Monday, July 14, 2014

IBM Chalks up Gains from Softlayer Acquisition

One year after acquiring Softlayer for $2 billion, IBM reported continued gains in its cloud leadership positions in terms of new enterprise customers and the launch of differentiated services.

IBM said the hybrid cloud model is catching on with new enterprise customers such as Macy’s, Whirlpool, Daimler subsidiary moovel Gmbh, Sicoss Group and others. Clients can maintain on-premise control of key applications and data while moving other workloads – so-called systems of engagement with customers and partners -- to the cloud for quick access to data, expansion of new services and cost reductions. The company says nearly half of its top 100 strategic outsourcing clients,  who are among the world's largest enterprises, are already implementing cloud solutions with IBM as they transition to a hybrid cloud model.

IBM now has over 1,000 business partners signed on to offer their services on SoftLayer, ranging from leading global players such as Avnet, Arrow Electronics and Ingram Micro, to cloud-based services and solution providers like Mirantis, Assimil8, Silverstring, Clipcard, SilverSky, and Cnetric Enterprise Solutions.

SoftLayer is expected to play a pivotal role in delivering IBM's rich data and analytics portfolio.  Already more than 300 services within the IBM cloud marketplace are is based on SoftLayer. This includes data and analytics and SoftLayer offerings such as the IBM multi-enterprise Relationship Management SaaS that connects and manages shared business processes across a variety of communities, Time Series Database that connects applications to the Internet of Things and Analytics Warehouse which provides an agile platform for data warehousing and analytics.

New capabilities the company plans to launch via its Bluemix developer platform include:

  • Watson Engagement Advisor on SoftLayer, which allows organizations to gain timely and actionable insights from big data, transforming the client experience through natural conversational interactions with system that get smarter with use. Running on IBM's POWER8 processor, IBM Power Systems integrated into SoftLayer's infrastructure will handle big data, analytics and cognitive requirements in the cloud.
  • Watson Developer Cloud on Softlayer, which allows access for third party developers, entrepreneurs, academics, and system integrators looking to harness Watson's cognitive capabilities in the products and services they bring to market.
  • Aspera high-speed transfer technology, which lets users to move large unstructured and structured data with maximum speed and security, regardless of data size, distance or network conditions.
  • Elastic Storage, which is a new software-defined storage-as-a-service offering built on SoftLayer that provides organizations with high-speed access to large volumes of data and seamless data management between their on-premises infrastructure and the cloud.
  • Hourly billing for bare-metal servers 
  • IBM Cloud modular management, which is a fully automated service management system for cloud application environments. 
  • Jumpgate, which allows for interoperability between clouds by providing compatibility between the OpenStack API and a provider's proprietary API.

"In its first year, SoftLayer has proven to be a pivotal acquisition for IBM Cloud," said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. "SoftLayer has quickly become the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio anchoring our infrastructure, platform andsoftware-as-a-service offerings and transforming the fortunes of many industry companies from Web start ups to established enterprises looking for the speed, flexibility and security that hybrid cloud environments provide. Of all the options for public or private clouds in the market, IBM Cloud with all of its resources, assets and expertise is the logical choice for a world where the volume and complexity of data-rich workloads grows exponentially every day. "

http://www.ibm.com/cloud

Last month, IBM opened the first of two new Softlayer Cloud Services data centers designed and dedicated for U.S. government workloads and compliant with Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements.

The first of the new data centers is located in Dallas, Texas  Later this year, IBM anticipates activating a companion center in Ashburn, Virginia.  Each of the high-security data centers will have initial capacity for 30,000 servers.  They will be connected by an isolated, robust private network with 2 Tbps of capacity.


In May 2014, IBM unveiled its Elastic Storage” technology which it claims offers "unprecedented performance, infinite scale, and is capable of reducing storage costs up to 90 percent by automatically moving data onto the most economical storage device."

The patented storage software is aimed the most data-intensive applications, such as seismic data processing, risk management and financial analysis, weather modeling, and scientific research. The software automatically manages data locally and globally, providing breakthrough speed in data access, easier administration and the ability to scale technology infrastructures quickly and more cost-effectively as data volumes expand. In addition, these advances can work with any company’s storage systems to provide automated and virtualized storage.

