Wednesday, August 5, 2015

GE to enter Cloud Services Market with Predix Cloud

GE announced plans to enter the cloud services market with its Predix Cloud -- a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) designed specifically for industrial data and analytics.

GE said it is developing Predix Cloud to capture and analyze the unique volume, velocity and variety of machine data within a highly secure, industrial-strength cloud environment. Machine data is expected drive the next phase of growth for the Industrial Internet and enable developers to rapidly create, deploy and manage applications and services for industry.

“Cloud computing has enabled incredible innovation across the consumer world. With Predix Cloud, GE is providing a new level of service and results across the industrial world,” said Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE. “A more digital hospital means better, faster healthcare. A more digital manufacturing plant means more products are made faster. A more digital oil company means better asset management and more productivity at every well. We look forward to partnering with our customers to develop customized solutions that will help transform their business.”

Predix Cloud will leverage GE’s deep domain expertise in information technology (IT) and its operational technology (OT).

“A cloud built exclusively to capture and analyze machine data will make unforeseen problems and missed opportunities increasingly a complication of the past,” said Harel Kodesh, Vice President, General Manager of Predix at GE Software. “GE’s Predix Cloud will unlock an industrial app economy that delivers more value to machines, fleets and factories - and enable a thriving developer community to collaborate and rapidly deploy industrial applications in a highly protected environment.”

GE businesses will begin migrating their software and analytics to the Predix Cloud in Q4 2015, and the service will be commercially available to customers and other industrial businesses for managing data and applications on Predix Cloud in 2016.

Red Hat Releases Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 based on Kilo

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 was released, featuring a new deployment and management tool to simplify installation, ease day-to-day management tasks, and establish the underpinnings for orchestrated live system updates and upgrades for subsequent releases.

Based on the OpenStack community “Kilo” release, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is a co-engineered solution that starts with the proven and trusted foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and integrates with Red Hat’s OpenStack technology to form a production-ready cloud platform.

Version 7 includes several new features aimed at accelerating the adoption of OpenStack including:

  • Simplified deployment and management -  the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform director offers a simplified and automated cloud installation tool with system-wide health checking for a proper deployment. It offers an automated “ready-state” provisioning of bare-metal resources to simplify the deployment and repurposing of hardware resources on an on-demand basis. Based on the community-driven OpenStack management project TripleO, the new director combines multiple technologies to offer a single powerful tool which also establishes a new framework that can be used for live orchestrated OpenStack and director upgrades for version 7 and subsequent releases.
  • Traditional workloads requiring high availability on OpenStack - introduces compute host node high availability through integrated, automated monitoring and failover services from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This new capability monitors host nodes and includes the ability to automatically evacuate virtual machines from hosts, restarting workloads on alternate, available hosts.
  • Greater security control - Telco customers now have greater granularity and control over network traffic ports at the virtual machine level. This allows customers to maintain a tightened security level over the greater OpenStack cloud, while allowing virtualized network function (VNF) traffic through each virtual machine, as necessary. Version 7 introduces this via the Neutron modular layer 2 (ML2) and Open vSwitch (OVS) port security mechanisms included in the community Kilo release.
  • Network flexibility - New Neutron networking features offer greater flexibility and improved network redundancy. Network operators can benefit from several IPv6 enhancements, including the ability to support direct network routing between tenants and the external gateway. In addition, version 7 expands the high availability for Neutron routers and improves the monitoring and reporting of the router to help network operators maintain uptime.
  • Incremental Backup - Storage administrators can now benefit from faster block storage backups and reduced capacity needs with support for snapshot-based backups. With added support for NFS and POSIX file system types, this significantly reduces the amount of storage and time required, by backing up only the incremental changes since the last full state backup.
  • Trusted Integration and Ecosystem

HP Announces Hyper-converged Appliance

HP introduced a hyper-converged appliance that combines built-in disaster recovery with next-generation servers and hybrid cloud orchestration.

The new HP ConvergedSystem 250-HC StoreVirtual (CS 250) is designed to enable highly-available virtual server and storage infrastructure.It leverages HP’s x86 server and virtualization solutions combined with its HP StoreVirtual software-defined storage (SDS) technology. The CS 250 features enhanced VMware integration, supports hybrid-cloud solution architectures and is accompanied by new delivery services and channel programs.

“There is no one-size-fits-all solution for infrastructure,” said Manish Goel, senior vice president and general manager, HP Storage. “This is why HP continues to offer flexible and interoperable solutions based on HP StoreVirtual technology to help our customers lower costs independent of the hypervisors and hardware platforms they choose. Hyper-convergence is simply the next step in HP’s evolution of the software-defined data center.”

Tintri Raises $125 Million for VM-aware Storage

Tintri, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $125 million in Series F venture funding for its VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments.

Tintri's application-aware storage is able to see how applications behave at the virtualization layer and present information in a way that’s useful to IT professionals. The application-awareness helps eliminate planning and complex troubleshooting by providing VM-level visibility, control, insight and agility, with all flash performance for virtualized environment and the cloud.

The new funding round was led by Silver Lake Kraftwerk. Tintri’s existing investors—Insight Venture Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Menlo Ventures and NEA—also participated in the round, bringing Tintri’s total capital raised to $260 million. The company will use the funding to accelerate global adoption of VM-aware storage.

