Wednesday, April 24, 2019

AWS activates Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region

Amazon Web Services activated a new AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region, its eighth active AWS Region in Asia Pacific and mainland China along with Beijing, Mumbai, Ningxia, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo.

The AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region offers three Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which are technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networks.

AWS now operates 64 Availability Zones within 21 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones and four more AWS Regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Jakarta, and Milan.

“Hong Kong is globally recognized as a leading financial tech hub and one of the top places where startups build their businesses, so we’ve had many customers asking us for an AWS Region in Hong Kong so they can build their businesses on the world’s leading cloud with the broadest and deepest feature set,” said Peter DeSantis, Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support, Amazon Web Services. “The dynamic business environment that exists in Hong Kong – among startups, enterprises, and government organizations – is pushing them to be one of the foremost digital areas in Asia. By providing an AWS Region in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, we hope this enables more customers to be more agile, innovate, and transform their end-users’ experience for decades to come.”

https://aws.amazon.com/local/hongkong/

SoftBank looks to solar-powered aircraft, partnership with Google Loon

SoftBank is launching a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business through HAPSMobile, a joint venture between SoftBank and US-based company AeroVironment.

HAPSMobile has developed an unmanned aircraft called “HAWK30 that will serve as a telecommunications platform at altitudes of approximately 20 kilometers. The aircraft will function like telecommunication base stations to deliver connectivity across wide areas.


The “HAWK30” unmanned aircraft is approximately 78 meters long. Its wings contain solar panel and 10 propellers. The aircraft can fly at speeds of approximately 110 kilometers per hour on average. Softbank expects it will be able to keep the aircraft in flight for months at a time.

In addition, HAPSMobile and Alphabet's Loon have formed a long-term strategic relationship to advance the use of high altitude vehicles, such as balloons and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Specifically, the companies have entered into formal negotiations on a number of areas of potential technical and commercial collaboration, including:

  •  A wholesale business that would allow HAPSMobile to utilize Loon’s fully-functioning vehicle and technology. Likewise, Loon would be able to utilize HAPSMobile’s aircraft, which is currently in development, upon its completion. 
  • A jointly developed communications payload that is adaptable to multiple flight vehicles and various ITU compliant frequency bands. 
  • A common gateway or ground station that could be deployed globally and utilized by both Loon and HAPSMobile to provide connectivity over their respective platforms. 
  • Adapting and optimizing Loon’s fleet management system and temporospatial SDN for use by HAPSMobile.
  •  Creating an alliance to promote the use of high altitude communications solution with regulators and officials worldwide. 
  • Enabling flight vehicles from each party to connect and share the same network connectivity in the air.

Junichi Miyakawa, Representative Director & CTO of SoftBank Corp., also President & CEO of HAPSMobile stated “Building a telecommunications network in the stratosphere, which has not been utilized by humankind so far, is uncharted territory and a major challenge for SoftBank. Working with Alphabet’s subsidiary Loon, I’m confident we can accelerate the path toward the realization of utilizing the stratosphere for global networks by pooling our technologies, insights and experience. Even in this current era of coming 5G services, we cannot ignore the reality that roughly half of the world’s population is without Internet access. Through HAPS, we aim to eliminate the digital divide and provide people around the world with the innovative network services that they need.”

 Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said "We see joining forces as an opportunity to develop an entire industry, one which holds the promise to bring connectivity to parts of the world no one thought possible. This is the beginning of a long-term relationship based on a shared vision for expanding connectivity to those who need it. We look forward to what the future holds.”

Xilinx to acquire Solarflare for SmartNIC solutions

Xilinx agreed to acquire Solarflare Communications, a provider of high-performance, low latency networking solutions for customers spanning FinTech to cloud computing. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Xilinx said the acquisition enables it to combine its FPGA, MPSoC and ACAP solutions with Solarflare's ultra-low latency network interface card (NIC) technology and Onload application acceleration software. The target is new converged SmartNIC solutions, accelerating Xilinx's "data center first" strategy.

