Monday, May 4, 2015

Chuck Robbins to Succeed John Chambers as Cisco CEO

Chuck Robbins will succeed John Chambers as Cisco's Chief Executive Officer effective July 26, 2015, the end of the company's current fiscal year. Robbins was also elected to the Board of Directors of Cisco, effective May 1, 2015. John Chambers will assume the role of Executive Chairman on July 26, 2015, and will continue to serve as the Chairman of Cisco’s Board.

Robbins joined Cisco in 1997 and most recently served as Cisco’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, leading the company’s global sales and partner team that drives $47B in business for the company. Cisco said he has played a key role in the development of Cisco's security and collaboration businesses and was a sponsor for the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS), Mathematical Sciences, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I joined Cisco 17 years ago because I wanted to be a part of a company where I believed the possibilities were limitless. Today, I am even more convinced that Cisco is that company,” said Chuck Robbins. “Over the past 20 years, John Chambers’ vision and leadership have built Cisco into one of the most important companies in the world; a company fiercely committed to delivering for its customers, shareholders, partners, and employees. The opportunity that lies ahead for Cisco is enormous, and the ability to lead this next chapter is deeply humbling and incredibly exhilarating.

John Chambers has served as CEO of Cisco since January 1995, having joined the company in 1991 as the head of sales.

Ciena to Acquire Cyan for $335 Million

Ciena agreed to acquire Cyan for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $400 million (or approximately $335 million net of cash).

Cyan, which is based in Petaluma, California, supplies its carrier-grade BluePlanet SDN/NFV software and Z-series packet-optical platform to carriers and large enterprises. Cyan's Blue Planet provides service orchestration, automation, SDN control, and multi-vendor management capabilities. The company claims over 150 deployments by network operators since its introduction in November 2012. The Z-series is a scalable, COTS-based P-OTP family that converges Carrier Ethernet 2.0, DWDM, ROADM, OTN and SONET/SDH for metro and regional networks. It new N-Series Open Hyperscale Transport Platform (OHTP) is designed for large numbers of 100G connections between data centers over campus or metro regional distances.

Cyan was founded in 2006 and has approximately 260 employees worldwide. FY 2014 revenue amounted to $101 million.

Ciena said the acquisition bring orchestration and control software that is vendor-agnostic and best-in-class. Ciena is looking to build an expanded ecosystem of VNF partners. Cyan's metro packet/optical hardware business offers a complementary base of key customers.

“Ciena is transforming networks by applying web-scale technologies for delivering greater efficiency, network automation and agility while driving the industry toward an open ecosystem,” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “The addition of Cyan accelerates the availability of a complete solution for our customers to deliver virtualized networks and services on-demand.”

“Since launching the first Z-Series packet-optical products in 2009, Cyan has introduced the world’s first integrated packet-optical platform, the world’s first deployment ready multi-vendor SDN controller and NFV orchestrator, and the world’s first disaggregated “bright box” optical system. Innovation is core to our business, and our innovation has always been focused on helping customers transform their networks. Joining forces with Ciena, another clear innovator in the networking space, will accelerate this transformation," stated Mark Floyd, chairman and chief executive officer, Cyan.

Cyan also reported that revenue for the first quarter of 2015 grew to $36.0 million, up 89 percent when compared with $19.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and up 18 percent when compared with $30.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. GAAP net loss for the first quarter was $52.9 million, or $1.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $17.8 million, or $0.38 per share, in the same period last year and a net loss of $15.0 million, or $0.32 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.

  • In March, Cyan confirmed that CenturyLink is preparing to launch NFV-enhanced services to enterprise and small and midsized business (SMB) customers based on Cyan’s Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator. Specifically, CenturyLink will use Cyan’s Blue Planet orchestration for their Programmable Services Backbone (PSB), its platform that for next-generation virtualized services to its customers.  Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator bridges multiple technologies to instantiate virtual network functions (VNF) from multiple vendors. Blue Planet will add these virtual network functions to CenturyLink’s network for quickly providing software-enabled services and ubiquitous service coverage to CenturyLink’s broad set of customers.