IBM said the architectural limits of its Elastic Storage stretch into the thousands of “yottabytes.” A yottabyte is one billion petabytes, or the equivalent of a data center the size of one million city blocks, which would fill the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. IBM Research has demonstrated that Elastic Storage can successfully scan 10 billion files on a single cluster in just 43 minutes. Elastic Storage builds on IBM’s global file system software.  It exploits server-side Flash for up to six times increase in performance than with standard SAS disks. Elastic Storage virtualizes the storage allowing multiple systems and applications to share common pools of storage.  It also automatically and intelligently moves data to the most strategic and economic storage system available.

In January 2014, IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud business and build on its acquisition of Softlayer data centers last year. The plans call for 15 new data centers worldwide, including new Softlayer facilities in Washington D.C., Mexico City, Dallas, China, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India and Canada. The expansion will bring the number of IBM cloud data centers to about 40 worldwide.

http://www.ibm.com
http://www.softlayer.com

Whirlpool's Hybrid Cloud Integrates IBM Softlayer Servers with AT&T NetBound

Whirlpool is transitioning from an on-premise hosting environment to a globally integrated cloud model that combines IBM's Softlayer infrastructure with AT&T Netbond private network access.

Whirlpool chose to deploy a SoftLayer Infrastructure on bare metal servers. IBM Cloud Managed Services and AT&T NetBond are foundational elements for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment

"As a global organization that operates in almost every country in the world, we needed to find a way to grow our capacity to store and track business-critical data and address compliance activities to respond to market dynamics more quickly," said Whirlpool Vice President of IT Operations and Security Alan Douville. "Based on our longstanding relationship with IBM, IBM Cloud and SoftLayer Infrastructure served as an opportunity to continue to drive transformation within our business and migrate mission-critical workloads securely to a cloud environment and provide us with the flexibility to respond faster to issues that impact our business."

"Coupling our integrated approach and industry-specific expertise with solutions like IBM Cloud Managed Services and SoftLayer provide our clients with the means to quickly differentiate themselves in crowded and increasingly competitive markets," said IBM Cloud Services General Manger James Comfort. "Our ongoing work with Whirlpool is providing the company with robust scalability and enterprise-grade cloud capabilities that are best suited for its long-term requirements.

http://www.ibm.com/cloud

https://www.synaptic.att.com/clouduser/html/productdetail/ATT_NetBond.htm

  • AT&T NetBond uses a software-defined and virtual connection that runs over AT&T’s MPLS core backbone. On its website, AT&T says NetBond will be able to provide coordinated, on-demand provisioning of private network connectivity and cloud compute resources for accommodating dynamic workload distribution across a customer’s hybrid cloud.  It features a pay-as-you-go pricing model with a minimum commitment.

Spain's IslaLink Deploys Infinera's DTN-X on Submarine Network

Spain's IslaLink S.A. has deployed the Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform across its submarine network connecting the Balearic Islands and the Spanish mainland.

The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network enables IslaLink to rapidly deliver 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services to other network operators.

"This submarine cable connection is a critical route for us requiring high capacity 100G technology with OTN switching and extensive Raman technology," said Ross Mullins, IslaLink COO. "The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network was an ideal solution for this network based on its super-channel technology, terabit switching capability, ease of operation and high reliability."

The DTN-X platform fetaures the only commercially available single-card 500 Gbps FlexCoherent super-channel solution, which is based on Infinera's widely deployed photonic integrated circuits. These 500 Gb/s super-channels are engineered to enable IslaLink to scale to terabits of transmission capacity, integrating DWDM optical transmission in a single platform that are designed to be capable of supporting up to 12 terabits per second of non-blocking OTN switching as their traffic requirements grow in the future.

http://www.infinera.com
http://www.islalink.com/

T-Mobile's VoLTE is Powered by Mavenir's IMS Core

Mavenir Systems confirmed that T-Mobile US' recent VoLTE launch was enabled using Mavenir’s converged IMS voice solution, which was first deployed to launch Wi-Fi Calling in 2011. T-Mobile leveraged those early investments in Wi-Fi Calling to accelerate network readiness and launch VoLTE service.

Mavenir provides the end-to-end IMS solution including key IMS components such as the CSCF (Call Session Control Function), Session Border Controller (SBC), Telephony Application Server (TAS), as well as professional services to perform verification and integration testing to ensure successful end-to-end service interworking.