“We are honored to be partnering with such an esteemed group of investors,” said Ken Klein, chairman and CEO for Tintri. “The storage industry is going through a dramatic transformation. Virtualization and cloud are forces for change—and conventional DAS, NAS and SAN storage is struggling to keep pace. That’s why our message of VM-aware storage (VAS) is winning in the marketplace. This funding fuels our mission—we’ll be growing our global footprint and raising visibility of the business benefits of storage built specifically for virtualized enterprises. ”

SanDisk and Toshiba Announce 256 Gigabit 3D NAND Chip

SanDisk and Toshiba have begun samplingt a 256 Gigabit (Gb) 3-bit-per-cell (X3) 48-layer 3D NAND chip at a fab in Yokkaichi, Japan.

SanDisk’s 256 Gb X3 BiCS chip is designed for wide applicability in consumer, client, mobile and enterprise products, and is expected to begin shipping in SanDisk’s products in 2016.

“We are pleased to announce our first 3D NAND chip targeted for production,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, SanDisk. “This is the world’s first 256 Gb X3 chip, developed using our industry-leading 48-layer BiCS technology1 and demonstrating SanDisk’s continued leadership in X3 technology. We will use this chip to deliver compelling storage solutions for our customers.”

BiCS is a nonvolatile memory architecture designed to bring new levels of density, scalability and performance to flash-based devices. BiCS NAND memory will also provide enhanced write/erase endurance, write speeds and energy efficiency relative to conventional 2D NAND.

Bhutan Telecom Picks Coriant hiT 7300 DWDM

Bhutan Telecom, the incumbent provider of telecommunications and Internet services in the Kingdom of Bhutan, has selected the Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform as the backbone solution for its new country-wide DWDM network.

Coriant said Bhutan Telecom, the leading provider of both mobile telephony and Internet services in the Kingdom of Bhutan and the only fixed line telephony services provider in the country, is deploying the hiT 7300 platform to enhance the performance of its high-bandwidth business and consumer services, including 3G, LTE, VPN, and fixed line broadband Internet access. The new country-wide optical fiber backbone network, which replaces Bhutan Telecom's existing SDH transmission infrastructure, will be based on Coriant's coherent optical transmission technology.

CenturyLink Misses Q2 Financial Targets

Citing continued pressure on wholesale revenues and higher employee costs, CenturyLink reported Q2 2015 revenue of $4.42 billion compared to $4.54 billion in second quarter 2014. Net income (GAAP) for second quarter 2015 was $143 million compared to a net income of $193 million for second quarter 2014, and diluted earnings per share was $0.26 for second quarter 2015 compared to $0.34 for second quarter 2014.

"CenturyLink's results for the second quarter were below our forecast and Street consensus, primarily due to continued pressure on wholesale revenues and higher employee and benefit costs," said Glen F. Post III, chief executive officer and president. "While we are disappointed with the financial results for this quarter, we are positioning CenturyLink to drive stronger sales, strategic revenue growth and improved operating cash flow in the months ahead."

Some operational highlights:

  • Achieved core revenues of $4.02 billion in second quarter 2015; revenue from high-bandwidth data services provided to business customers, including MPLS3, Ethernet and Wavelength, grew more than 10% year-over-year.
  • Generated free cash flow of $562 million, excluding special items.
  • Added approximately 8,400 CenturyLink® PrismTM TV customers during second quarter 2015, ending the period with approximately 258,000 customers.
  • Ended the quarter with more than 6.1 million high-speed Internet customers, a decrease of approximately 9,200 customers in second quarter 2015 due to typical seasonality.
  • Purchased and retired an additional 2.5 million shares of CenturyLink common stock for nearly $90 million during second quarter 2015.

EchoStar Picks Lockeed Martin for Jupiter 2 Launch in 2016

The EchoStar XIX communications satellite is scheduled to launch in late 2016 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

EchoStar XIX, also known as JUPITER 2, is a large, multi-spot beam Ka-band satellite that will help meet the growing demand for HughesNet high-speed satellite internet service in North America. The satellite, built by SSL in Palo Alto, California, is designed to provide service for 15 years or longer.

“This is an important launch to HughesNet customers and the Atlas V rocket makes it an ideal choice for this launch,” said Steve Skladanek, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “The Atlas program brings unmatched performance, reliability and schedule assurance for EchoStar and Hughes.”

Hortonworks Hits Revenue of $30.7 million, up 154% YoY

Hortonworks, which specializes in Open Enterprise Hadoop, reported Q2 revenue of $30.7 million, an increase of 154 percent over the $12.1 million in the second quarter of 2014. There was a total GAAP gross profit of $17.5 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to gross profit of $5.5 million in the same period last year.

"We are very pleased with our second quarter performance which was highlighted by support subscription revenue growth of 178% year-over-year and solid customer momentum with the addition of 119 new support subscription logos," said Rob Bearden, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors of Hortonworks. "As leading enterprise organizations continue to deploy the Hortonworks Data Platform in production at scale, as evidenced by our 144% dollar-based net expansion rate over the trailing four quarters, we could not be more thrilled to serve as their trusted IT partner during this transformational period in the data management industry."