In cloud UC call control new line shipments, Broadsoft claims the largest market share (followed by Cisco), with UC installations by 25 of the world's top service providers, for over 3 million lines installed.

As of the end of 2016, BroadSoft had 1,597 employees in 23 countries, including 732 in the U.S.

Broadsoft total revenues:

2012 - $165 million
2013 - $178 million
2014 - $217 million
2015 - $279 million
2016 - $341 million

"We are excited about this transaction, which represents the culmination of a robust process undertaken by BroadSoft's Board of Directors to maximize shareholder value," said Michael Tessler, president and CEO, BroadSoft. "As businesses continue to move toward the cloud in search of simplicity and speed, joining Cisco will allow us to deliver best-in-class collaboration tools and services. BroadSoft's hosted offerings, sold through the Service Providers and aimed at small and medium businesses, are highly complementary to Cisco's on-premises and enterprise-centric HCS offerings. Together, we can inspire teams to create, collaborate and perform in ways never before imagined."

"Cisco recently marked a significant milestone with our 200th acquisition. Acquisitions continue to be a core part of our innovation strategy and over the past two years have helped Cisco accelerate or enter areas such as IoT, application intelligence, AI, hyperconvergence and SD-WAN," said Rob Salvagno, vice president of Cisco Corporate Development. "With the addition of BroadSoft, we expect to accelerate the pace of innovation across our entire collaboration portfolio."

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cisco releases Application Centric Infrastructure 3.0

Cisco released version 3.0 of its Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) software-defined networking (SDN) solution for data centers and enterprise clouds. The latest software adds key features for multi-site scalability, container integration, and enhanced security.

The new ACI 3.0 features include:

  • Multi-site Management: Customers can seamlessly connect and manage multiple ACI fabrics that are geographically distributed to improve availability by isolating fault domains, and provide a global view of network policy through a single management portal. This greatly simplifies disaster recovery and the ability to scale out applications.
  • Kubernetes Integration: Customers can deploy their workloads as micro-services in containers, define ACI network policy for these through Kubernetes, and get unified networking constructs for containers, virtual machines, and bare-metal. This brings the same level of deep integration to containers ACI has had with numerous hypervisors.
  • Improved Operational Flexibility and Visibility: The new Next Gen ACI User Interface improves usability with new consistent layouts and simplified topology views, and troubleshooting wizards. In addition, ACI now includes graceful insertion and removal, support for mixed operating systems and quota management, and latency measurements across fabric end points for troubleshooting.
  • Security: ACI 3.0 delivers new capabilities to protect networks by mitigating attacks such as IP/MAC spoofing with First Hop Security integration, automatically authenticating workloads in-band and placing them in trusted security groups, and support for granular policy enforcement for end points within the same security group.

“As our customers shift to multi-cloud strategies, they are seeking ways to simplify the management and scalability of their environments,” said Ish Limkakeng, senior vice president for data center networking at Cisco.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Telenor and Cisco introduce WorkingGroupTwo

Telenor and Cisco are launching a new business entity called “WorkingGroupTwo” (WG2) that will offer mobile operators a cloud solutions platform.

WG2 will offer a mobile-core-network as-a-service and as-a-platform supporting IoT and other industry verticals.

Erlend Prestgard has been appointed CEO of “WorkingGroupTwo” and Birger Magnus has been appointed Chairman of the Board. The Board of Directors and employees own about 5% of the company, with Telenor and Digital Alpha LLC owning the remaining shares in equal proportion.

“The “WorkingGroupTwo” platform is a Telenor innovation. I am proud that we as a company are able to leverage new technologies to make a pioneering telco platform with the potential of bringing the whole industry forward. We are firmly committed to supporting “WorkingGroupTwo”, and want to give the entity the freedom to unleash wider industry eco-system dynamics. For this reason we have also set up a strong global partnership with Cisco,” said Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

“Cisco’s partnership with Telenor to launch “WorkingGroupTwo” demonstrates how we are driving positive change for our customers,” said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.  “Our joint efforts will help mobile operators automate the delivery of mobile cloud services and deliver innovation at a faster pace.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Uniserver deploys Cisco Virtual Topology System in its data centre

Uniserver, a Netherlands-based cloud hosting provider, has deployed Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS), a standards-based, open software-overlay management and provisioning system for network provisioning of its virtual and physical infrastructure. The goal is greater programmability and accelerated provisioning of its data center network fabric.

