Thursday, November 8, 2018

ThousandEyes: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud

ThousandEyes, which leverages a cloud platform to offer visibility throughout the global Internet, published its 2018 Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report, comparing the global network performance of the three major public cloud providers—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.

The company says its results should be examined through the lens of the individual business planning or evaluating their cloud architectural choices as regional performance differences can make a significant impact in terms of performance gains or losses. The results are based on data gathered from periodically monitoring bi- directional network performance such as latency, packet loss and jitter to, within and between multiple global regions of the three public cloud providers over a four-week period.

Key findings of the 2018 ThousandEyes Public Cloud Performance Benchmark Report:

  • Architectural differences between providers impacts service delivery: AWS sends traffic over the Internet for the majority of the service delivery path, whereas GCP and Azure do not, instead using their own backbone networks. Increased exposure to the Internet means there is greater operational risk and impact on performance predictability.
  • Performance variations by region: geographical performance variations exist across the three cloud providers, most noticeably in the LATAM and Asia regions. Decision-makers should consult the detailed findings to choose the best cloud provider on a per-region basis to ensure optimal performance globally.
  • Multi-cloud network performance is strong: despite being competitors, the three providers peer directly with one another, eliminating the dependence on third-party ISPs. Plus, traffic almost never leaves the provider backbone networks, meaning there is very little loss and jitter in end-to-end communication. Decision-makers need not worry about performance in multi-cloud architectures.
  • When connecting Europe to India, GCP exhibited three times the network latency compared to AWS and Azure.
  • In Asia, GCP and Azure exhibited more network performance stability than AWS, which demonstrated 35% less network performance stability than GCP and 56% less than Azure.
  • When connecting Europe to Singapore, AWS and GCP were 1.5 times slower than Azure.
"Multi-national organizations that are embracing digital transformation and venturing into the cloud need to be aware of the geographical performance differences between the major public clouds when making global multi-cloud decisions," said Archana Kesevan, report author and senior product marketing manager at ThousandEyes. "To help global businesses with this assessment, ThousandEyes is providing an unbiased, third-party perspective on public cloud performance as it relates to end-user experience—and at the same time, breaking the mold of survey-based research and vendor-led reporting."

The 28-page report can be downloaded here:
https://www.thousandeyes.com/research/public-cloud



CommScope to acquire ARRIS for $7.4 billion

CommScope agreed to acquire ARRIS International (NASDAQ: ARRS) in an all-cash transaction for $31.75 per share, or a total purchase price of approximately $7.4 billion, including the repayment of debt. In addition, The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, has reestablished an ownership position in CommScope through a $1 billion minority equity investment as part of CommScope’s financing of the transaction.

ARRIS, an innovator in broadband, video and wireless technology, combines hardware, software and services to enable advanced video experiences and constant connectivity across a variety of environments – for service providers, commercial verticals, small enterprises and the people they serve. ARRIS has strong leadership positions in the three segments in which it operates:

  • Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), featuring access devices such as broadband modems, gateways and routers and video set-tops and gateways;
  • Network & Cloud (N&C), combining broadband and video infrastructure with cloud-based software solutions; and
  • Enterprise Networks, incorporating the recently acquired Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch businesses, and focusing on wireless and wired connectivity, including Citizens Broadband Radio Service solutions.
  • For the 12 months ended September 30, 2018, ARRIS generated revenues of approximately $6.7 billion, consisting of $3.9 billion from CPE, $2.2 billion from N&C and $568 million from Enterprise Networks (reflecting only a partial year of Ruckus since its acquisition in December 2017). 
The combination of CommScope and ARRIS, on a pro forma basis, would create a company with approximately $11.3 billion in revenue and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of approximately $1.8 billion, based on results for the two companies for the 12 months ended September 30, 2018.

CommScope said the combined company will drive profitable growth in new markets, shape the future of wired and wireless communications, and position the new company to benefit from key industry trends, including network convergence, fiber and mobility everywhere, 5G, Internet of Things and rapidly changing network and technology architectures.



“After a comprehensive evaluation of our business and the evolving industry we operate in, we are confident that combining with ARRIS is the best path forward for CommScope to grow and provide the greatest returns for shareholders,” said Eddie Edwards, president and chief executive officer, CommScope. “CommScope and ARRIS will bring together a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions that neither company could otherwise achieve on its own. With ARRIS, we will access new and growing markets, and have greater technology, solutions and employee talent that will provide additional value and benefit to our customers and partners.

