Thursday, December 19, 2013

IBM to Acquire Aspera for WAN Optimization Software

IBM agreed to acquire Aspera, a start-up that offers software for accelerating data transfers.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aspera claims its transfer technology can reduces transmission times for large files or data sets by up to 99.9 percent – potentially cutting a 26 hour transfer of a 24 gigabyte file, sent halfway around the world, down to just 30 seconds.

Aspera's "fasp" is a protocol designed to overcome problems with TCP regardless of packet loss, latency or file size.  The software is licensed to clients and partners either in the cloud or on premise. Customers include "virtually all the major broadcast television networks, Hollywood studios and CG/animation houses."

"Our team has redefined how the world’s biggest data can be moved quickly, securely and reliably around the world,” said Michelle Munson, president and co-founder, Aspera. "By tapping into IBM’s innovative capabilities and global resources, we will solve ever expanding data movement challenges for our customers now and in the future."

IBM said the Aspera technology is suitable for cloud services and will be integrated with IBM’s recently acquired SoftLayer cloud infrastructure later next year.

  • Aspera is based in Emeryville, California.  The company is headed by Michelle Munson, who previously was a software engineer in research and start-up companies including the IBM Almaden Research center before founding Aspera in 2004. 

DukeNet Tests SDN Orchestration with Cyan and Accedian

DukeNet Communications is conducting a software-defined network (SDN) proof-of-concept demonstration leveraging technology from Cyan and Accedian Networks.

The SDN use case demonstration involves applications running on an enterprise server dynamically placing requests for additional cloud data center virtual machines and associated network resources using OpenStack application program interfaces (APIs) and OpenFlow across the DukeNet network.

Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN Platform services the request on behalf of network resources and proxies the compute and data center network demands to an OpenStack server in the cloud data center. Blue Planet performs all functions necessary to turn up additional services across DukeNet’s network including carrier Ethernet and optical edge devices from Accedian Networks. The data center instance of OpenStack negotiates with compute resources and data center switches to allocate the necessary network and compute capacity.

“Conducted in a real world multi-vendor environment, the event validates our ability to dynamically spin up data center virtual machines (VMs) along with virtualized network resources for customers,” said David Herran, Vice President of Network Architecture and Technology Planning. “This capability ultimately will allow us to offer new, flexible, and elastic services to customers and will provide an important new means to monetize our network investment.”

“Cyan is proud to partner with DukeNet on such a cutting-edge and important industry demonstration,” said Michael Hatfield, President and co-Founder, Cyan. “The carrier space is looking for proof that SDN can help them create new services and reduce costs. At the same time, enterprise customers are looking for networksthat are as elastic as their data center and compute resources. This demonstration goes a long way in proving that these types of services can be realized through SDN technology.”

In October 2013, Time Warner Cable agreed to acquire DukeNet Communications for $600 million in cash, including the repayment of debt. 

DukeNet Communications, which is a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, operates a regional fiber optic network company serving customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as five other states in the Southeast.  Its fiber network spans over 8,700 miles and provides high-capacity services to wireless carrier, data center, government, and enterprise customers. Duke Energy owns 50 percent of DukeNet. The Alinda investment funds own the remaining 50 percent.

IBM Teams with China's 21Vianet on Enterprise Cloud Services

IBM announced a partnership with 21Vianet Group, a carrier-neutral Internet data center operator in China, to introduce a private cloud service in China.

IBM will provide the physical point of distribution (POD) and service while 21Vianet will host the POD facility at 21Vianet data center in Beijing.

Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet Group, Inc said: “IBM is a global leading enterprise-level cloud computing provider. What’s more, IBM is a sincere partner, not only sharing its own technologies and services, but also growing together with us with business insights, management experience, operation and marketing to help drive innovation. Through this cooperation, 21Vianet Group, Inc has obtained not only business growth, but also comprehensive enhancement in service capability of cloud computing, providing a platform upon which enterprises to base their critical and production workloads for growth."

Laurie Tropiano, General Manager of GTS, IBM GCG said: “Today, IBM  and 21Vianet Group, Inc create the new era of enterprise cloud computing in China.  Our clients, the pillars of China’s economy, will see IBM further accelerating its efforts around driving innovation in China with enhanced IBM cloud offerings as a platform. We are setting a new benchmark for cloud computing performance in China.”

As of 30-June-2013, 21Vianet manages over 12,000 cabinets for over 2,000 customers from its data centers across China.

