Thursday, February 18, 2016

Verizon Delivers SD-WAN with Viptela

Verizon will deliver a new software defined networking solution using Viptela’s Software Defined WAN Platform. Viptela also entered into an exclusive managed services arrangement with Verizon in the United States.

The new Verizon service, powered by Viptela, allows enterprises to “mix and match” private and public IP connections such as MPLS, wireless LTE, broadband and Ethernet to meet an organization’s unique application requirements based on geographic location, bandwidth and application service availability needs. The new managed service is being offered in the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific region. It is delivered from Verizon’s cloud and will be supported by Verizon’s IT consulting group.

The Viptela SD-WAN solution expands Verizon’s Managed SD WAN portfolio currently based on Cisco’s iWAN technology in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

Key features of Viptela’s SD-WAN platform:

  • Centralized management and increased agility: Deploy changes in service policies in minutes using centralized management and zero-touch capabilities
  • Application performance and service availability: Visibility into application and infrastructure performance to enable informed decisions on resource utilization and application tuning
  • Security: Every device is authenticated and every packet encrypted in the network for added protection while supporting network segmentation
  • Service-chaining: Enables supplementary L4 – L7 services like WAN optimization, firewalls and data leak prevention delivered from the Verizon cloud across the enterprise network.

“Viptela SD-WAN creates a unified and secure WAN that allows Verizon to deliver a new range of business application capabilities with exceptional levels of security, performance and availability,” said Amir Khan, CEO of Viptela. “The new Viptela-powered service enables Verizon to expand its WAN footprint by harnessing the power of software defined networking, and capitalize on new business opportunities made possible by the cloud and virtualized infrastructures.”

Blueprint: What’s Wrong with the WAN?

by Khalid Raza, CTO, Viptela Today’s WANs are built on largely the same infrastructure as they were 10 years ago.  Back then, demands by users and applications were more predictable, resulting in more expected traffic patterns and bandwidth requirements.  And there was no cloud.  And there was no virtualization. But things are different today.  Delay-sensitive real-time applications such as VoIP and video are now enterprise...

IBM Cloud Assembles World's Largest Health Data Set

IBM announced its fourth major heal data-related acquisition in the part year: Truven Health Analytics, a leading provider of cloud-based healthcare data, analytics and insights.  The price was $2.6 billion.

IBM plans to integrate Truven’s extensive cloud-based data set spanning hundreds of different types of cost, claims, quality and outcomes information with its existing data sets.

Upon completion of the acquisition, IBM’s health cloud will house one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of health-related data, representing an aggregate of approximately 300 million patient lives acquired from three companies (aggregate figure includes roughly 215 million patient lives from Truven, 50 million patient lives from Explorys and 45 million patient lives from Phytel).

"With this acquisition, IBM will be one of the world’s leading health data, analytics and insights companies, and the only one that can deliver the unique cognitive capabilities of the Watson platform,” said Deborah DiSanzo, general manager for IBM Watson Health.

IBM to add Medical Imaging to Watson

IBM agreed to acquire Merge Healthcare Incorporated (NASDAQ: MRGE), a leading provider of medical image handling and processing, interoperability and clinical systems for $7.13 per share in cash, for a total transaction value of $1 billion.

IBM said the deal will provide Watson with the ability to "see" by bringing together Watson's advanced image analytics and cognitive capabilities with data and images obtained from Merge's medical imaging management platform.  Merge's technology platforms are used at more than 7,500 U.S. healthcare sites, as well as most of the world's leading clinical research institutes and pharmaceutical firms to manage a growing body of medical images.  The vision is that these organizations could use the Watson Health Cloud to surface new insights from a consolidated, patient-centric view of current and historical images, electronic health records, data from wearable devices and other related medical data, in a HIPAA-enabled environment.

"As a proven leader in delivering healthcare solutions for over 20 years, Merge is a tremendous addition to the Watson Health platform.  Healthcare will be one of IBM's biggest growth areas over the next 10 years, which is why  we are making a major investment to drive industry transformation and to facilitate a higher quality of care," said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Research and Solutions Portfolio. "Watson's powerful cognitive and analytic capabilities, coupled with those from Merge and our other major strategic acquisitions, position IBM to partner with healthcare providers, research institutions, biomedical companies, insurers and other organizations committed to changing the very nature of health and healthcare in the 21st century. Giving Watson 'eyes' on medical images unlocks entirely new possibilities for the industry."

Red Hat's Ansible Brings DevOps to Networking

Red Hat introduced new Ansible capabilities, including native agentless support for automating heterogeneous network infrastructure devices using the same simple human and machine readable automation language that Ansible provides to IT teams.