Separately, CommScope reported 3Q18 sales of $1.15 billion, up 2% year over year. GAAP operating income was $132 million and non-GAAP adjusted operating income (excluding special items) was $219 million.

Sales increased 2 percent year over year as growth in the North America and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions more than offset lower sales in the Asia-Pacific region. Double-digit Outdoor Network Solutions growth, was partially offset by a decline in Indoor Copper. Foreign exchange rate changes unfavorably impacted net sales by approximately 2 percent.

“During the quarter, we took action to ensure CommScope successfully navigates a dynamic and challenging market environment,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Eddie Edwards. “While we expect headwinds to continue as certain North American service providers spend more conservatively over the near term, we are confident that with ARRIS we will be better positioned for the advent of 5G and fixed wireless access.”

ARRIS completes acquisition of Ruckus Wireless

ARRIS completed its previously-announced acquisition of the Ruckus Wireless and ICX Switch business from Broadcom.

When the deal was first announced in February 2017 the announced price was $800 million in cash, plus the additional cost of unvested employee stock awards, following the closing of Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade.

Ruckus Networks will operate as a dedicated business under Enterprise Networks. Its target vertical markets span hospitality, education, government, service providers, multi-dwelling / tenant units, sports / entertainment venues, and transportation centers. ARRIS said another opportunity for Ruckus is the small-cell CBRS LTE market.

Dan Rabinovitsj—previously COO of Ruckus Wireless—will lead a new ARRIS Enterprise Networks business segment.

The business will focus on the delivery of innovative, high-performance wireless and wired network infrastructure, with a robust channel-led sales strategy.

Orange Launches LTE-M Network in France

Orange Business Services officially launched LTE-M service throughout metropolitan France. The service is available to all companies that have subscribed to its 4G IoT offer. LTE-M compatible devices will be available by the end of the year on Datavenue Market, the Orange Business Services marketplace dedicated to IoT objects and connectivity.

The launch in France follows the opening of Orange’s first LTE-M network in Belgium in May 2018. Orange will launch further LTE-M networks in Spain and Romania by the end of 2018.

Orange said it is committed to deploying both LTE-M and LoRa across its European footprint.

The carrier will select the appropriate technology on a country by country basis. LTE-M, which is a technology specifically dedicated to connected objects and deployed on Orange’s 4G networks will address objects that are on the move, in buildings or underground places. It is, therefore, suitable for logistical monitoring, telemonitoring, remote assistance and fleet management. Furthermore, LTE-M technology benefits from all the features of 4G including security, real-time connectivity and international roaming, thanks to broad support of the technology from other operators worldwide and already integrates with future 5G standards.

LoRa technology addresses very low battery power consumption use-cases with (inexpensive) modules and with a large and growing ecosystem from sensors to applications. Orange has been a long-standing proponent of LoRa technology deploying a national network in France which some 250 corporate customers already using it.

Cisco intros Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS

Cisco introduced a Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS for making it easier to run containerized application across on-premise and the AWS cloud. The solution configures on-premises Kubernetes environments to be consistent with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) while leveraging Cisco's networking, security, management and monitoring software.

Cisco said its implementation reduces complexity and costs for IT operations teams. The management of on-premises Kubernetes infrastructure is simplified with a common set of tools on-premises and on AWS. Cisco's enterprise support covers all parts of the solution.

"Today, most customers are forced to choose between developing applications on-premises or in the cloud. This can create a complex mix of environments, technologies, teams and vendors. But they shouldn't have to make a choice," said Kip Compton, senior vice president, Cloud Platform and Solutions at Cisco. "Now, developers can use existing investments to build new cloud-scale applications that fuel business innovation. This makes it easier to deploy and manage hybrid applications, no matter where they run. This allows customers to get the best out of both cloud and their on-premises environments with a single solution."

"More customers run containers on AWS and Kubernetes on AWS than anywhere else," said Terry Wise, Global Vice President of Channels & Alliances, Amazon Web Services, Inc. "Our customers want solutions that are designed for the cloud and Cisco's integration with Amazon EKS will make it easier for them to rapidly deploy and run containerized applications across both Cisco-based on-premises environments and the AWS cloud."