Alaska's GCI to Launch Gigabit Service in Anchorage

GCI announced plans to deploy Alaska’s first 1 Gbps, fiber Internet service in Anchorage by 2015.

GCI is Alaska's largest provider of Internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Its cable television services pass 90 percent of the state’s households with 64 percent penetration.

“This announcement is another example of GCI’s continuing commitment to provide Alaskans the latest in communications technology. We were the first Alaska carrier to provide single-hop satellite long distance calling, the first to provide high-speed Internet service, the first to construct redundant high capacity fiber cable networks between Alaska and the lower 48, and the first to provide terrestrial broadband service in rural Alaska. Since our founding, GCI has invested well in excess of $2 billion in Alaska’s communications infrastructure, and we continue to lead the market in technological innovation. We’re focused on ‘what’s next?’ to benefit Alaskans,” said Ron Duncan, GCI president and CEO.

Ekinops Ships Coherent 100G Cards

Ekinops announced commercial availability of its new coherent 100G transponder and muxponder modules, compatible with its Ekinops 360 platform.  The new 100G transponder and muxponder leverage Ekinops' programmable T-Chip technology with forward error correction (DynaFEC).

The Ekinops 360 platform includes three chassis options: 1RU, 2RU and 7RU. The 2 and 7 RU options can accommodate in the same chassis 10G and 100G modules to optimize space usage. As a result, customers who already have deployed the Ekinops 7RU chassis and have available slots can immediately add 100G services to their network. The 7RU chassis can be configured with up to six 100G transponders or 100G muxponders, or a combination of both, to deliver three terabits of capacity in a single rack. The muxponder offers flexible aggregation for a variety of 8G, 10G or 40G services.

Western Australia's Trident Undersea Cable to Serve Oil/Gas Sector

The Trident Subsea Cable Project, which will connect Perth, the Pilbara, Jakarta and Singapore, announced a number of milestones.

The 7,000-km fiber cable will support western Australia's oil and gas sector.  Fujitsu has been awarded a Master Services Agreement to serve as head contractor. A marine fact finding study has assessed the proposed path for the subsea cable, matching GPS coordinates against available data for risks and obstacles such under-sea volcanoes. A terrestrial route study has also commenced.

Mark de Kock, Chief Executive Officer of Trident, said: “We started the Trident project in 2012 with a plan to build an international data centre in the Pilbara. The signing of the Master Services Agreement with Fujitsu was a momentous occasion for us; it is great to see activity well under way on the delivery an integrated, single network model between the three countries.” Within the first quarter milestone, Fujitsu has delivered the scoping phase studies which cover the proposed marine and terrestrial routes for the cable.

Intel Updates Data Center Software for Big Data Analysis

Intel updated its data center software products with security and performance enhancements for big data management.

The announcements include the release of Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0, Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0, Intel Analytics Toolkit for Apache Hadoop software and the Intel Expressway Tokenization Broker.

"Some of the leading data-driven companies have invested heavily to create and implement their own big data analytics solutions," said Boyd Davis, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter Software Division. "Intel is bringing this capability to market by providing software that is more secure and easier to use so that companies of all sizes can more easily uncover actionable insight in their data."

Some highlights:

  • Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0 is a set of pre-built libraries that enable high-performance, automated construction of rich graph representations that can model real-world problems and support a wide variety of third party graph databases, analytic engines and visualization tools.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0 includes support for Apache Hadoop 2.x and YARN with major upgrades to MapReduce, HDFS, Hive, HBase, and related components.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software includes a number of unique security enhancements to Apache Hadoop 2.x, delivering up to 20 times faster encryption as well as decryption of data at rest, transparent encryption of data in process in HBase, MapReduce, Hive and Pig applications as well as granular cell-level access control of data in HBase.

Vodafone Malta Deploys Tellabs 8600 Smart Routers

Vodafone Malta is using Tellabs' 8600 Smart Routers for the 10G Ethernet backhaul network that supports its LTE service.

Vodafone Malta owns its own backhaul network, which consists mainly of 10 Gbps connections over fiber. The new solution comprises Tellabs 8660 Smart Routers, Tellabs 8630 Smart Routers and Tellabs Ethernet Line Card (ELC1) cards, all managed by the Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Network Manager.

GigOptix Raises $11.8 million in New Share Offering

GigOptix announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of an aggregate of 8,325,000 newly issued shares of common stock at a price of $1.42 per share. The company expects to receive gross proceeds of $11.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and other estimated offering expenses.