Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cisco Tackles Network Storage with 24 Tbps Director Switch

Cisco introduced a multilayer storage director boasting 24 terabits per second of total switching capacity, almost three times the bandwidth of any director in the industry, along with a new fabric switch. The products are aimed at serving massive amounts of data, solid state drives (SSD) and cloud-based environments.

The new Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director supports both high-density Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over Ethernet, enabling consistent SAN and LAN networking operations. It builds on the company's MDS heritage of nonstop operations, including software upgrades, by providing the highest fault-tolerant capabilities with fully redundant (N+1) fans, switching fabrics, and power-supplies or grid redundancy (N:N). It accepts new 48-port 16 GB Fibre Channel and 48-port 10 GB FCoE line cards, enabling the platform to scale up to 384 line-rate 16 GB Fibre Channel ports or FCoE in a single 14 RU chassis.

The Cisco MDS 9250i Multiservice Fabric Switch delivers storage services, including Cisco I/O accelerator and Data Mobility Manager, which improve SAN efficiency by performing important storage services centrally in the fabric.  It offers up to 40 line-rate ports of 16GB FC/FICON, 8 ports of 10 GE FCoE, and 2 ports of 1/10GE FCIP/iSCSI, while delivering a rich set of storage services via licensing. A SAN Extension capability enables backup, remote replication, and other disaster-recovery services over WAN distances using open-standards FCIP tunneling. In addition, a Cisco I/O Accelerator (IOA) provides acceleration for MAN/WAN applications, and wire encryption for backup and replication operations, making disaster recovery and regulatory compliance easier.

Ericsson Sees Strong Growth in North America, Other Regions Stall

Ericsson reported Q1 2013 net sales of SEK 52.0 billion (US$7.84 billion), down 22% compared to Q4 2012 but up 2% compared to Q1 2012. Operating income, including joint ventures, was SEK 2.1 billion,  with an operating margin of 4.0%.

"Sales showed positive development in the quarter with a growth of 2% YoY, despite currency headwind. Sales for comparable units, adjusted for FX and hedging, grew 7%," said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

"The sales increase was primarily driven by Networks and rollout services, following high project activities primarily in Europe and North America. North America remained the strongest region and showed a growth of 23% despite the decline in CDMA. North East Asia had a challenging quarter with lower sales in South Korea, which remains one of the most advanced LTE markets but without parallel 3G deployments as in Q112, continued structural decline in GSM investments in China and FX effects in Japan," added Vestberg.

Some highlights:

  • Networks sales increased 3% YoY, primarily driven by North America and South East Asia. Networks sales decreased -20% QoQ, partly due to lower sales in North East Asia, offset by continued high business activity in North America.
  • Global Services grew 4% YoY, driven by Network Rollout and decreased -24% QoQ, partly due to lower business activity in North East Asia and delays in LTE deployments in Latin America.
  • Support Solutions sales declined -19% YoY and -33% QoQ, mainly due to the divestment of Multimedia Brokering (IPX) in Q312 and negative FX effects.
  • Restructuring charges for the Group amounted to SEK 1.8 (0.6) b., of which SEK 1.4 b. related to the significant reduction of operations in Sweden.

Sprint's Network Vision Remains On Track

Sprint reported wireless service revenue of $7.1 billion for its Sprint platform network, up nearly 9 percent year-over-year. Consolidated net service revenues of nearly $8 billion were flat year-over-year as Sprint platform growth offset declines in Nextel platform and Wireline revenues.  Operating income for the quarter was $29 million as compared to a loss of $255 million in the year-ago

"This is a transformative year for Sprint and we’ve gotten off to a good start,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "Record Sprint platform service revenue and subscriber levels fueled our performance. We achieved significant Adjusted OIBDA growth while investing heavily to improve our network, expanding our 4G LTE footprint and offering customers the best smartphones with truly unlimited data plans."

Some highlights from Q1:

  • The company's Network Vision deployment is on track.  To date, there are more than 13,500 sites on air compared to more than 8,000 reported on Feb. 7. The number of sites that are either ready for construction, already underway or completed has grown to more than 25,000.
  • Sprint's LTE network is now operational in 88 cities, including newly launched Los Angeles, Boston and Charlotte, N.C.. The company expects that 4G LTE will be available in more than 170 additional cities in the coming months.
  • At the end of Q1, there were 53,896,000 subscribers on the Sprint platform, up by 356,00 for the quarter.
  • At the end of Q1, there were 1,315,000 subscribers left on the Nextel network. Sprint captured about 46% of exiting Nextel customers in Q1.
  • Sprint platform prepaid net adds of 568,000, including 67,000 subscribers recaptured from the Nextel prepaid platform
  • The Nextel network will be deactivated on June 30.
  • 86% of quarterly Sprint platform postpaid handset sales were smartphones, including more than 1.5 million iPhones sold during the quarter. Forty-three percent of iPhone sales were to new customers. 