The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will be provided as both a software-only solution requiring only the Cisco Container Platform, or a hardware/software solution with the Cisco Container Platform running on Cisco HyperFlex.  The software is licensed in one-, three- and five-year subscriptions. Pricing for software-only subscriptions will start at approximately $65,000 per year for a typical entry-level configuration.  On AWS, customers pay $0.20 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that they create in addition to the AWS resources (e.g. Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes) they create to run Kubernetes worker nodes.

Cisco and Google Partner on New Hybrid Cloud Solution

Cisco and Google Cloud have formed a partnership to deliver a hybrid cloud solutions that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform. The pilot implementations are expected to be launched early next year, with commercial rollout later in 2018.

The main idea is to deliver a consistent Kubernetes environment for both on-premises Cisco Private Cloud Infrastructure and Google’s managed Kubernetes service, Google Container Engine.

The companies said their open hybrid cloud offering will provide enterprises with a way to run, secure and monitor workloads, thus enabling them to optimize their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid vendor lock in.

Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid solution highlights:


  • Orchestration and Management – Policy-based Kubernetes orchestration and lifecycle management of resources, applications and services across hybrid environments
  • Networking – Extend network policy and configurations to multiple on-premises and cloud environments
  • Security – Extend Security policy and monitor applications behavior
  • Visibility and Control – Real-time network and application performance monitoring and automation
  • Cloud-ready Infrastructure – Hyperconverged platform supporting existing application and cloud-native Kubernetes environments
  • Service Management with Istio – Open-source solution provides a uniform way to connect, secure, manage and monitor microservices
  • API Management – Google's Apigee enterprise-class API management enables legacy workloads running on premises to connect to the cloud through APIs
  • Developer Ready – Cisco's DevNet Developer Center provides tools and resources for cloud and enterprise developers to code in hybrid environments
  • Support – Joint coordinated technical support for the solution

"Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer— agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support," said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer, Cisco. "We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers."

VMware to acquire Heptio for Kubernetes

VMware agreed to acquire Heptio, a start-up developing Kubernetes solutions for bridging on-premise and multicloud integration. Financial erms were not disclosed.

Heptio was founded in 2016 by Joe Beda and Craig McLuckie, two of the creators of Kubernetes. The company offers a growing set of products, open source projects and contributions to upstream Kubernetes. This is complemented by Heptio’s work with organizations through training, support and professional services that speed integration of Kubernetes and related technologies into the fabric of enterprise IT.

VMware and Pivotal have delivered PKS, a Kubernetes portfolio covering customer use cases for on-premises deployment and as a cloud service. The offerings enable organizations to operate Kubernetes and run their modern applications in a cloud-agnostic fashion. Upon completion of the acquisition, Heptio’s Kubernetes solution, expertise and community leadership will enhance the VMware portfolio and further accelerate enterprise adoption of Kubernetes.

“Kubernetes is emerging as an open framework for multi-cloud infrastructure that enables enterprise organizations to run modern applications,” said Paul Fazzone, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Native Apps Business Unit, VMware. “Heptio products and services will reinforce and extend VMware’s efforts with PKS to establish Kubernetes as the de facto standard for infrastructure across clouds upon closing. We are thrilled that the Heptio team led by Craig and Joe will be joining VMware to help us guide customers as they move to a multi-cloud world.”

“The team at Heptio has been focused on Kubernetes, creating products that make it easier to manage multiple clusters across multiple clouds,” said Craig McLuckie, CEO and co-founder of Heptio. “And now we will be tapping into VMware’s cloud native resources and proven ability to execute, amplifying our impact. VMware’s interest in Heptio is a recognition that there is so much innovation happening in open source. We are jointly committed to contribute even more to the community—resources, ideas and support.”

Robyn Denholm leaves Telstra to join Tesla as Chair

Tesla has appointed Robyn Denholm as Chair of the Tesla Board, effective immediately, replacing Elon Musk who steps aside as part of a settlement with the SEC.

Denholm currently serves as CFO and Head of Strategy at Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications firm. She will be leaving Telstra to take on the Chairmanship of Tesla on a full-time basis.

Denholm has served on the Tesla Board as an independent director since 2014. Her global experience in both Australia and Silicon Valley encompasses leadership roles across a range of technology companies, including Telstra, Juniper Networks, and Sun Microsystems. She is widely credited with leading a team that drove significant increases in Juniper’s revenues, overseeing Juniper’s corporate transformation during her nine-year tenure as Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Her experience also includes numerous finance management roles in the automotive industry while at Toyota.

