Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Intel Launches "Powered by Intel Cloud Technology" Badge

Intel is launching a "Powered by Intel Cloud Technology" initiative to identify cloud service providers that are running Intel-based infrastructure.

The Intel Cloud Technology program builds on the collaboration announced last September between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel to communicate to customers the specifications, performance, quality, and security benefits of the Intel technology used in AWS instances.

Intel announced the first sixteen cloud service providers to join its marketing program: Virtustream (U.S.); Canopy, an ATOS* company (U.K.); Cloud4com (Czech Republic); CloudWatt (France); Expedient (U.S.); KIO Networks (Mexico); KT (Korea); Locaweb (Brazil); NxtGen (India); (France); OVH (France); Rackspace (U.S.); Savvis, a company of CenturyLink (US); Selectel (Russia); and UOLDIVEO / UOL Host (Brazil).

"Much like when choosing a car, the type of engine that runs a cloud service dramatically affects performance and efficiency," said Jason Waxman, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Cloud Platform Group, at Intel. "Cloud customers want to know what technology their applications are running on because it has direct impact to their business. For the first time, users will have the transparency to select the technologies that are optimal for running their applications in the cloud."

Under the program, CSPs will promote the users' benefits of Intel cloud technologies powering their services through multiple channels. The capabilities available today from participating CSPs aim to significantly increase performance of applications and security of end users' data and include Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), Intel Data Protection Technology with Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI), and Intel Virtualization Technology (VT).

In September 2013, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel announced a technology and marketing collaboration that includes for the first time the use of the "Intel Inside brand for AWS.  This lets AWS customers know that the services it provides are utilizing Intel technologies. AWS instances that exclusively use Intel Xeon processors – intended for basic to performance-intensive use cases – now display the brand.

AWS also said it was adding the latest Xeon processor family to its data centers with services available for customers later this year. 

Amazon Web Services is the first cloud provider to use the Intel Inside brand.

Internap: Performance Top Concern of Cloud Users

There is a significant gap in public cloud infrastructure concerns between the cloud-wise, organizations that are currently using cloud services, and the cloud-wary, organizations that are not using cloud services and have no near-term plans to do so, according to survey conducted by Internap Network Services.

Some key findings:

  • A majority of the cloud-wary (40%) cited cloud security as a concern, whereas only 15% of the cloud-wise cited security as a challenge they’ve encountered.
  • Conversely, the top cloud challenges encountered by cloud-wise organizations were performance (30%) and cost at scale (28%), followed by reliability (22%), compliance (16%), security (15%) and limited configurations (15%).
  • 59% of respondents hosting big data applications in the cloud cited performance challenges.
  • 66% of respondents cited virtualization as a defining characteristic of a public cloud, even though public clouds do not require virtualization.
  • 63% of respondents said a bare-metal cloud would appeal to them. Most of these (73%) cited the “higher performance of dedicated servers” as the reason, and 35% said they would prefer a bare-metal cloud over a virtual cloud.

The survey, which polled nearly 250 Internet infrastructure decision makers globally, also sheds light on new challenges for organizations as they operate fast, big data applications in the cloud and reveals the common misconception that virtualization is a required characteristic of public clouds.

“The survey data clearly indicates that big data applications – such as those that enable personalization and targeting through customer insights, social analytics and location mapping – are pushing the performance limits of virtual public cloud environments at price-points that don’t make business sense,” said Gopala Tumuluri, vice president of hosted services at Internap.  “Performance and price are primary selection criteria for organizations choosing a public cloud provider. Yet, ironically, the top challenges organizations continue to face with their existing public cloud services are performance- and price-related.”

Qualcomm Ventures Kicks Off QPrize 2014 for Promising Start-Ups

Qualcomm Ventures kicked off its QPrize 2014 international seed investment competition, which seeks to identify and fund the industry's next promising, early-stage technology companies.

The QPrize competition is open to entrepreneurs across China, Europe, India, Israel, Korea, Latin America and North America. One finalist from each region will be awarded US$100,000 in convertible note financing from Qualcomm as seed funding and will be invited to compete against other regional finalists in the QPrize Grand Finals competition. The Grand Finals winner will receive an additional US$150,000 of convertible note funding to help transform the company's innovative business plan into reality.

The deadline to submit business plans is April 18, 2014.