Cisco said its Virtual Topology System brings increased simplicity and a repeatable process for high-quality, error-free provisioning. It supports multivendor infrastructure and operational systems like OpenStack and vCenter.

“Our focus is to help service providers such as Uniserver, as well as enterprise operations teams, reduce network configuration complexity and enhance the agility of their multi-tenant cloud environments,” said Jonathan Davidson, SVP/GM Service Provider Networking, Cisco. “This is in line with their mission of simplifying complex IT, and we are pleased to help enable Uniserver provide quality of service to its partners through the adoption of this technology. We are committed to continuing to support them in their network transformation journey.”

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cisco completes acquisition of Springpath

Cisco completed its previously-announced acquisition of Springpath, a start-up specializing in hyperconvergence software for $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards.

Springpath, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, has developed a distributed file system purpose-built for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems. Cisco and Springpath have worked together since early 2016 to launch HyperFlex, a fully integrated hyperconverged infrastructure system.

Cisco said the acquisition will allow it to continue to deliver next-generation data center innovation to its customers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

CenturyLink packages cloud-managed Business Wi-Fi from Cisco Meraki

CenturyLink is leveraging the Cisco Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution to offer a bundled service with businesses with up to 250 employees.

CenturyLink Business Wi-Fi provides a secure Wi-Fi with real-time monitoring and analytics for companies that would prefer not to manage their wireless network on their own.

CenturyLink said its Business Wi-Fi provides an enterprise-grade solution with fast deployment, simple administration and increased visibility into network users, all from a single provider. In addition to network transport, CenturyLink provides Cisco Meraki access points and software licenses (eight access points per location for up to five locations), access to Meraki's cloud-based dashboard and 24/7 operational support.

Monday, September 18, 2017

John Chambers to step down as chairman of Cisco

John Chambers will step down as Executive Chairman of the Cisco Board of Directors in December and he will not stand for re-election to the board of directors.

Cisco's Board plans appoint Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to serve as its next chairman. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Chambers served as CEO of Cisco from January 1995 to July 26, 2015, and as Executive Chairman since then.  Chuck Robbins has served as CEO since July 26, 2015.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cisco to acquire Springpath for hyperconvergence software - $320m

Cisco agreed to acquire Springpath, a start-up specializing in hyperconvergence software for $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards.

Springpath, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, has developed a distributed file system purpose-built for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems. Cisco and Springpath have worked together since early 2016 to launch HyperFlex, a fully integrated hyperconverged infrastructure system.

Cisco said the acquisition will allow it to continue to deliver next-generation data center innovation to its customers.

"This acquisition is a meaningful addition to our data center portfolio and aligns with our overall transition to providing more software-centric solutions," said Rob Salvagno, Cisco vice president, Corporate Business Development. "Springpath's file system technology was built specifically for hyperconvergence, which we believe will deliver sustainable differentiation in this fast-growing segment. I'm excited to be able to provide our customers and partners with the simplicity and agility they need in data center innovation."

http://www.springpath.com
http://www.cisco.com

  • Springpath was co-founded by Mallik Mahalingam and Krishna Yadappanavar, both whom previously held senior engineering roles at VMware.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cisco posts quarterly revenue of $12.1 billion, down 4% yoy

Cisco reported fourth quarter revenue of $12.1 billion, down 4% from $12.6 billion from the same time last year. Net income (GAAP) was $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, down 14% from $2.8 billion a year ago.

For FY 2017, Cisco's total revenue amounted to $48.0 billion, a decrease of 2%. On a GAAP basis, net income was $9.6 billion and EPS was $1.90.

"We had another strong quarter and a transformative year. We made tremendous progress transitioning our business to more software and recurring revenue and delivered on our commitment to accelerate innovation in our core and across the portfolio," said Chuck Robbins, CEO, Cisco. "The network has never been more critical to business success and we are building the network of the future."

Some highlights


  • Product revenue was down 5% and service revenue up 1%. 
  • 31% of total revenue was from recurring offers, up 4 percentage points from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016. 
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas down 6%, EMEA down 6%, and APJC up 6%. 
  • Product revenue performance was led by Wireless and Security which increased 5% and 3%, respectively. NGN Routing and Switching revenue each decreased 9%. Service Provider Video, Data Center, and Collaboration revenue decreased 10%, 4%, and 3%, respectively.
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin and product gross margin were 62.2% and 60.3%, respectively. 