“Mavenir continues to lead in the deployment of Voice over LTE in key markets,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mavenir Systems. “We are working with tier one operators globally to transform their networks to 4G LTE and introduce new and innovative services.”

http://www.mavenir.com

In June, T-Mobile confirmed its expansion of 15+15MHz Wideband LTE to 16 total markets and VoLTE to 15 total markets reaching over 100 million people.  The carrier's overall LTE footprint will exceed 230 million pops by the end this month.

Wideband LTE enables peak network download speeds up to nearly 150 Mbps.

T-Mobile was the first major provider to launch VoLTE. It now supports VoLTE on four devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S 5. In addition to expanding the number of markets served by VoLTE, the company is nearly doubling the amount of data dedicated to voice calls for highest fidelity HD Voice and faster call setup times. For HD Voice, T-Mobile US uses a 23.85 Kbps voice codec rate.  In addition, the company confirmed that it now expects to have VoLTE nationwide by the end of the year.

“The old telecoms designed their networks for a time when your phone’s only app was a phone call—and they haven’t shaken that dial-tone mind-set,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE network was built in the last year and a half, so naturally we built it differently.  We built it for the way people use smartphones and tablets today, and we built it with a mobile Internet architecture, so we could roll out new technologies faster.”

Verizon Sees Continued Strong Adoption of Smartphones and Tablets

Verizon Wireless continued to see strong smartphone additions, company-record tablet additions and net additions for handsets during Q2 2014.

Lowell McAdam told the Allen & Company conference in Sun Valley, Idaho that Verizon Wireless expects to report a net of more than 1.4 million retail postpaid additions in second-quarter 2014. McAdam said Verizon also continues to see Wireless margins consistent with the last several quarters, with second-quarter 2014 Wireline margin improving compared with first-quarter 2014.

Full results are expected on July 22.

http://newscenter.verizon.com/corporate/news-articles/2014/07-10-vz-comments-on-strong-2q-results/

ZTE Raises its Financial Outlook

Citing strong momentum in its 4G infrastructure operations, ZTE raised its forecast for first-half profit to between RMB 1 billion and RMB 1.15 billion, an increase of between 223% and 271% from a year earlier.  This compared with earlier guidance of between RMB 800 million to RMB 1 billion.

The company said it continues to improve its cost controls and operational management.  It also noted improved profitability in international contracts.

Some highlights:

  • 4G infrastructure accounted for an increased proportion of revenue.
  •  ZTE retained its position as the leading vendor of 4G infrastructure to China Mobile, achieving increased market share in the tender this year. 
  • ZTE consolidated its position as the leading vendor of 4G infrastructure to China Telecom and China Unicom.
  • 4G devices are now expected to account for 40% of total terminals shipments in 2014. ZTE achieved strong performance in the United States, especially in the prepay handset market, benefiting from the availability of new innovative products and cooperation with partners.
  • The Enterprise Business division continues to see fast growth. The company’s information technology applications and solutions are used by customers including Tencent, Bank of China, China FAW, PetroChina, and China Eastern Airlines.
  • ZTE expects its business will benefit from the the award of FDD-LTE licenses in China, and the investment in 4G networks in markets such as Japan and India. 


http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/en/press_center/news/201407/t20140714_425705.html

Riverbed Issues Q2 Warning

Riverbed Technology trimmed its financial guidance for Q2 citing longer than expected sales cycles in North America.

Riverbed now expects non-GAAP revenue for Q2’14 to be in the range of $264 million to $265 million, compared to the company’s previous guidance of $274 million to $280 million.  Q2’14 non-GAAP earnings are expected to be at the low end of the company’s previous guidance of $0.26 to $0.28 per diluted share.

“Second quarter sales were below our expectations, principally in North America as we experienced longer sales cycles on some of our larger and more complex deals.  We have carefully reviewed our opportunities and prospects for the remainder of the year and continue to have confidence in our ability to grow the business and deliver targeted earnings performance,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, chairman and CEO, Riverbed.  “During the quarter, we continued to prudently manage expenses and focus on achieving operating leverage, as demonstrated by our solid EPS performance within our guided range.”

Full results are expected on July 24, 2014.

http://www.riverbed.com/investors

See also