Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Microsoft Posts Triple Digit Growth Rate for Cloud Services

In its quarterly financial report, Microsoft highlighted surging revenue associated with cloud services, offset by declines by its recently acquired Nokia business.  Two highlights:

  • Office 365 Home and Personal subscribers totaled more than 5.6 million, adding more than 1 million subscribers again this quarter.
  • Commercial cloud revenue grew 147% with an annualized run rate that exceeds $4.4 billion.

"We are thrilled with the tremendous momentum of our cloud offerings with Office 365 and Azure both growing over 100% again,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft. “Looking forward, we are excited by the amazing opportunities enabled by our technology roadmap and our strong engagement across partners, customers, and developers.”

“We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. “I’m proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off – our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate.”

http://www.microsoft.com/investor/EarningsAndFinancials/Earnings/PressReleaseAndWebcast/FY14/Q4/default.aspx

Microsoft Azure Builds out ExpressRoute, Opens to Packer.io and OpenNebula

Microsoft announced six new ExpressRoute locations in the U.S. (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Seattle) and Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore), as well as new partnerships with Orange and IIJ.  This brings the total number of Express Route locations to 10.

Azure ExpressRoute ensures private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure or colocation facilities by using an MPLS VPN or other secure tunnel.

Azure ExpressRoute partners include AT&T, Equinix (7 locations running), Level 3 (EVPL service and IP VPN service), Verizon, BT, Orange, TeleCity, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) and SingTel. The new partnership with Orange Business Services will bring Azure ExpressRoute to the Orange Business VPN Galerie service, which is an integrated WAN-to-Cloud solution.

Microsoft also announced two partnerships with Packer.io and OpenNebula that enable Azure customers to manage their applications and services across different technology providers.

With Packer.io, Microsoft is introducing two Packer plug-ins for Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V. Packer is an open source tool for creating identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer can use tools like Chef or Puppet to install software onto the image.

With OpenNebula. Microsoft is adding a set of plug-ins to enable the use of OpenNebula for building hybrid cloud deployments on Microsoft Azure. This enables OpenNebula tools to manage cloud deployments across Microsoft’s private, public and hosted cloud platforms.

Microsoft has previously announced Azure support for Docker’s libswarm project and Kubernetes.

http://msopentech.com/blog/2014/07/21/ms-open-tech-with-packer-io-opennebula-docker-kubernetes-all-on-microsoft-azure-its-cloud-interop-at-oscon/

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/

Big Switch Takes Aim at Hyperscale Data Centers with Big Cloud Fabric

Big Switch Networks unveiled its new flagship product -- Big Cloud Fabric, a switching fabric designed for hyperscale data centers powered by SDN software and bare metal switch hardware.

The Big Cloud Fabric leverages the company’s Switch Light Operating System on physical leaf and spine bare metal switch hardware.  It supports the latest Trident II silicon from Broadcom and is designed for 10G and 40G scale and resiliency, featuring headless mode high availability, zero-touch provisioning, L2/3 forwarding options, application-centric policy and service chaining. Management is available via OpenStack, Cloudstack, REST, CLI, or GUI.

Big Switch said fabric is designed for new pods in existing data centers supporting private cloud, big data, and VDI projects. Stated advantages include:
  1. a modern application/tenant centric configuration,
  2. a massive reduction in management consoles required for day-to-day management,
  3. integrated workflows for networking/security/audit teams (starting with OpenStack), and
  4. CapEx savings.
Big Cloud Fabric is available in two editions:
  •  P-Clos Edition: a physical leaf and spine fabric targeting a broad range of data center environments, including KVM/OVS, ESX, Hyper-V, Bare Metal, or a mix. 
  • Unified P+V Clos Edition: a physical + virtual fabric where leaf, spine and vSwitches are controlled by the Big Cloud Fabric Controller.


Big Cloud Fabric will ship later this quarter.

In addition to the introduction of Big Cloud Fabric, the company is releasing Big Tap 4.0 and expanding its partner ecosystem. Big Tap 4.0 supports a new use case – tapping distributed, remote data centers – to complement recent wins in scale-out, “tap every rack” designs. The release has an increasingly rich filtering feature set including deeper packet matching, applicable for tunneled packets such as those found in mobile protocols and VXLAN.

Big Switch also announced that it now has it first million dollar customer, and its largest production deployment now spans 16 data centers.

http://www.bigswitch.com/

In April 2014, Dell announced a reseller agreement with Big Switch Networks targeting next-generation SDN fabric monitoring. Specifically, Dell will offer Big Switch Networks’ Switch Light OS on Dell Networking’s Ethernet switching portfolio, starting with the S4810 and S6000 series. Dell will also offer Big Switch Networks’ production-ready SDN controller applications starting with the Big Tap Monitoring – an innovative new SDN-based network monitoring solution unlocking hidden customer value and helping solve an age-old, costly networking challenge.