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1873317

Cisco's intent-based, intuitive networking launch – Part 2


An interesting aspect of Cisco's new strategic direction with its Intent-based enterprise networking is that the company has made a major bet on developing proprietary ASICs rather than relying on merchant Ethernet switching silicon from Broadcom, Cavium, Barefoot, Innovium or other merchant semiconductor suppliers. There are a number of reasons why the company may have chosen this approach. First, with Broadcom dominating the market for Ethernet...

Cisco's intent-based, intuitive networking launch – Part 1


This week Cisco outlined its vision for Intent-based Networking. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins described the unveiling as the most significant announcement from the company in perhaps the last five years and as the 'foundation for networking' for the next 30 years. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, it is a vision. It is not a technology nor a network architecture, it is a vision of machine learning that will be applied to make networks more agile,...


Monday, August 7, 2017

Cisco completes acquisition of Viptela for $610m

Cisco announced that it has completed the acquisition of Viptela, a privately held start-up company focused on software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) technology based in San Jose, California, for approximately $610 million in cash and assumed equity awards under an agreement originally announced in May, 2017.

Viptela has developed a secure overlay fabric for SD-WAN, cloud onramp and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) applications for enterprise clients. The Viptela fabric is designed to enable separation of control, data, management and orchestration layers and integrates routing, security and policy controls and application awareness across all elements in the system. A key feature of the solution is integrated authentication, encryption, segmentation and access controls.

Viptela has announced major deployments of its fabric solution with customers including Verizon, Singtel and NTTPC of Japan.

Cisco noted that it already offers the software-based Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) and Meraki SD-WAN solutions, with the Viptela acquisition intended to enable it to accelerate the development of next generation SD-WAN solutions. The Viptela team will join Cisco's Enterprise Routing team within the Networking and Security Business, led by SVP David Goeckeler.


* In June, Cisco unveiled its 'intent-based' networking solutions that are designed to provide an intuitive network able to continuously learn and adapt and automate and protect processes and services to provide organisations with an intelligent and secure platform for digital transformation. The acquisition of Viptela will support its strategic transition towards a software-centric, subscription-led networking model.

* Cisco stated that it plans to commit significant engineering resources to deliver next-generation SD-WAN solutions based on Viptela's technology. Cisco will combine Viptela's cloud-first network management, orchestration and overlay technologies with its existing enterprise routing platforms and solutions.

* Cisco, which was an investor in Viptela, entered into an agreement to acquire the company for $610 million from equity investors including Redline Captial, Northgate Capital and Sequoia Capital. The company was founded in 2012 and had raised total funding of approximately $108 million in four rounds, including $75 million in a Series C funding round announced in May 2016.

Friday, August 4, 2017

SoftBank deploys Cisco NCS with Segment Routing

Cisco Systems GK announced that SoftBank of Japan has adopted the Cisco Network Convergence System 5500 Series to enable high-density 100 Gigabit Ethernet routing and Segment Routing technology to optimise network operations for its next-generation mobile IP core network.

Cisco noted that mobile carriers such as SoftBank not only face the need to respond to the demands of user growth by delivering higher communication speeds, lower latency and dynamic provisioning that will be enabled by 5G networks, but also to deliver new mobile services to home and enterprise markets. SoftBank is planning to upgrade and expand its existing equipment that supports mobile Internet traffic, which is forecast to increase at a rate of 50% per year.

As part of this initiative, SoftBank has upgraded the core routers used in its existing network to the Cisco NCS 5500 Series, which is capable of supporting 576 x 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This capacity will enable the company to build a next-generation mobile IP core network able to meet the bandwidth demands from the deployment of new services such as IoT and mobile video.

Cisco noted that the next-generation mobile IP core network is able to support high-traffic volume and to reduce fault recovery time to help improve the processes for ensuring the high reliability of services in the event a fault occurs.

In addition, SoftBank has become the first company in Japan to introduce Segment Routing technology provided by Cisco, which is designed to simplify and optimise the mobile IP core network and facilitate the automation of network operations.

