Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cisco Posts Strong Growth in Income but Guidance Cites Macro Economic Uncertainty

Cisco reported first quarter revenue of $12.7 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion or $0.59 per share. Revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same period last year, while net income rose by 33%.

"Q1 was a very strong quarter. We are accelerating our ability to deliver on growth opportunities, aggressively driving our cloud business, and delivering continued strength in our deferred product revenue, as we sell more of our portfolio in software and cloud models," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chief executive officer. "We guided to solid growth in Q2. Our guidance reflects lower than expected order growth in Q1, driven largely by the uncertainty of the macro environment and currency impacts. Despite these headwinds, I believe we are executing very well. We are moving very fast to capture new opportunities and I feel good about how we are positioned for the second half of the year."

Some highlights:

  • Product revenue increased by 4% and service revenue increased by 1%. 
  • Total revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 4%, and each of EMEA and APJC up 3%. 
  • Product revenue growth was led by Data Center and Collaboration at 24% and 17%, respectively. 
  • Wireless and Security each grew 7%, Switching grew 5%, NGN Routing decreased 8%, and Service Provider Video decreased 2%.
  • By product orders per customer segment, Enterprise (3%), Public Sector (0%), Commercial 7%, Service Provider 6%.  Overall 3%.
  • By product orders geographically, Americas 1%, EMEA 3%, APJC 9%. Cisco total 3%.
  • Cash and cash equivalents were $59.1 billion, up from $52.1 billion a year ago.
  • Cisco headcount was 72,063, which is about the same as a year ago.

http://investor.cisco.com/investor-relations/news-and-events/news/news-details/2015/Cisco-Reports-First-Quarter-Earnings/

Mellanox Intros 100Gbps InfiniBand Switch

Mellanox Technologies introduced its next generation InfiniBand switch for High-Performance Computing, Web 2.0, database and cloud data centers.

The Mellanox Switch-IB 2 is capable of 100 Gbps per port speeds and is the world's first smart network switch that offloads MPI operations from the CPU to the network to deliver 10X performance improvements. It integrates 144 SerDes which can operate at 1Gbps to 25Gbps speeds per lane and delivers 7.02 billion messages-per-second, 90ns switch latency and low power consumption, making Switch-IB 2 the best solution for high-performance computing, cloud, Web 2.0, database and storage centers.

Mellanox said a major innovation is that the switch can manage collective communications (MPI and SHMEM) using embedded hardware, decreading the amount of data traversing the network, reducing application latency with additional benefit of freeing up CPU resources for computation rather than using them to process communication.

“Mellanox smart interconnect solutions will continue to bring not just the widest and fastest interconnect but also more hardware offloads to free the CPU to focus on the application,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox’s smart interconnect technology is a full generation ahead of the competition in terms of performance and return-on-investment advantages it brings to IT and applications managers.”

http://www.mellanox.com/page/press_release_item?id=1627

Rancher Can Now Orchestrate Persistent Storage Services for Docker

Rancher Labs, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, now offers the ability to orchestrate Persistent Storage Services for Docker.  This makes its easier for developers to define and deploy the exact storage capabilities needed for their containerized applications.

Rancher, which is the company's flagship software tool for building a private container service, can be used with a Docker 1.9 volume plugin to:

  • Orchestrate the deployment and configuration of storage services directly on container hosts, utilizing any software defined storage platforms shipped as containers, including, for example, Gluster, Ceph and NexentaEdge.
  • Launch applications using Docker Compose that can leverage these storage services to automatically create and mount persistent Docker volumes to support stateful application services such as traditional databases.
  • Utilize any vendor-specific advanced storage features offered by storage services such as snapshot, backup, remote replication and data analytics.
  • Deploy an application with all of its necessary storage services on any virtual machine or bare metal server, running in any public cloud or private data center.

For example, a user deploying a web application running on Tomcat and MySQL can also use Rancher to deploy a Persistent Storage Service based on Gluster. The Gluster storage service can then be distributed across multiple disks running on different hosts within the Rancher cluster. When the MySQL service is launched, Rancher can orchestrate the deployment of a block storage volume from the Gluster service, which is then connected to the MySQL container as a Docker Volume. Users can leverage GlusterFS geo-replication to backup the application to a remote site.