    Cyan said its Blue Planet software can instantiate and control virtual functions, coordinate with physical and virtual network resources, and interconnect virtual functions (i.e., vFirewall, vDPI, vEncryption, vRouter, vDNS, etc.) to achieve service chaining. The programmability of the Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator allows carriers like CenturyLink to onboard and define new services through a flexible template-based architecture. The open architecture of Blue Planet’s NFV Orchestrator enables rich, multi-vendor environments within the NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), including support for different cloud management software and physical servers.

  • In June 2014, CenturyLink sponsored an ETSI NFV ISG-approved proof of concept (PoC) solution based on RAD’s dedicated customer-edge D-NFV equipment running Fortinet’s Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Certes Networks’ virtual encryption/decryption engine as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) with Cyan’s Blue Planet system orchestrating the entire ecosystem. The companies said their D-NFV allows the placement of VNFs where they will be both most effective and least expensive, including at the customer edge.  Cyan's Blue Planet can orchestrate both NFV and multi-vendor Ethernet services.
  • In October 2014, Cyan significantly extended the reach of its Blue Planet SDN platform by adding the ability to provision and manage Ethernet services across Cisco ASR a nd Juniper MX routers.

    Blue Planet SDN-based control over Cisco and Juniper equipment is based on access to standards-based interfaces such as CLI and NETCONF/YANG.  New element adapters being introduced this quarter use Link-Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) to auto-discover Cisco network, including all nodes, connections, and the overall physical layer topology.  Platforms supported include the Cisco ASR 901, ASR 903, ASR 9000 and ME 3600 platforms, as well as the Juniper MX960, MX480, and MX2010 platforms. Blue Planet functionality allows customers to automate, manage, inventory, and provision Ethernet services across networks built with these devices.

Level 3 Launches SDN-based Adaptive Network via ExpressRoute to Microsoft Azure.

Level 3 Communications introduced SDN-based Adaptive Network Control Solutions via ExpressRoute to Microsoft Azure. The service is designed to help enterprises move applications and workloads from on-premises data centers to the cloud.

Adaptive Network Control services include:

  • Enhanced Management - provides visibility into and analytics of key network performance characteristics like latency and packet loss on an end-to-end, site-by-site basis
  • Dynamic Capacity - which gives customers the ability to scale their bandwidth by up to three times on demand or automatically based on scheduled events or utilization triggers.  

Level 3 said its SDN-based network functionality is ideal to support a variety of use cases in Azure, including scheduled backups for disaster recovery, managing large ad hoc IT workloads and handling seasonal volume growth.

"Traditional private networks typically provide fixed amounts of bandwidth with minimal insight into performance," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Level 3. "Now enterprises can take advantage of Level 3's Enhanced Management and Dynamic Capacity for Microsoft Azure, giving them the ability to seamlessly and instantly adjust their bandwidth needs as well as garner important network data that can help inform their future network decisions. This new approach to managing bandwidth helps enterprises significantly increase operational efficiencies and performance, which are critical components to a company's long-term success."

Equinix to Offer Direct Access to Office 365 via Equinix Cloud Exchange

Equinix will begin offering private, managed connections to Microsoft Office 365 via Azure ExpressRoute through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

The service bypasses the public Internet, thereby providing lower latency and better security for enterprise customers accessing Office 365. Equinix expects to offer the service in 15 markets worldwide starting in Q3 of this year.

Equinix first launched its partnership with Microsoft in April 2014, and today offers direct connection to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute in 15 markets globally via the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

“By offering direct access to Office 365 on Cloud Exchange, we are helping our enterprise customers get the most out of their cloud investments. Private access to Office 365 results in lower latency and higher performing connections, thus providing business grade performance and the end-user experiences that enterprises are demanding with their adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications,” stated Chris Sharp, vice president, cloud innovation, Equinix.

“Office 365 customers have been asking for direct connectivity to Office 365 since Azure ExpressRoute launched last year, and we’re pleased that Equinix will be among the first to offer it through Cloud Exchange. With network performance as predictable as a customer’s own on-premises environment, ExpressRoute for Office 365 is like having the full Office 365 productivity solution in your own datacenter," said Mike Schutz, GM of cloud platform, Microsoft.