Cisco's Segment Routing TI-LFA capability is designed to reduce fault recovery time while also improving reliability and redundancy. This can enable the provisioning of a more reliable mobile network while delivering an enhanced user experience for SoftBank's consumer and corporate customers.

Through the deployment, SoftBank is aiming to become more competitive by enabling the rapid, flexible deployment of reliable services leveraging a core network that can support traffic demand while providing low operating costs.

Cisco noted that according to its recent Mobile Visual Networking Index Forecast (VNI) 2016-21, global mobile data traffic will increase seven-fold to 1.4 zettabytes over the period, driven by increasing mobile users, smartphones and the Internet of Things (IoT), higher network speeds and rising mobile video consumption.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cisco observations – Moving towards software on a subscription model

Will large enterprises and Service Providers customers embrace Cisco's high-performance networking platforms built with its own ASICs and OSx, or continue to push for white box platforms based on merchant silicon and fully open software? Will the global ransomware outbreaks of the past two months play to Cisco's advantage as enterprises re-evaluate their security posture and perhaps adopt a more core network-centric approach?

Cisco provided an update on its strategic vision at its recent Cisco Live! customer event in Las Vegas. Materials from this event can be found on the company's Investor Relations web page.

Cisco currently is in an enviable market position. It holds the leading market share in at least 10 market categories; it has 20,000 people working in sales and perhaps 60,000 erstwhile partners around the world. For its most recent fiscal quarter, ended April 29th, Cisco reported revenue of $11.9 billion, GAAP net income of $2.5 billion, or 50c per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion, or 60c per share. Sales fell by 1% compared to a year earlier but the company deliver a 5% growth in net income, thanks to cost-cutting measures. Cisco's balance sheet most recently showed $125.950 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and other assets, clearly a mountain of gold that could be used for strategic acquisitions or simply returned to shareholders. Cisco's market cap stands at $160.4 billion. Compare all of this to its nearest rivals, especially the big European concerns, and Cisco’s position is quite strong.

Mergers and acquisitions strategy

Cisco's management perpetually faces the question of execution in a market that overall has been pretty flat and declining in many sectors and geographies. With a gross margin consistently in the mid-60 percentage range, the company is vulnerable to lower cost competitors. Huawei and ZTE, in particular, deliver highly competitive products at lower cost. Cisco is also known for making a lot of acquisitions. Over the years some have been hugely successful for the company, such as the Ethernet switching acquisitions (Crescendo, Grand Junction and Kalpana), while others were huge failures (e.g. Scientific Atlanta).

During briefings at Cisco Live!, Chuck Robbins said the company remains open to strategic mergers and acquisitions that are capable of augmenting and accelerating its core innovation. The company has 160 staff members dedicated to M&A integration. Over the past four years, 80% of the acquisitions have been software related- this is a trend likely to continue. The Meraki and Sourcefire acquisitions were called out for delivering double digit returns.

The differentiated vision of intent-based networking

Cisco new intent-based networking vision, which includes a new DNA Center for orchestrating control over networking traffic, the new ASIC-powered Catalyst 9000 series switches, and a unique ability to analyse encrypted traffic, is already being tested by 75 global organisations. Naturally, Cisco finds measurable improvements for customers testing the new solution, claiming: a 67% time savings for network provisioning, 48% reduced security breach impact, 61% reduced opex. It is too early to see how premium the customers are willing to pay for better management capabilities.

Better security is perhaps the stronger argument for Cisco to make for its silicon-differentiated platforms. In his talk to the investment community, David Goeckeler SVP/GM, Networking and Security Business, argued forcefully that effective security requires a network that can find threats, containing threats, and delivering automated remediation. This depends on leveraging network data, a resource that new ASIC-driven switching platforms can deliver in abundance. When you put together deep analytics and machine learning in an automated policy enforcement system, you have the fundamentals for intent-based infrastructure. Software-defined access can be used to limit the lateral movement for threats. Automated responses mean that human management of network is replaced.