Once the application is deployed, Rancher continues to manage both the application and storage services, monitoring hosts and disks for failures and responding whenever necessary to ensure the availability of the application.

“As developers begin to deploy more stateful applications using Docker, it is critical that storage services become as easy to deploy and migrate as regular Docker containers,” said Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs. “We’re thrilled to announce this latest update to Rancher, as we believe persistent storage services will unleash a new wave of innovation for the Docker ecosystem, community and users.”

http://www.rancher.com

Rancher Labs Launches its Container Infrastructure Platform

Rancher Labs, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, announced the beta release of its platform for running Docker in production. It includes a fully-integrated set of infrastructure services purpose built for containers, including networking, storage management, load balancing, service discovery, monitoring, and resource management. Rancher connects these infrastructure services with standard Docker plugins and application management tools, such as Docker Compose, to make it simple for organizations to deploy and manage containerized workloads on any infrastructure.

Key Rancher features:

  • Cross-host networking: Rancher creates a private software defined network for each user, allowing secure communication between containers across hosts and even clouds.
  • Container load balancing: Rancher provides an integrated, elastic load balancing service to distribute traffic between containers or services.
  • Storage Management: Rancher supports live snapshot and backup of Docker volumes, enabling users to backup stateful containers and stateful services.
  • Service discovery: Rancher implements a distributed DNS-based service discovery function with integrated health checking that allows containers to automatically register themselves as services, as well as services to dynamically discover each other over the network.
  • Service upgrades: Rancher makes it easy for users to upgrade existing container services, by allowing service cloning and redirection of service requests. This makes it possible to ensure services can be validated against their dependencies before live traffic is directed to the newly upgraded services.
  • Resource management: Rancher supports Docker Machine, a powerful tool for provisioning hosts directly from cloud providers. Rancher then monitors host resources and manages container deployment.
  • Native Docker Support: Rancher supports native Docker management of containers. Users can directly provision containers using the Docker API or CLI, as well as using Docker Compose for more complex application management functions. Third-party tools that are built on Docker API, such as Kubernetes, work seamlessly on Rancher.
  • Multi-tenancy and user management: Rancher is designed for multiple users and allows organizations to collaborate throughout the application lifecycle. By connecting with existing directory services, Rancher allows users to create separate development, testing, and production environments and invite their peers to collaboratively manage resources and applications.

Microsoft to offer Cloud Services from UK Data Centers

Microsoft plans to offer commercial cloud services from the UK.

Specifically, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will be generally available from local UK-based data centers in late 2016 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter.

In addition, Microsoft announced the completion of the most recent expansion of its Ireland site and that its data center facility in Middenmeer, the Netherlands, is now operational. Both locations serve as hubs for Microsoft cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, and will provide additional capacity for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

https://news.microsoft.com/2015/11/10/microsoft-announces-plans-to-offer-cloud-services-from-the-uk/

Rocket Fiber Promises 10G Residential Internet in Detroit

Rocket Fiber, a Detroit-based optical fiber Internet service provider backed by Quicken Loans, announced plans to provide up to 10 Gbps Internet speeds for residential customers and up to 100G for businesses.

Rocket Fiber beta testing has already begun for residents connected to the service at The Albert and Malcomson Buildings in Detroit's Capitol Park neighborhood. In addition, 19 office buildings have been connected to the Rocket Fiber network including the First National Building and One Kennedy Square. The company said a large number of business and residential customers are scheduled to "go live" in early 2016.

Rocket Fiber has already laid 17 miles of fiber in the city and began activating clients earlier this month in downtown Detroit's Central Business District. The company is expected to expand to Midtown Detroit in 2016 and then continue to grow in other areas of the city and eventually beyond.

"Rocket Fiber's mission is to develop and implement critical technology infrastructure that will contribute to transforming Detroit into one of the most attractive cities for technology and other businesses to locate," says Rocket Fiber Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Randy Foster. "Ten-gigabit Internet will put Detroit in an elite category in which technology start-ups and growth companies will naturally and quickly emerge inside its borders."

http://www.rocketfiber.com

EZChip Postpones Vote on Acquisition by Mellanox

At the request of Mellanox Technologies, EZChip is postponing the date for its shareholders to vote on the current acquisition agreement by Mellanox. The vote had be scheduled for November 12.