Dell said the deal extends its vision of a new, disaggregated model for networking hardware and software. The Big Switch Big Tap Monitoring provides an SDN-enabled fabric monitoring solution that empowers tapping network traffic everywhere and delivering it to security and other appliances to:
expand choice and capabilities for customers looking for best-of-breed Ethernet switch hardware, OS and SDN apps;
enable a range of next-generation SDN solutions; and
realize operational simplification for management, control and policies.

From January 2014:

Verizon: 76% of Wireless Data Now Rides LTE

Verizon reported its highest quarterly revenue growth rate in the past six quarters: total operating revenues in second-quarter 2014 were $31.5 billion, a 5.7 percent increase compared with second-quarter 2013 and operating income was $7.7 billion, a 17.2 percent increase compared with second-quarter 2013. Verizon reported $1.01 in EPS in second-quarter 2014, compared with 78 cents per share in second-quarter 2013, including an after-tax gain of $434 million (10 cents per share) related to the sale of 700 MHz A Block spectrum licenses.

Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam said: “Verizon’s second-quarter results continue to demonstrate our ability to deliver strong customer growth, with equally strong financial performance, in a dynamic and competitive environment. We have great momentum heading into the second half of the year. We remain focused on profitable growth and on meaningful network investments that provide our customers with the best, and with a continuously improving, overall experience.”

Some highlights from the companys 2Q2014 report:

Wireless

  • Total revenues for Verizon Wireless were $21.5 billion in second-quarter 2014, up 7.5 percent year over year.
  • Retail postpaid ARPA (average revenue per account) increased 4.7 percent over second-quarter 2013, to $159.73 per month.
  • Verizon Wireless added 1.4 million retail net connections, all of which were postpaid, in the second quarter. These additions exclude acquisitions and adjustments.
  • At the end of the second quarter, the company had 104.6 million retail connections. This includes 98.6 million retail postpaid connections, a 4.6 percent increase year over year.
  • At the end of Q2, smartphones accounted for nearly 75 percent of the Verizon Wireless retail postpaid customer phone base.
  • Verizon Wireless' AWS spectrum-enhanced XLTE service is now available in more than 350 markets across the country.

Wireline

  • Total wireline revenues were $9.8 billion in second-quarter 2014, up 0.3 percent year over year. This is the first quarterly year-over-year increase in total wireline revenues in more than seven years.
  • In second-quarter 2014, Verizon added 139,000 net new FiOS Internet connections and 100,000 net new FiOS Video connections. Verizon had totals of 6.3 million FiOS Internet and 5.4 million FiOS Video connections at the end of the second quarter, representing year-over-year increases of 9.3 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.
  • FiOS Internet penetration (subscribers as a percentage of potential subscribers) was 40.1 percent at the end of second-quarter 2014, compared with 38.6 percent at the end of second-quarter 2013. In the same periods, FiOS Video penetration was 35.3 percent, compared with 34.5 percent. The FiOS network passed 19.3 million premises by the end of second-quarter 2014.
  • By the end of second-quarter 2014, 55 percent of consumer FiOS Internet customers subscribed to FiOS Quantum, which provides speeds ranging from 50 to 500 megabits per second, up from 51 percent at the end of first-quarter 2014.
  • In Q3, Verizon migrated 70,000 customers from copper to fiber access.

http://www.verizon.com/investor/DocServlet?doc=slides_vz_2q_2014.pdf
http://www.verizon.com/investor/

IEEE Forms 25G Ethernet Study Group

A new IEEE 802.3 25 Gbps Ethernet Study Group has been formed to explore the market opportunities and needs for a single-lane 25 Gbps speed for server interconnects for Ethernet.

The reuse of serial lane 25 Gbps signaling technology, which was developed to support 100 Gbps Ethernet, enables cost optimized deployments in newly constructed data centers.

“The application of single-lane 25 Gbps signaling technologies provides Ethernet with a solution set that can be reused by those companies building the data centers of tomorrow. The new study group expects to lay the groundwork for a new Media Access Control (MAC) rate that will enable cost-optimized single-lane solutions that will increase network deployment efficiency,” said Mark Nowell, chair of the IEEE 802.3 25 Gbps Ethernet Study Group and senior director, Cisco Systems. “The heavy lifting in developing and standardizing 25 Gb/s signaling technologies has been done as part of the development of 100 Gbps Ethernet. These technologies can be reused to enable a single-lane 25 Gbps Ethernet solution set for server interconnects for these future data centers.”

http://www.ieee802.org/3/25GSG

Juniper to Sell Pulse Division to Siris for $250M

Juniper Networks will sell its Junos Pulse product portfolio to Siris Capital for approximately $250 million.

Junos Pulse software enables dynamic SSL VPN connectivity, network access control (NAC), mobile security, and collaboration, through a simple end-user interface.

Juniper said the divestiture of Pulse is consistent with its new Integrated Operating Plan that focuses on High-IQ networks and building the next-generation of clouds.