Moving to a recurring revenue model

Perhaps the biggest change in direction for Cisco is that it is actively moving existing offers to subscriptions. In other words, software that used to be consumed on a perpetual basis will now become recurring revenue. Already, more than $2 billion of revenue that could have been recognised under the old model is not being collected on a recurring licensing basis. Over the FY17-20 timeframe, Cisco expects this to grow to 2-3% of total revenue. When factoring in other services already on a recurring model, such as Spark/WebEx, Meraki software, Jasper and Cisco ONE, the total percentage of recurring revenue is expected to grow from 26% in FY 14 to 37% in FY20. The security offers are expected to drive the subscription business. The net effect is improved predictability of future revenue.

Financial guidance for the next 3-5 years

Given its size, Cisco can hardly expect to grow much faster than the market. Overall, the updated financial guidance calls for revenue growth of 1-3%, stable margins, and EPS growth in the mid-single digits. Cisco said it aims to return over 50% of free cash flow to shareholders. Over the past ten years this has been the case. Approximately 50% of cash has been used for share repurchase and about 15% for dividend payments.

The 3-5-year growth forecast is also broken down by segments:

Technology;                Revenue growth

1.  Infrastructure platforms                 flat

2.  Security                              low to mid-teens

3.  Applications                       high single digits to low teens

4.  Services                              mid-single digits


To summarise, Cisco is betting that differentiated innovation will pay off because customers value the deeply embedded security and automation. Though revenues will only grow in the 1-3% range, earning per share should continue to expand as the company moves to a recurring subscription model for up to 37% of its revenue. Cisco promises to return 50% or more of free cash flow to shareholders, and the probability of further mergers and acquisitions remains strong, especially for networking software and service start-ups.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

TIM selects Cisco for optical packet metro network upgrade

Italy's TIM announced it is expanding its network transformation agreement with Cisco to renew its OPM (optical packet metro) infrastructure, and will introduce Cisco's ASR 9000 (Aggregation Services Router) solution to modernise its OPM network.

TIM's optical metro network collects and aggregates accesses to fixed, mobile and company lines, and by deploying the Cisco ASR 9000 the operator aims to increase the speed and efficiency of the infrastructure to support growing video and data traffic by integrating technologies that will also facilitate the adoption of 5G in the future.

Under the agreement, TIM and Cisco have launched a project designed to transform TIM's OPM network in Italy. Cisco noted that the project represents a key stage in the evolution of TIM's IP network via the deployment of new automation mechanisms and software defined network (SDN) technology that will help to deliver greater operational efficiency and enable new business models, as well as supporting the adoption of 5G technology.

When completed, the project will enable TIM to more effectively advance the digitisation of its fixed and mobile services for consumer, business and wholesale customers by simplifying and optimising operational models, delivering higher quality IP traffic transport and more bandwidth via the provision of 100 Gbit/s IP connectivity to metropolitan areas.

TIM noted that the investment is part of its 3-year, Euro 5 billion network modernisation plan for the period 2017-19 designed to speed the implementation of national ultra-broadband (fibre and 4G) coverage, with the goal of extending such coverage to 99% of fixed-network homes and over 99% of the population with 4G by the end of 2019.



* TIM recently announced that it had enabled upload speeds of up to 75 Mbit/s for all mobile customers, and that from July this year would offer 700 Mbit/s download speeds, over its 4.5G network in Turin, Milan, Rome, Naples, Palermo, Taormina and Giardini-Naxos. In addition, the company announced plans to launch a new 1,000 Mbit/s fixed-line service in 70 Italian municipalities.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cisco – fog computing power combined with IoT management

by James E. Carroll

This week brings the 28th occurrence of Cisco Live!, the company's big technology and customer showcase (previously known as Networkers) that brings thousands of attendees to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The big news was unveiled at a press conference last week in San Francisco, with Cisco seeking to 'reinvent networking' by applying machine learning to new network platforms powered by custom ASICs and secured via the Cisco Talos threat management platform. With this big news already out the door, the Cisco Live! event can focus on other topics including the company’s budding partnerships with Apple and Ericsson, as well as the theme of edge computing, which is gaining momentum across the industry.

Bringing compute power to the edge

As the number of connected devices grows, the flow of data from the edge of the network to the core increases. In his Cisco Live! key note, company CEO Chuck Robbins observed that we are already in a multi-cloud world. In the IoT context, this is good because data will flow from the edge to multiple cores, thus avoiding the problem of single point for concentration. Another increasingly popular term for this is fog computing. The recently published Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that M2M connections will represent 46% of connected devices by 2020.