  • Postpaid ARPU on the Sprint platform was $63.67 for Q1.

Gigamon's Unified Visibility Fabric Architecture Spans Physical, Virtual, SDN

Gigamon outlined its vision for software-defined monitoring based on a four-layer architecture: a Services Layer, a Management Layer, an Orchestration Layer and an Applications Layer.

Gigamon said its strategy is to develop a unified Visibility Fabric architecture that would ultimately deliver orchestrated visibility across physical, virtual and software-defined networks (SDN). This will build on Gigamon's existing architecture and the principles of SDN to provide a centralized, programmable approach that aims to bridge the gap between the raw data passing through the network and optimally presenting that data to the tools that monitor, manage, secure and ensure application and network performance.
  • The Services Layer currently provides advanced Flow Mapping® and intelligent packet optimization and normalization using GigaSMART technology across physical and virtual worlds and, and Gigamon expects to expand this layer to include software defined data networks with the GigaVUE-CV application which is currently being developed as a proof of concept.
  • The Management Layer consists of the GigaVUE-FM (Fabric Manager) which provides centralized management and a common policy framework for multi-department and multi-tenant traffic monitoring and manipulation policies across the Visibility Fabric architecture.
  • The Orchestration Layer will be developed by Gigamon to provide an open environment through a set of forthcoming APIs and SDKs to enable third party development of applications.  
  • The Applications Layer will consist of a set of visibility applications to be developed by Gigamon, as well as through independent software vendors to deliver optimal tool utilization and performance.
"As data networks evolve from physical to virtual to software-defined networks (SDN), the role of network visibility needs to evolve as well," said Shehzad Merchant, Chief Strategy Officer at Gigamon. "The Gigamon Unified Visibility Fabric architecture has advanced the vision from providing intelligent traffic filtering and aggregation, to a centralized, policy driven fabric that serves multiple constituents, departments and tools, each with their own policy model. Going forward, we expect that the Unified Visibility Fabric architecture would enable customers to implement 'Visibility as a Service'. And, as Gigamon continues to develop its offerings, our vision is that this ability will not just be for the physical network, but also across virtual and SDN 'islands' as well."

EarthLink Opens Data Center in Dallas for Cloud Hosting

EarthLink announced the opening of a new data center in Dallas.

EarthLink said it is also preparing to open three additional data centers in Chicago, San Jose and Miami in the coming months. These four new data centers, in addition to the existing center in Pittsford, NY, provide the company with a total of five data centers on its next generation cloud hosting platform.

EarthLink also operates data centers in Atlanta, Columbia, SC and Marlborough, MA., all linked to its nationwide IP network.

Transmode Picked for 100G Backbone in Hong Kong

Hutchison Global Communications Limited (HGC) awarded a 3-year contract to Transmode to supply a ROADM-based 100G optical backbone network for a new high capacity network in Hong Kong.

Under the frame agreement, HGC will deploy Transmode’s TM-Series including Gigabit Ethernet, 2.5G, 10G, 40G and 100G transport over an 80-wavelength ROADM-based Flexible Optical Network with Transmode’s Enlighten multi-layer management suite. The first deliveries for the project have already started and initial services are planned to be operational in H1, 2013.

The new network, which will cover the entire region, including Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories, will initially serve corporate and wholesale customers by interconnecting a large number of customer premises, data centres and submarine cable landing stations.

Broadband Forum Approves Specs for VDLS2 Testing

The Broadband Forum released its BroadbandSuite 6.1, offering practical implementation resources, functional and performance test plans, and best practice specification for DSL quality assurance.  Notable items include the following technical specifications:

  • TR-114i2: “VDSL2 Performance Test Plan”
  • TR-115i2: “VDSL2 Functionality Test Plan”
  • TR-273: “Testing of Bonded Multi-pair Systems”
  • TR-286: “Testing of MELT Functionality on xDSL Ports”
  • TR-188i2: “DSL Quality Suite”

BroadbandSuite 6.1 is a resource of global test plans for ADSL2plus and VDSL2 function and performance. It also defines vectoring and bonding options for supercharging DSL, and key methods for improving quality measurements, IPTV service delivery and techniques for DSL network management.

"BroadbandSuite 6.1 gives operators a way to boost their existing copper deployments as a valuable part of the multi-access platform that is emerging around the world. High speed VDSL2 works well with fiber, providing Operators the ability to capitalize on existing investments whilst effectively engineering hybrid FTTx solutions to minimize costs, all the while maximizing speed and reach of their superfast broadband networks," stated Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

Qualcomm Posts Q1 Revenue of $6.12 Billion, up 24% YoY

Qualcomm reported Q1 revenue of $6.12 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year  and 2 percent sequentially.  Net income was $1.87 billion, down 16 percent YoY and 2 percent sequentially.  Diluted earnings per share were $1.06, down 17 percent YoY and 3 percent sequentially.

During the quarter, MSM chip shipments reached 173 million units, up 14 percent YoY and down 5 percent sequentially.