At launch, Red Hat's Ansible networking framework provides support for:
  • Arista Networks – Arista EOS 
  • Cisco Systems – Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI); Cisco IOS-XE; Cisco IOS-XR; and Cisco NX-OS 
  • Cumulus Networks – Cumulus Linux; 
  • – OpenSwitch; and 
  • Juniper Networks – Junos OS.
Red Hat said these expanded Ansible capabilities will help bring DevOps capabilities to networking. For network teams looking to apply more agile DevOps methodologies to network infrastructures, Ansible can enhance their ability to build and operate heterogeneous network devices, freeing them up to focus on evolving the network to meet the changing business needs instead of manually pushing network configuration. For systems and applications teams that wish to include network devices in a holistic approach to application workload management, Ansible’s native network device support enables them to extend their DevOps tools and practices to heterogeneous network devices.

"Today’s networks are complicated, and largely comprised of multi-vendor solutions, making them rather inflexible and slow to react to business changes. Bringing a DevOps mindset and approach to the network gives customers the ability to make network operations a repeatable, more predictable, and automated process. By bringing the power of Ansible, the popular open source IT automation solution, to the network, we’re giving customers the ability to solve their complicated networking automation and workflow problems in a new way,”

Red Hat to Acquire Ansible for DevOps Automation

Red Hat agreed to acquire Ansible, a developer of enterprise IT automation  solutions.  The companies did not disclose the acquisition price

Ansible’s agentless approach for IT automation, unlike competing solutions, does not require any special coding skills. Key marketing points for Ansible include:

  • Deploy and manage applications across private and public clouds.
  • Speed service delivery through DevOps initiatives.
  • Streamline OpenStack installations and upgrades.
  • Accelerate container adoption by simplifying orchestration and configuration.

Red Hat said Ansible's automation capabilities, together with its existing management portfolio, will help users drive down the cost and complexity of deploying and managing both cloud-native and traditional applications across hybrid cloud env ironments.

Red Hat Gluster Storage Scales Out on Google Cloud Platform

Red Hat has expanded its alliance with Google to deliver Red Hat Gluster Storage on Google Cloud Platform.

Red Hat Gluster Storage is a shared-nothing, scale-out solution available to Google Cloud Platform customers seeking elastic and robust file storage across public and hybrid cloud environments. It enables customers to deploy the same storage technology on-premises and on Google Cloud Platform so users can take their existing applications with them as they move into the cloud.

Aggregating multiple Google Persistent Disks allows Red Hat Gluster Storage to create a single, more secure and highly available storage pool that can scale to petabytes of data in minutes without disruption.

“Storage has evolved beyond a hardware-centric approach, especially as enterprises increasingly build and deploy applications on-premises and in public and hybrid clouds. Modern applications need flexible storage solutions that can scale-out as business needs change, managing petabytes of data in a variety of environments. We are excited to expand our alliance with Google to bring even more choice to the hybrid cloud: whether on-premise or in the public cloud with Google Cloud Platform, customers can rely on their Red Hat Gluster Storage to meet growing storage needs,” stated Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager, Storage and Big Data, Red Hat.

OIF Approves CFP2 Analog Coherent Optic Module IA

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) approved an Implementation Agreement (IA) on pluggable coherent optics modules.

The CFP2 Analog Coherent Optics (CFP2-ACO) IA contains all functions required to perform bi-directional dual polarization coherent optical signaling over a pair of single mode optical fibers. These modules are expected to be applicable across multiple coherent DSP ASIC generations from various DSP vendors.

Faceplate density of optical IO is a key metric for switching and line-side transport applications. The roadmap for reduction in module size is accelerated by moving functions from the traditional CFP-series module to the host board. Moving the high power electronics functions to the line card permits optimal cooling of the electronics, enabling higher performance line-side applications as well as increasing the reliability of the module itself.

“A long life-span for the CFP2-ACO solution is expected by providing optical module vendors a large addressable market,” said Ian Betty of Ciena and OIF board member and IA editor. “Significant innovation and cost reduction in the coherent optics solutions for Metro-to-Regional reach line-side transport is anticipated with the CFP2-ACO solution.”

FCC Opens Set-top Box to Competition

The FCC approved a proposal to "unlock" the set-top box market for pay-TV services.

Specifically, the new rules recommend that pay-TV providers be required to deliver three core information streams:

Service discovery: Information about what programming is available to the consumer, such as the channel listing and video-on-demand lineup, and what is on those channels.

Entitlements: Information about what a device is allowed to do with content, such as recording.  
Content delivery: The video programming itself.

The streams could be used by new hardware or software apps to give customers choice in how they receive programming.

The proposal seeks to maintain programmers’ existing agreements with MVPDs and full copyright protections and remedies.  The proposal tentatively concludes that new device or app developers should certify compliance with similar privacy protections to those that MVPDs comply with today.

NEC and Juniper Showcase NFV Integration at #MWC16

NEC Corporation (NEC) and Juniper Networks have expanded their global alliance to deliver NFV-based solutions for carriers and enterprises.