Xilinx and Solarflare have been collaborating on advanced networking technology for the last two years, with Xilinx becoming a strategic investor in 2017. The two companies recently demonstrated their first joint solution – a single-chip FPGA-based 100G SmartNIC, processing 100 million packets per-second receive and transmit, all at less than 75 watts.

"The Solarflare team has worked very closely with Xilinx on next-generation networking technology and business collaboration since Xilinx became a strategic investor," says Russell Stern, chief executive officer, Solarflare. "Our shared vision for the future of data center and cloud computing and the integration of our respective technologies makes this acquisition the ideal next step for our customers, employees, and investors, as well as the broader data center industry."

"Solarflare has been a pioneer in key areas such as high-speed Ethernet, application acceleration, and NVMe-over-fabrics, which are the critical components needed to build the next generation of SmartNICs for cloud and enterprise technologies," says Salil Raje, executive vice president and general manager, Data Center Group, Xilinx.  "Acquiring Solarflare brings Xilinx both market-leading technology and exceptional engineering talent with expertise in networking hardware, software, firmware and drivers. We are very excited about the possibilities with Solarflare as part of the Xilinx family to enable the adaptable, intelligent world."


Vapor IO and Crown Castle bring AWS Direct Connect to edge data centers

Vapor IO and Crown Castle announced a service that seamlessly interconnects Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge with Amazon Web Services (AWS) via Crown Castle’s high-speed Cloud Connect.

Customers at Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge can build edge applications that interconnect with AWS over an operator-grade fiber optic network.

“By directly connecting AWS services to applications at the Kinetic Edge, we’re bringing the full power of the cloud to the last mile wireless network, delivering the foundation of a true edge-to-core architecture for developers,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO. “We are aggressively rolling out the Kinetic Edge across a national footprint that will reach over 20 markets by the end of 2020 with a planned deployment of over 80 additional markets. By incorporating AWS Direct Connect into our last mile network, we enable seamless cloud integration for edge applications.”

“Over the past two years, we’ve been working very closely with Vapor IO to build out their Kinetic Edge using our real estate and fiber assets in many US cities,” said Phil Olivero, VP Technology, Crown Castle. “Chicago, the world’s first Kinetic Edge city, proved to be the ideal location for us to connect the Kinetic Edge directly to AWS. As Vapor IO rolls out the Kinetic Edge to new cities, we plan to extend our Cloud Connect to also connect to AWS in those locations. This will empower our mutual customers to build high-performance edge-enabled mobile applications using AWS.”

Kinetic Edge Alliance targets major U.S. metros

Vapor IO, a start-up developing an infrastructure edge computing platform, is leading a new Kinetic Edge Alliance (KEA) to bring together the technology, assets and deployment partners to bring edge capabilities to major U.S. metro markets.

The key idea is to leverage Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge, an infrastructure architecture that uses software and high-speed connectivity to combine three or more micro data centers that ring a metro area into a single logical data center.

The plan calls for tower-connected infrastructure for edge computing reaching nearly 50% of the nation’s population by the end of 2020. The Alliance will focus on the first six Kinetic Edge markets: Chicago, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle. Chicago, the first Kinetic Edge city, has two Kinetic Edge sites online today with a third coming online later in Q1.

KEA includes Deployment Partners — Federated Wireless, Linode, MobiledgeX, Packet and StackPath — and Technical Partners — Alef Mobitech, Detecon International, Hitachi Vantara, New Continuum Data Centers, Pluribus Networks, and Seagate Technology.



MACOM misses forecasts, cites tougher cloud business

MACOM Technology Solutions reported preliminary non-GAAP revenue of approximately $121 million, compared to guidance of $134 million to $142 million. Non-GAAP gross margin is expected to be around 49%, which includes $8 million in inventory reserves primarily associated with data center materials, or roughly 600 basis point of gross margin impact. This compares to non-GAAP gross margin guidance of 55% to 57%, which did not reflect the inventory reserve. Non-GAAP earnings per share is expected to be a loss of ($0.18), compared to guidance for adjusted earnings per share of $0.04 to $0.12.