There is the possibility to distribute general purpose computing resources at the edge of the network. By processing data at the edge, we can determine which data needs to be transported to a core data centre and which data can be acted on locally. Once it has been determined which data should be sent to the core, there is a need to transport it securely. Devices need to be managed and traffic analysed to understand the impact on network performance. Cisco already provides these capabilities through its edge devices and with its Cisco Jasper platform. The idea is to expand the Jasper franchise, thus building a business with predictable and recurring revenue in a market segment with extremely fast growth.

The Jasper connection and Edge processing

In February 2016, Cisco acquired Jasper Technologies for $1.4 billion in cash and assumed equity awards. The deal was finalised the following month. The Santa Clara, California-based start-up, headed by Jahangir Mohammed, a serial entrepreneur known for his previous company Kineto Wireless, developed a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) platform to manage connected devices. At the time the Cisco acquisition was announced, Jasper claimed to have 3,500 enterprise customers and 27 service provider customers. Jasper had been working with AT&T on connected device management since at least 2009.

Currently, Cisco Jasper claims over 11,000 enterprises and 43 million devices using its IoT management platform. One notable customer is Amazon which manages Kindle devices using Cisco Jasper. Listed service provider customers include AT&T, Telefonica, Singtel, KT, China Unicom, NTT Docomo, VimpleCom, Vivo, Bell, Telus, Rogers, Comcast, Optus, Telstra, Etisalat, TIM, O2, and many others. In the automotive sector, Cisco Jasper is used by a number of manufacturers, including Ford, GM, Subaru, and VW. Several of these players, notably GM, are now including connected car service as a basic feature for many models, which means tens of thousands of new connections every month for a single customer. At Cisco Live!, Chuck Robbins said the 1.7 million new devices are being managed by Cisco Jasper every month. In fact, Cisco now claims this to be the world’s largest IoT connectivity management platform.

The idea of actionable intelligence at the network edge is a powerful one. One example cited at Cisco Live is Chevron, the multinational energy company based in San Ramon, California. As one of the largest oil companies worldwide, Chevron has drilling operations in locations across the west coast of North America, the U.S. gulf coast, Australia, Nigeria, Angola, Kazakhstan, and other locations. In the U.S., Chevron operates approximately 11,000 oil and natural gas wells. Its $43 billion Gorgon Gas Project in rural Western Australia is the largest liquified natural gas (LNG) initiative in the world. Drilling is extremely data intensive activity, and rigs and wells are being equipped with every possible type of automated sensors, resulting in a tremendous flow of data. Previously, achieving actionable intelligence from a rig out in the field typically took 2 weeks. With its IoT edge processing, Cisco said it is able cut actionable intelligence response time to under 2 seconds.

Chevron is an interesting example of edge computing which could be quite powerful in many vertical applications. For service providers, although edge processing might reduce the total volume of data traversing the network, it makes the flow of sensor data more predictable. It also makes the network more intelligent and therefore of higher value to the end customer. Service providers working on IoT will probably look to follow this model. Cisco says that by transforming IoT sensor data, fog applications like this can also benefit its ecosystem partners. The distributed IoT network can function as the compute environment for fog applications. Other examples of deployed fog applications include site asset management, energy monitoring, and smart parking.

The first evolution of Cisco Jasper

Fifteen months after completing the Jasper acquisition, Cisco is announcing the first upgrade to the platform under its ownership. Cisco Jasper Control Center 7.0 focuses on lifecycle automation, analytics, security, cost management and back-end integration. Enhancements in this release include better tools for traffic segmentation to allow deeper revenue and service models, as well tools to prevent attacks at the DNS layer. It also offers:

·         Advanced capabilities via a new tier of the platform – Control Center Advanced – which caters to customers with more sophisticated deployments that need greater capabilities, including advanced security solutions, automation and analytics.

·         Premium services, a threat protection and smart security (TPSS) service that provides an IoT-specific solution to protect against malware and other cybersecurity threats built on Cisco Umbrella; traffic segmentation provides a new solution to support different types of revenue generation models, with Cisco Jasper service providers can customize premium services to meet their customers’ specific needs.

·         LPWAN Support: Control Center 7. extends the platform's capabilities, including the platform's global reach and scale via support for cellular networks to low power devices via support for multiple LPWAN technologies including NB-IoT and LTE-M.

See also