Marvell's Weili Dai - “Smart Me” for Smart Life, Smart Lifestyle

Weili Dai, President and Co-founder of Marvell Semiconductor, highlights the company's 20th anniversary, including its on-going innovations in mobile, memory architecture and software. Marvell supplies a full-range of semiconductors for PC, mobiles, #IoT, consumer, etc.

 The next decade will bring many more innovations, says Dai, including a breakthrough called Final Level Cache, which fundamentally changes memory architecture, bring super-computing memory performance to smaller systems. In terms of corporate, Marvell is pursuing a vision called Smart Lifestyle and is developing its "Kinoma" software framework for IoT applications.

See video:

Verizon's 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report

Now in its 8th year, the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report has expanded to include input from over 70 organizations, including top law enforcement agencies, says Bryan Sartin, Director of RISK Team at Verizon Enterprise.

Here is a quick summary of findings: 96% of incidents follow only 9 patterns. The top 3 threats are POS attacks, cyber-espionage and crimeware. Upwards of 4 out of 5 intrusions involve the use of stolen or easily-guessable credentials. Simple two-factor authentication significantly mitigates this risk.  This year's report also looks at mobility and the BYOD phenomenon.

See video:

The full report can be accessed here:

Microsoft Intros Azure Data Lake

Microsoft introduced Azure Data Lake, an enterprise wide repository of every type of data collected in a single place prior to any formal definition of requirements or schema.


  • HDFS for the Cloud: The Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS enabling Microsoft offerings such as Azure HDInsight, Revolution-R Enterprise, industry Hadoop distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera all to connect to it.
  • Petabyte files, massive throughput: The goal of the data lake is to run Hadoop and advanced analytics on all data. Azure Data Lake has no fixed limits to how much data can be stored in a single account. It can also store very large files with no fixed limits to size . The design can handle high volumes of small writes at low latency making it optimized for near real-time scenarios like website analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), analytics from sensors, and others.
  • Enterprise ready:  Azure Data Lake leverages Azure Active Directory as well as providing data replication to ensure high durability and availability.

EMC Intros "The Beast" - XtremIO 4.0 for All Flash Arrays

EMC unveiled XtremIO version 4.0, a non-disruptive free software upgrade to XtremIO v3.X all-flash arrays for enabling larger configurations, expanded on-demand capabilities and consolidated workloads.

EMC said XtremIO 4.0 will transform data center applications with breakthrough in-memory copy services, enabling entire workflows to be streamlined and automated from the storage through the hypervisor and into the application. XtremIO 4.0 Highlights:

  • Enhanced Data Protection – XtremIO supports powerful scale-out replication based on best-of-breed EMC RecoverPoint software. Data on XtremIO arrays can be replicated to other XtremIO arrays or any array supported by RecoverPoint. XtremIO replication delivers up to one-minute Recovery Point Objectives (RPO), even when replicating at data center scale with flash-array levels of workload and data change rates.
  • Bigger, Faster Clusters – EMC is introducing a new 40TB X-Brick building block, which is double the density of previous XtremIO systems. In addition, XtremIO clusters now scale up to eight X-Bricks with 16 N-way active controllers (up from 12), capable of delivering petabytes of effective capacity in a single rack through inline data reduction and space-efficient copies.
  • Online Expansion – XtremIO arrays now can be non-disruptively expanded for performance and capacity, with automatic rebalancing and no application downtime.
  • Application Automation – XtremIO's copy data management functions are integrated into key enterprise application management stacks such as VMware, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange to automate rich use cases, including the scheduling, attachment and expiration of space-efficient copies to application hosts.
  • Multi-Array Management – XtremIO 4.0 allows single pane of glass management for multiple XtremIO clusters from a common XtremIO Management Server (XMS).
  • More Powerful Interface – XtremIO 4.0 introduces extended historical reporting, maintaining two years of operating history, as well as sophisticated tagging and search functionality for handling large numbers of provisioned volumes, hosts and snapshots. It also boasts improved built-in reporting capabilities.
  • More Scalable – XtremIO 4.0 supports more hosts per array, more X-Bricks per array and more snapshots than before.
  • Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0 – With XtremIO and the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.0 offering, customers can now consolidate all mission-critical workloads and their non-production lifecycle copies into their Hybrid Cloud with Tier 0 Storage and Copy Services. This enables some of the most compelling hybrid cloud use cases like Database-as-a-Service and SAP-as-a-Service.