President and Chief Executive Officer, John Croteau commented, “We are clearly disappointed with our preliminary fiscal Q2 results. There were several contributing factors, the majority of which were rooted in the acute inventory correction that is currently underway among Cloud Data Center customers.

“Over the course of the quarter, demand across our Cloud Data Center businesses deteriorated beyond our original forecasts due to the rapid deceleration of this previously high-growth end market. The decline in new orders from Cloud Service Providers caused component inventory levels to grow more than we originally anticipated at many of our transceiver customers. This resulted in lower product revenue and was compounded by a corresponding impact across the supply chain as cloud customers delayed the ramp of new products and new transceiver suppliers.

“As a result, we did not recognize certain solutions revenue from a new customer in Q2, which we had originally anticipated in building our Q2 guidance. Moreover, the current demand environment drove cloud customers to deprioritize qualifying new suppliers during the quarter, creating added uncertainty in the timing of revenue from new players.

“Lastly, given light backlog and weak end market demand we recorded inventory reserves associated with certain Data Center products that we were ramping. The net result was a significantly larger decline in EPS and margin relative to the associated decrease in product revenue.”

MACOM and Goertek form JV targeting China’s 5G buildout

MACOM Technology Solutions has formed a joint venture company with Goertek, an electronic components company based in Shandong, China, to supply, market and distribute GaN-on-Si based RF Power components into China’s base station market.

Goertek will provide total consideration to MACOM of up to $134.6 million, including $30 million up front. MACOM will further be entitled to royalties and dividend preferences in the joint venture. Goertek and MACOM will each contribute $25 million in working capital to the joint venture. MACOM retains rights to sell GaN-on-Si products outside of China, Hong Kong and Macau.

“This joint venture is a capstone to MACOM’s strategy to become a scale player within the multi-billion dollar 5G basestation market in China, which in turn enables us to further invest in U.S.-based innovation,” stated John Croteau, President and Chief Executive Officer of MACOM. “We are pleased to be able to leverage our existing design capabilities and resources in China by aligning with a JV partner of the caliber of Goertek. They perfectly complement our GaN-on-Si based RF Power component products with high-volume manufacturing expertise, well-connected sales and proven supply chain management into China’s top OEMs and service providers.”

Alibaba Cloud claims No.1 spot for IaaS in Asia Pacific

Alibaba Cloud is claiming the lead market position in Asia Pacific for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and IUS (Infrastructure Utility Services), according to the latest figures from Gartner's Market Share: IT Services, 2018 report.

According to this Market Share conducted by global analyst firm Gartner, Alibaba Cloud led the Asia Pacific market for IaaS and IUS with 19.6% market share (+4.7% market share gain from 2017). The technology innovator is followed by 11.0% and 8.0% market shares of the second (AWS) and third player (Microsoft) respectively in Asia Pacific in 2018.

Alibaba Cloud has a strong network in Asia Pacific, with 15 availability zones in the region outside mainland China, covering Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Japan markets. It is the only global cloud provider that has set up local data centers in Indonesia and Malaysia, offering a wide range of cloud and data analytics products.

“It is very encouraging that our continued dedication to enabling cloud development across industries in both Asia Pacific and globally has been recognized by world’s leading research and advisory company. As the only global cloud provider originated from Asia, we will continue to champion millions of businesses through our world-class infrastructure, advanced analytics tools and thriving ecosystem,” said Lancelot Guo, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Head of Strategy and Marketing at Alibaba Cloud.

CoreSite revenue rises 7.2% to $138.9 million

CoreSite reported operating revenues of $138.9 million for Q1 2019, an increase of 7.2% year over year, in line sequentially. Net income was $0.54 per common diluted share decreased $0.05 year over year, in line sequentially.