"We delivered another strong quarter as the worldwide adoption of smartphones continues,” saidDr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm. “Looking forward, we are seeing strong traction with our new Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and 800 processors, and we continue to expect healthy growth in 3G and 3G/4G multimode devices around the world. We are pleased to be raising our calendar 2013 3G/4G device shipment estimates and our revenue and earnings guidance for fiscal 2013.”

F5 Posts Revenue of $365.5 Million, Down 4%

F5 Networks reported revenue of $350.2 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2013, down four percent from $365.5 million in the prior quarter and up three percent from $339.6 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2012.  GAAP net income was $63.4 million ($0.80 per diluted share) compared to $69.5 million ($0.88 per diluted share) in the first quarter of 2013 and $68.6 million ($0.86 per diluted share) in the second quarter a year ago.

“As we indicated in our announcement of preliminary results on April 4, service provider revenues for the second quarter came in significantly below our expectations,” said John McAdam, F5 president and chief executive officer.  “We believe this was primarily due to project delays, which caused customers to postpone orders that we had expected to close during the quarter. The weakness in sales to service providers was especially pronounced in North America. In addition, sales to the Federal government were also below our internal forecast as a consequence of continuing uncertainty over the impact of sequestration and other efforts to reduce Federal spending.

Infinera Posts Q1 Revenue of $124.6 Million, Loss Narrows

Infinera reported Q1 revenue of $124.6 million, compared to $128.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $104.7 million in the first quarter of 2012.  The GAAP gross margin for Q1 was 34% compared to 34% in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 39% in the first quarter of 2012.  GAAP net loss for the quarter was $(15.3) million, or $(0.13) per share, compared to net loss of $(16.1) million, or $(0.14) per share, in the fourth quarter of 2012 and net loss of $(20.6) million, or $(0.19) per share, in the first quarter of 2012.

“Our first quarter performance demonstrated solid execution in a traditionally slow quarter for the industry,” said Tom Fallon, president and chief executive officer.  “The DTN-X platform continued to gain traction in the market.  During the quarter, we received purchase commitments from six additional customers, including two new to Infinera, for a total of 27 DTN-X customer commitments to date.  Customer deployments were strong and we shipped a record number of 100G ports.

Ceragon Lands $8 Million Order in South America

Ceragon confirmed that a leading mobile operator in the Southern Cone region of Latin America has placed new orders valued at more than $8 million. The project has been ongoing since early 2012.

Ceragon is supplying its FibeAir IP-10 and Evolution Long Haul solutions to help connect new 3G sites while expanding the capacity of the network’s backbone. The project is expected to be completed by Q3 2013.

Infonetics: Ethernet Surge Continues, 40G and 100G Prices Decline

The number of 1G, 10G, 40G, and 100G network ports shipped on service provider and enterprise equipment in 2012 grew 22% over the previous year, to top 360 million, according to a new report from Infonetics.

“Overall, shipments of all port speeds have been on a steady upward path as a result of growing network traffic and the need to constantly upgrade networks, but the revenue growth opportunity is in higher-speed ports (10G, 40G, 100G – excluding 1G), shipments for which shot up 62% in 2012,” notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

Some highlights:

  • 10G currently accounts for about 3/4 of all high-speed (10G+) ports shipped
  • 1G ports still make up a significant portion of overall shipments and will continue growing as 1G becomes the standard in service provider and enterprise access networks
  • Asia Pacific leads all geographic regions in port shipments, aided by increasing adoption in previously lagging emerging economies and ubiquitous Ethernet services.

 “Revenue per port is plunging — up to 30%+ per year for new categories like 40G and 100G — and this will help drive adoption of higher speed ports. In the optical segment, I expect 100G to account for more than 10% of optical transport spending in 2013," added Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics and co-author of the report.

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q1 2013 revenue of EUR 77.0 million in Q1 2013, down 5.7% vs. Q1 2012 at EUR 81.7 million and down 4.0% vs. EUR 80.3 million in Q4 2012. IFRS operating income amounted to EUR 0.4 million in Q1 2013, after EUR 3.5 million in Q1 2012.

“While the temporary decline of our business related to short-term market weakness driven by adverse macro-economic conditions and temporary shifts in carrier investment priorities clearly is a disappointment, we are still pleased to report our Q1 2013 revenues of EUR 77.0 million at the upper end of guidance. Our pro forma gross margin decreased from 41.8% in Q4 2012 to 38.6% in Q1 2013, due to quarterly variations in product and customer mix. In Q1 2013, our pro forma operating margin came in at 1.0% in the upper half of guidance, demonstrating our focus on managing operational costs in this challenging environment. Also, operating cash flow at EUR 1.7 million in Q1 2013 remained positive, and our quarter-end cash & cash equivalents and net liquidity of EUR 65.3 million and EUR 36.3 million, respectively, demonstrate ongoing financial strength,” commented Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer & chief operating officer of ADVA Optical Networking.