The joint solutions combine the NEC Cloud System (OSS building model), which is an OpenStack-based cloud infrastructure, with NetCracker's OSS/BSS systems, end-to-end service orchestration, systems integration capabilities and consulting options along with Juniper Networks' networking equipment and virtual network functions (VNFs), such as the Juniper Networks vMX routing platform and vSRX Virtual Firewall.

Juniper said its networking equipment and VNFs (vMX and vSRX) are the building blocks that enable NFV solutions to deliver greater levels of business agility through automation.

NEC will leverage Juniper Networks' NFV-ready hardware and software within their enterprise virtualized Customer Premises Equipment (vCPE) solution to enable the flexibility of a virtualized service environment. When combined with NetCracker OSS/BSS and end-to-end service orchestration capabilities, the solution can provide service providers and enterprise customers with a viable means of delivering cloud-based business services in a fully automated fashion in near real-time.

"As part of its commitment to delivering an open, best-in-breed NFV-based solution, NEC has led an SDN/NFV ecosystem program with more than 40 partners worldwide. NEC is thrilled to be working closely with Juniper through this expanded alliance, which will further reinforce the ecosystem and allow NEC and Juniper to jointly offer NFV-based solutions that enable the introduction of innovative new services at higher speed and lower cost," stated
- Atsuo Kawamura, senior vice president at NEC Corporation.

"By harnessing the power of automation and orchestration through SDN and NFV, and by supporting customers as they navigate their OSS transformation journey, Juniper and NEC are well-positioned to help customers capitalize on their IT and network investments," stated Vince Molinaro, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Juniper Networks.

Arista Posts Q4 Revenue of $245M, up 42% YoY

Arista Networks reported Q4 2015 revenue of $245.4 million, an increase of 41.5% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, and an increase of 12.8% from the third quarter of 2015. Net income (GAAP) came in $43.9 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $31.0 million, or $0.43 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.  Gross margin (GAAP) was 63.6%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 67.1% in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 65.2% in the third quarter of 2015.

Revenue for full year 2015 was $837.6 million, an increase of 43.4% compared to fiscal year 2014.

"Arista has delivered a spectacular 2015. I have been pleased with the rapid acceptance by our customers of Arista’s programmable cloud networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “The inevitable shift from legacy enterprises to cloud workloads has fueled Arista’s strong performance of profitable revenue growth and increasing market share.”

Vera Secures $17 Million for its File Protection System

Vera, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California secured $17 million in Series B funding for its "zero-touch, zero-friction data protection and encryption solution that secures and tracks any digital information across all users, devices, applications, and platforms in real-time."

Vera offers a storage agnostic security solution whereby security policies remain with files anywhere they’re stored.  Vera has partnered with Dropbox, Okta, and Centrify, and announced strategic integrations with Box, VMware, and Microsoft. The system uses AES 256 encryption at the data level.  Policies can be changed at any time. The company said it has added more than a quarter million users at Fortune 500 companies since its public launch in April 2015.

The funding was led by Sutter Hill Ventures, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Clear Venture Partners, and Amplify Partners. As part of the financing, Stefan Dyckerhoff, Managing Director at Sutter Hill Ventures will join the Vera board of directors. To date, Vera has raised over $31M in total funding.

“We’re entering the next major epoch of cybersecurity, and we’ve seen customers, partners, and forward-thinking investors clearly recognize that fact," said Ajay Arora, CEO and Co-founder of Vera.

Jana Raises $57 million for Sponsored Mobile Access

Jana, a start-up based in Boston, announced $57 million in Series C funding for its plan "to make the Internet free for the next billion people"

Jana's mCent Android app, which launched in July 2014, enables users to use third-party apps that come with free, mobile access thanks to Jana's partnerships with mobile operators. The company says 30 million people have now benefited from its app.  Jana is now the second largest mobile advertising platform in India next to Google.

Jana intends to expand into China and has formed partnerships with China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom.

The new funding was led by Verizon Ventures with participation from existing investors, Spark Capital and Publicis Groupe. Additionally, Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, will serve on Jana's advisory board.

Samsung Releases its IoT Development Platform

Samsung Electronics Co. released its "ARTIK" platform of essential IoT hardware and software components, along with an ecosystem of key industry partners. The platform is aimed at new enterprise, industrial and consumer applications.

ARTIK’s support for operating systems include Tizen, Nucleus Real Time OS and the open source Fedora Linux stack.

“I’m very proud of the SAMSUNG ARTIK team and the strong momentum they have achieved. In less than 8 months, we’ve gone from product launch to commercial availability, while building multiple modules, operating systems, embedded security, and a growing ecosystem of actively engaged partners,” said Dr. Byungse So, Executive Vice President and CTO, Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center. “We believe in the power of open platforms and partner ecosystems, leveraging the wealth of expertise and experience available in the market to bring delightful experiences to our customers. We’re excited to see all the innovative projects that developers will come up with in the future.”