Siris is a leading private equity firm focused on making control investments in data, telecommunications, technology and technology-enabled business service companies.

http://www.juniper.net

Juniper's Sales Rise 7% YoY to $1.23 Billion

Juniper Networks reported preliminary net revenues for the second quarter of 2014 of $1,230 million, up 7% year-over-year and 5% sequentially. Juniper posted GAAP net income of $221.1 million, or $0.46 per diluted share for the second quarter of 2014.

“Juniper delivered another solid quarter of revenue growth, with continued diversification across our target verticals. With our focused strategy, we are seeing clear signs of success with customers who are in a build cycle for High-IQ networks and Cloud ecosystems,” said Shaygan Kheradpir, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. “We are relentlessly executing on our Integrated Operating Plan and successfully implemented several initiatives to drive greater efficiencies across our organization. Throughout, we have been working to ignite our culture of innovation and maintain our unwavering commitment to shareholders to drive significant value through profitable growth.”

Juniper Networks also announced the initiation of a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share of common stock.

Looking ahead, Juniper said are some near term, customer-specific dynamics that it is factoring into its outlook. This is partially offset by signs of strength in emerging verticals. The company posted the following estimates for the quarter ending September 30, 2014:

  • Revenues will be in the range of $1,150 million to $1,200 million.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin will be approximately 64.0%, plus or minus 0.5%.
  • Non-GAAP operating expenses will be $505 million, plus or minus $5 million.

http://www.juniper.net

VMware Continues to Grow at 17% Annual Rate

VMware announced Q2 2014 revenue of $1.46 billion, an increase of 17% from Q2 2013.  Operating income for the second quarter was $200 million, a decrease of 26% from the second quarter of 2013, reflecting the impact of the company's AirWatch acquisition.

"We continue to see strong performance across our business, further evidence that VMware is uniquely positioned as IT transitions from client server computing to the mobile cloud era," said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. "Across the board, customers are turning to VMware solutions to help chart an efficient path to the future without sacrificing the vital needs for security, availability and compliance required by all businesses."

http://www.vmware.com


  • Last week, VMware announced the expansion of its hybrid cloud service into Asia-Pacific with two new partnerships in Japan and China. In Japan, VMware announced a joint venture with SoftBank for the first vCloud Hybrid Service in Asia. In China, the company announced plans with China Telecom to build a hybrid cloud service in Beijing based on VMware.  


Mellanox Ships Direct Attach 10/40/56 Gbps Copper Cables

Mellanox Technologies has begun shipping a new line of Direct Attach Cables (DACs) with colored jackets and colored pull tabs, supporting interconnect speeds of 10, 40 and 56Gbps for both Ethernet and InfiniBand data center networks. The new colored version reduces the chance of error in connecting server, switch and routing ports, shortens cluster installation time, and simplifies interconnect debugging and network management.

“The new colored cables can ease data center management and provide the ability to easily distinguish between different types of data traffic, applications or equipment, making data center deployments and maintenance more simple,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The new cables are additions to our comprehensive portfolio of 10, 40, and 56Gb/s copper and fiber cables, serving both Ethernet and InfiniBand infrastructures.”

http://www.mellanox.com

Claro Costa Rica Deploys Ericsson for LTE

Ericsson is the sole supplier of América Móvi Claro LTE network in Costa Rica.

Ericsson's full LTE solution will include several core and radio access infrastructure products such as Mobility Management Entity, Home Subscriber Server, the RBS 6000 family, and microwave transmission using the LTE-proven MINI-LINK TN, as well as services and consulting for spectrum refarming, equipment roll-out, systems integration and optimization, in addition to support for field operations, maintenance and the back office. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Claro's LTE network uses the 1800 MHz band. Service is available in some Costa Rican cantons, such as La Uruca, Santa Ana, Escazú (San José) and partially in Heredia and Alajuela provinces.

Alejandro Plater, Vice President Ericsson Latin America, said: "We have been working in partnership with América Móvil for more than 15 years, and we have a very good relationship with Claro since their arrival in Costa Rica three years ago. Enabling a full LTE network infrastructure and operations signifies a new step in our partnership, creating the best services and capabilities for our customer's end users."

http://www.claro.cr/
http://www.ericsson.com

Broadcom Posts Q2 Revenue of $2.04 billion

Broadcom posted Q2 2014 net revenue of $2.04 billion, up 2.9% over the preceding quarter but down 2.3% compared with the $2.09 billion reported for the second quarter of 2013. Net loss (GAAP) for the second quarter of 2014 was $1 million, or $0.00 per share (basic and diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $165 million, or $0.28 per share (diluted), for the first quarter of 2014 and GAAP net loss of $251 million, or $0.43 per share (basic and diluted), for the second quarter of 2013.

Broadcom said the GAAP net loss included charges of $187 million for its decision to exit the cellular baseband business.

"Broadcom performed well in the June quarter," said Scott McGregor, Broadcom's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We recently made the difficult, but prudent decision to wind down our cellular baseband business and focus on the Broadband, Connectivity and Infrastructure markets. As a result, we will be a stronger company, as gross margins, profitability and cash flows will noticeably improve, providing an opportunity to return more capital to our shareholders."

http://www.broadcom.com

See also