EMC noted that in the 18 months since becoming available, XtremIO has risen to become the fastest-selling product in company history and the market's top-selling all-flash storage array according to IDC.

EMC Advances Data "Protection Everywhere" Strategy

EMC announced major updates to its data protection portfolio, including solutions to provide data protection in the cloud, to the cloud and in the data center.

The rollout includes a new purpose-built backup appliance, the Data Domain DD9500, with high-performance specs:

  • 58.7 TB/hour performance, more than 1.5x faster performance than the nearest competitor, ensuring Data Domain can handle even the most demanding data protection requirements.
  • 1,728 TB usable capacity, 4x greater than the nearest competitor, enabling organizations to gain greater consolidation for data protection workloads and lower TCO.
  • Data protection for Big Data applications including support for the leading Hadoop and NoSQL deployments: Pivotal HD Enterprise Business Data Lake, Cloudera Enterprise Data Hub, and Hortonworks Modern Data Architecture.

EMC is also introducing software-powered data protection solutions:

  • ProtectPoint Software Enhancements – EMC ProtectPoint software enables direct backup from primary storage to Data Domain and delivers 20x faster performance than traditional backup. This new version also natively integrates with Oracle, SAP and IBM DB2, giving application owners and DBAs direct control of backup and recovery from their native utilities.
  • Cloud Data Protection – just two quarters after acquiring Maginatics, EMC delivers CloudBoost for seamlessly connecting customers' existing EMC data protection solutions to elastic, scale-out cloud storage such as EMC ECS™. Spanning by EMC expands born-in-the-cloud application data protection with Spanning Backup for Office365.
  • Software-Only Data Domain - Project Falcon will enable customers to quickly and easily deploy Data Domain software in a variety of new deployment models for the ultimate in flexibility, including remote office protection, cloud providers offering Data-protection-as-a-service, storage integrated data protection, and web-scale protection storage.

ARRIS Debuts Service Provider Wi-Fi Platform

ARRIS introduced a new Service Provider Wi-Fi solution for extending residential Wi-Fi services outside the home with a centrally managed, coordinated service.

ARRIS's Service Provider Wi-Fi Systems Design and Integration combines key service components— Authentication Authorization and Accounting (AAA), policy enforcement, web portals, wireless access gateways, radio resource management, access point controllers, and access points—for delivering a single, unified customer experience regardless of device, location or transport technology.

The company said it is able to fit into operators' delivery network and back-office systems as a result of its integration with Aptilo Networks, Benu Networks and Ruckus Wireless. The combined platform leverages Aptilo's service management platform, Benu's wireless access gateway, and Ruckus carrier-class, Smart Wi-Fi access points and control systems to provide a scalable, global platform for new Wi-Fi service delivery.

The Aptilo Service Management Platform centralizes user authentication, billing, policy enforcement, and captive portals to the operator's cloud, supporting a wide range of Wi-Fi business models. Benu's wireless access gateway enables seamless mobility between access networks, terminating tunnels from Wi-Fi access points and providing a consistent user experience across the network. Ruckus ZoneFlex access points as well as their SmartCell™ Gateway (SCG) and virtual SCG (vSCG) carrier scale WLAN controllers provide carrier-class Wi-Fi access plus self-organizing and self-optimizing capabilities, and are available in a broad range of indoor and outdoor models, including wall-plate units designed specifically for the MDU and hospitality sectors.

"ARRIS is inventing the future of broadband by meeting service providers' needs today, while anticipating how they will evolve," said Dan Whalen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Services, ARRIS. "Wi-Fi, as a service, is crossing over into the carrier space, and we're committed to keeping each of our customers ahead of the curve. We partnered with Aptilo, Benu, and Ruckus to deliver a new Service Provider Wi-Fi solution that provides a scalable and customizable solution that can evolve with the changing landscape."