"As a leading industry enabler, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and driving cutting-edge technologies into the entire wireless ecosystem," said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures. "The QPrize competition allows us to take a look at very early stage companies in key regions throughout the world and fund the next wave of up and coming innovators. Last year's entrants redefined the capabilities of mobile technology, which was showcased when the Grand Finals winner, iOnRoad, was acquired less than 30 days after the Grand Finals. QPrize acts as an important validation point for many of these startups, and we look forward to fostering the development and leveraging the QPrize brand to further raise awareness of these breakthrough technologies."

Alcatel-Lucent to Transfer 170 LTE Engineers

Alcatel-Lucent will transfer approximately 170 engineers specialized in 4G technology at its Orvault site located in the West of France into Altran’s telecoms and media teams.

"We are very pleased to enter into this partnership project with Altran, the global leader in consulting and innovation, particularly since this will give our highly-qualified employees the opportunity to pursue their careers in the Nantes area.  We are sure that the management of Altran will enable our staff to further their professional development in accordance with their talent and expertise. Thanks to its wide international spread and presence in many sectors of activity, Altran will, among other things, give our teams access to new growth opportunities in the telecoms industry and, even more so, in the Intelligent Systems sector, stated Loïc le Grouiec, Country Operations Manager of Alcatel-Lucent.

Huawei Posts 2013 Sales of US, up 11.6% YoY

Huawei reported preliminary 2013 global sales of between CNY 238 billion to CNY 240 billion (US$39.3 to US$39.6 billion) an increase of  about 8 percent (~11.6 percent in USD) year-on-year. Final results are usually published in April. Huawei is an employee-owned corporation.

Huawei's operating profit for 2013 is expected to be in the range CNY 28.6 billion to CNY 29.4 billion. Cash flow from operating activities and the company’s asset to liability ratio remained stable.

Huawei’s global sales revenue will reach between CNY 238 billion to CNY 240 billion (Exchange rate: USD1 = CNY6.0569, as at December 31, 2013) in 2013, an increase of ~8 percent (~11.6 percent in USD) year-on- year. Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng announced that Huawei's operating profit for 2013 is expected to be in the range CNY 28.6 billion to CNY 29.4 billion. Cash flow from operating activities and the company’s asset to liability ratio remained stable. In 2013, Huawei restructured a number of processes to simplifying its management structure and ensure improvements in operating efficiency.

"Every year for over the past 10 years, Huawei has invested more than 10 percent of sales revenue in innovation. In 2013 alone, the company's investment in R&D reached CNY 33 billion, accounting for about 14 percent of our sales revenue." This means Huawei’s annual investment in R&D exceeded 5.4 billion USD for the first time," stated Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng.

  • In April 2013, Huawei reported 2012 annual revenue of CNY220.2 billion (US$35.35 billion), up 8% for year and ahead of its peers.  Net profit for 2012 amounted to CNY15.38 billion (US$2.47 billion).

DragonWave Signs Sales Partner for the Chinese Mobile Market.

DragonWave announced a sales agreement with Xi’an Potevio Communications, an ICT subsidiary company of China Potevio Corporation, which supplies antennas for many national and provincial networks such as those of China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, CNC, etc.  As part of the agreement Xi’an Potevio Communications, has made the first deliveries to a leading mobile services provider in mainland China of DragonWave's Horizon Compact all-outdoor radios.

"The 4G deployment in The Peoples’ Republic of China represents a significant and important market for us and we’re pleased to enter into this agreement with Xi’an Potevio to bring DragonWave solutions into play to address a large and rapidly expanding communications infrastructure,” said Peter Allen, DragonWave President and CEO.

DragonWave’s Horizon and Harmony product portfolios are designed to meet the network requirements of new and evolving 2G, 3G and 4G networks. DragonWave’s products are point-to-point packet and Hybrid radios providing scalable, ultra-low latency, native packet and TDM connectivity up to 1.6 Gbps full duplex in 6 to 60GHz frequencies supporting ring and mesh architectures for carrier grade delivery of next generation IP services.

ADVA Cites Data Center Interconnect Customer in Europe

dm Drugstore Corporation is using ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 to transport mission-critical information between its data centers in Europe.