Mellanox has proposed a waiver of its merger termination fee and a 30-day go-shop period under which EZChip could solicit third party offers.

Mellanox also reaffirmed its "full, fair and firm" offer of $25.50 per EZchip share, which represents a premium of 16% over the closing price of EZchip shares on September 29, 2015 (the last trading day prior to the public announcement) and a 33% premium and 31% premium over the volume-weighted average closing prices of EZchip shares over the 12-month and 3-month period prior to the public announcement of the transaction.  

http://www.mellanox.com/page/press_release_item?id=1628

Mellanox to Acquire EZchip

Mellanox Technologies agreed to acquire EZchip, a supplier of network processors and embedded CPUs for carrier and data center networks, for a cash purchase price of $25.5 per share, implying a transaction value of approximately $811 million (approximately $620 million net of cash).

EZchip’s silicon portfolio of solutions includes network processors, multi-core processors, intelligent network adapters, and high-performance appliances with a comprehensive software ecosystem, that scale to terabit performance levels. The company has expertise in security, deep packet inspection, video, and storage processing. EZChip is based in Yokneam, Israel. Eli Fruchter has served as CEO since the company's inception in May 1999

Mellanox said the EZchip acquisition is a step in its strategy to become the leading broad-line supplier of intelligent interconnect solutions for the software-defined data centers.

“The synergies between EZchip and Mellanox create attractive opportunities. We expect our combined technologies, and product portfolios to deliver leading end-to-end intelligent interconnect and processing solutions to data centers and wide area networks,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

“Joining forces with Mellanox represents numerous synergies that create a true powerhouse for connectivity and processing. With Mellanox's leading layer 1 - 3 connectivity solutions for data centers and EZchip's leading layer 3 – 7 processing solutions for carrier networks, the two companies complement each other in technology, products, markets served and customers. Together, we enable a multitude of layer 1 through 7 solutions for data centers and carriers,” said Eli Fruchter, CEO of EZchip.

The combined businesses currently have approximately 2,400 employees, and have generated combined revenues of $668 million for the twelve months ended June 30, 2015.

http://ir.mellanox.com
http://www.ezchip.com

Zayo to Acquire Viatel for European Fiber Networks

Zayo agreed to acquire Viatel’s infrastructure and non-Irish enterprise businesses for approximately EUR 95 million. Viatel is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Digiweb Group, a full service telecommunications and managed services operator, based in Dublin, Ireland.

Zayo said the Viatel acquisition will bring an 8,400 kilometer fiber network across eight countries. The transaction will add 12 new metro networks, seven data centers and connectivity to 81 on-net buildings. Two wholly-owned subsea cable systems will provide connectivity on two of Europe’s busiest routes – London Amsterdam and London-Paris. The Viatel businesses to be acquired are highly aligned with Zayo’s existing product and customer set, including a higher proportion of dark fiber revenue.

 “Viatel’s long-haul fiber network and colo assets combined with Zayo’s existing national UK, France and U.S. networks provides truly international, seamless connectivity for Zayo’s existing and new customers,” said Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO of Zayo. “Our Pan-European infrastructure capability addresses new growth opportunities, including connectivity to key subsea cable systems delivering traffic to and from high-growth regions such as Asia and Africa.”

http://www.zayo.com

Juniper Appoints Security CTO

Juniper Networks announced the appointment of Kevin Walker as security chief technology officer (CTO). He joins the company with more than 25 years of experience in information security and technology, most recently serving as vice president and assistant chief information security officer at Walmart.com. He has also served in a variety of roles, including chief information security officer, chief security strategist and director of information security across technology, networking and security companies such as Intuit, Cisco Systems, Symantec Corporation and Veritas Software.

“For Juniper, ‘security’ and ‘networking’ are one and the same and we are committed to building the most secure networks for our customers. Kevin brings years of cybersecurity expertise across product development, research and engineering as well as front-line experience at some of the world’s largest companies. He understands the complex issues that our customers face and will help Juniper continue to innovate, challenge the status quo and deliver security solutions that meet our customers’ needs,” said Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, JDI of Juniper Networks.

http://www.juniper.net

See also