SCinet anticipates peak loads of 4 Tbps next week

SCinet, the temporary network serving the SC18 conference in Dallas, anticipates peak load of 4.02 terabits per second as participants in this year's top supercomputing event from academia, government and industry demonstrate their capabilities. Last year’s peak load was a record 3.6 Tbps.

Forty organizations have collaborated to build SCInet at an estimated cost of $51 million. The network has taken one year to plan and one month to build. It will operate for one week and then be torn down in less than 24 hours.

“SCinet can only flourish due to the incredible generosity of our contributing partners,” said Jason Zurawski, SCinet chair and science engagement engineer at the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet). “CenturyLink, Cisco, and Juniper have all gone above and beyond to ensure the success of SCinet this year through the donation of hardware, software, services, and the most important of resources: time.”

https://sc18.supercomputing.org/

Sierra Wireless posts Q3 revenue of $203 million, up 18%

Sierra Wireless reported Q3 2018 revenue of $203.4 million, an increase of 17.9%, compared to $172.6 million in the third quarter of 2017. Gross margin was $67.3 million, or 33.1% of revenue, in the third quarter of 2018 compared to $57.3 million, or 33.2% of revenue, in the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net earnings were $10.5 million, or $0.29 per diluted share.

“We had strong growth in revenue and adjusted EBITDA on a year-over-year basis in the Third Quarter,” said Kent Thexton, President and CEO. “We continued to strengthen our position as the leader in Device-to-Cloud IoT solutions and our two highest margin businesses - namely Enterprise Solutions and IoT Services - increased to 27% of total revenue in Q3.”

Highlights:

  • Product revenue was $179.4 million, up 11.1% year-over-year
  • Services and Other revenue was $24.0 million, up 117.8% compared to the third quarter of 2017. 
  • Quarterly revenue for the three business segments was as follows: (i) Revenue from OEM Solutions was 148.3 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 7.6% compared to $137.9 million in the third quarter of 2017; (ii) Revenue from Enterprise Solutions was $32.1 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 22.0% compared to $26.3 million in the third quarter of 2017; and (iii) Revenue from IoT Services was $23.0 million in the third quarter of 2018, up 172.8%, compared to $8.4 million in the third quarter of 2017 driven by the contribution from Numerex and organic subscriber growth.

Amdocs wins 5 year Digital Transformation Project with US Cellular

U.S. Cellular selected Amdocs for a turnkey project to transform customer digital care and commerce experiences over its Web and mobile channels. Financial terms were not disclosed.

This partnership supports U.S. Cellular’s commitment to deliver world-class digital experiences to its customers, unified across care, commerce and Web and mobile channels, while simplifying operations and reducing costs.

Under the 5-year contract, Amdocs will deliver the project in an agile approach, enabling U.S. Cellular to quickly add new capabilities in short iterative cycles. In addition to back-end capabilities, Amdocs will provide front-end portal design, leveraging Amdocs’ customer-centric and design-led thinking best practices. Amdocs will also deliver all associated third-party components, including content management and personalization capabilities from Adobe, as well as ongoing operation and third-party management services, all under a five-year managed services agreement.

“We have been relying on Amdocs’ business support systems since 1995 and later expanded this relationship to include systems operation and overall responsibility for our entire order-to-activation process,” said Michael Irizarry, executive vice president and chief technology officer at U.S. Cellular. “Our selection of Amdocs for this new strategic project builds on our history and on Amdocs’ continued strong delivery. This state-of-the-art solution will make it easier and simpler for our customers to interact with us and will differentiate the U.S. Cellular brand experience for today’s digital-savvy consumers.”

GTT posts Q3 revenue of $448.6 million

GTT reported revenue of $448.6 million and a net loss was $23.4 million. Capital expenditures were $28.9 million (6.4% of revenue)

When assuming constant currency and the inclusion of  Interoute’s and Global Capacity's historical results, GTT's 3Q18 revenue and adjusted EBITDA grew 1.4% and 2.3%, respectively, over 3Q17.

In addition, GTT established its next financial objectives of $3 billion in annualized revenue, $900 million in annualized Adjusted EBITDA and a minimum of $5 per share of annualized Adjusted Free Cash Flow, to be achieved within the next three years.

The company said it is making good progress with the integration of Interoute.


See also