FILIADATA, the IT subsidiary of dm Drugstore Corporation, operates several business continuity and high-availability solutions, including a high-end IBM Parallel Sysplex environment. The backbone of this environment is an optical transmission solution based on the ADVA FSP 3000, which has recently been installed in cooperation with FILIADATA’s long-standing partner, TelemaxX.

ADVA said its FSP 3000 has a long history of being used within the IBM Parallel Sysplex environment. The close interworking relationship between ADVA and IBM was one of the principal reasons that dm Drugstore Corporation chose the ADVA FSP 3000.

“As a partner for network and communication solutions, we've built a strong relationship with the dm Drugstore Corporation. We've helped them to develop a network capable of meeting their customers' demands, of meeting their own business expectations,” commented Stephan Sluzewski, technical manager, TelemaxX. “When FILIADATA discussed the need to connect IBM mainframes in a Parallel Sysplex over more than 10 kilometers, there was only one clear option. The ADVA FSP 3000 is the perfect fit for the data center environment. The superior functionality combined with the extensive IBM test and qualification program provides our customers with the most secure data transport that we've ever encountered. What's more, the ADVA Optical Networking team provides a level of support that is simply unheralded in the industry. This is a package that was tailor-made for dm Drugstore Corporation.”

Harris Broadcast Completes Acquisition of Imagine Communications

Harris Broadcast completed its previously announced acquisition of Imagine Communications, a supplier of digital video solutions for content providers and system operators, for an undisclosed sum.

Harris Broadcast said the acquisition enhances its solutions portfolio as its builds the first true "MultiService SDN", integrating sales, scheduling, automation, playout and delivery throughout both linear and non-linear content distribution networks. It also brings advanced transcoding technology utilizing cutting edge software breakthroughs that run in high density, low power commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and blade-server environments, consistent with Harris Broadcast’s vision of software-centric, virtualized operations.

Imagine Communications supplies TV Everywhere transcoding that utilizes software running in a virtualized blade server environment.  The solution combines video processing, Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) transcoding and statistical multiplexing technology tp provide the bandwidth efficiency and density needed to meet the demand for TV Everywhere services.

“TV Everywhere is the future of our industry, and our customers are vigorously pursuing this path to expand their business models and improve the monetization of content across any screen,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Harris Broadcast. “The advanced Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) technology created by Imagine combines quality, density and a small footprint to greatly leapfrog anything else on the market today and improves transcoding economics up to a factor of 10 over competing alternatives. Our content creator and content distribution customers, including cable, MSO and telecommunications service providers, will benefit significantly from end-to-end portfolio integration that establishes a clear pathway to linear and non-linear viewing parity across every screen.”

  • Imagine Communications was founded in 2005 and is based in San Diego.
  • In Dec. 2012, Harris agreed to sell its Broadcast Communications business to an affiliate of The Gores Group $225 million.

Skyera Adds Michael Klayko to Board

Skyera, a start-up specializing in enterprise solid state storage systems, announced that Michael Klayko, former CEO of Brocade Communications, has joined its Board of Directors.  Klayko had previously served the company as a member of its Advisory Board.  Klayko has more than 35 years of experience in the storage, computer and telecommunications industry and is currently CEO of MKA Capital LLC.  In addition to his heading up Brocade, Klayko's previous experience includes executive positions at Rhapsody Networks (CEO), McData (Executive Vice President), EMC (Senior Vice President of Sales), HP and IBM.

  • The Skyera team brings together previous members of Sandforce, the developer of SSD controllers acquired by LSI, including Skyera co-founders Radoslav Danilak and Rod Mullendore.

Ericsson Demos LTE-A Carrier Aggregation with Angola's Unitel

Angola’s leading telecommunications provider Unitel, has successfully tested LTE Advanced (LTE-A) Carrier Aggregation of the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands on its commercial network.  The demonstration took place on December 18 in Luanda, Angola, in partnership with Ericsson.

Amilcar Safeca, Deputy CEO of Unitel, says: “Unitel is always innovating to enhance the customer experience. With the global leap toward higher data access speeds for sophisticated video and mobility services, we are enhancing our network to ensure we continually provide high-quality services to our high-demanding subscriber base. With this demo, we are well on the way to launching the most advanced mobile network in Angola and perhaps Africa in the near future. We are working with Ericsson to make this happen.”