“We’re executing well on our 2019 imperatives to accelerate growth in 2020,” said Paul Szurek, CoreSite’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This includes substantial progress on our development pipeline, additional financing to fund new capacity, strong sales execution with the highest annualized GAAP rent for core retail colocation sales in 10 quarters, pre-leasing of two phases of our new SV8 purpose-built data center, and first quarter financial results consistent with where we are in the development cycle and our expectations, all of which we believe position us well for achieving higher revenue growth in 2020.”

The company highlighted the following:

  • Commenced 119 new and expansion leases for 24,040 net rentable square feet (“NRSF”), representing $5.8 million of annualized GAAP rent at an average GAAP rate of $242 per square foot
  • Signed 121 new and expansion leases for 31,975 NRSF, representing $6.6 million of annualized GAAP rent at an average GAAP rate of $207 per square foot
  • Renewed 264 existing leases for 68,605 NRSF, representing $11.9 million of annualized GAAP rent at an average GAAP rate of $173 per square foot, including churn of 2.7%, reflecting 3.2% cash rent growth and 5.9% GAAP rent growth
  • On April 12th, closed SV9 purchase, a property adjacent to CoreSite’s existing Santa Clara campus, which is held for development for a planned data center facility of approximately 200,000 NRSF
  • On April 15th, executed data center pre-leasing of Phases 1 and 2 at SV8, for approximately 108,000 NRSF, leading to the acceleration of the development of Phases 2 and 3
  • Financing –
  • On April 17th, closed the financing of senior notes totaling $400 million of principal, with $325 million issued, and $75 million expected to be issued prior to July 17, 2019

AT&T cites decline in DirecTV domestic video

AT&T reported Q1 2019 of $44.8 billion versus $38.0 billion in the year-ago quarter, up 17.8%, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition.

AT&T cited declines in legacy wireline services, Vrio, wireless equipment and domestic video. Growth areas included WarnerMedia, domestic wireless services and Xandr. Operating income was $7.2 billion versus $6.2 billion in the year-ago quarter, primarily due to the Time Warner acquisition, with operating income margin of 16.1% versus 16.3%.

First-quarter net income attributable to AT&T was $4.1 billion, or $0.56 per diluted share, versus $4.7 billion, or $0.75 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusting for $0.30, which includes merger-amortization costs, merger- and integration-related expenses, a non-cash actuarial loss on benefit plans and other items, earnings per diluted share was $0.86 compared to an adjusted $0.85 in the year-ago quarter.

Cash from operating activities was $11.1 billion, and capital expenditures were $5.2 billion. Capital investment – which consists of capital expenditures plus cash payments for vendor financing – totaled $6.0 billion, which includes about $800 million of cash payments for vendor financing. Free cash flow — cash from operating activities minus capital expenditures — was $5.9 billion for the quarter.

Highlights:

Mobility

  • Service revenues up 2.9%; operating income and EBITDA growth with postpaid phone and prepaid net adds
  • 179,000 postpaid smartphone net adds in the U.S.
  • 80,000 postpaid phone net adds
  • 96,000 prepaid net adds of which 85,000 are phones


Entertainment Group:

  • 13% operating income growth with solid ARPU gains
  • 6.9% EBITDA growth as company targets stability
  • Focus on long-term value customer base
  • 22.4 million premium TV subscribers – 544,000 net loss
  • 1.5 million DIRECTV NOW subscribers – 83,000 net loss
  • Nearly 300,000 AT&T Fiber gains; 45,000 broadband net adds with broadband revenue growth of more than 8%
  • 12.4 million customer locations passed with fiber

WarnerMedia

  • Solid revenue growth with strong operating income growth with gains in all business units
  • Turner subscription revenue growth
  • HBO digital subscriber growth continued as last season of Game of Thrones begins
  • Strong Warner Bros. revenue and operating income growth

Latin America

  • 93,000 Mexico wireless net adds

Xandr

  • Advertising revenues grew by 26.4% largely due to the AppNexus acquisition

F5 pushes transition to software consumption model

F5 Networks reported revenue of $544.9 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019, up 2% growth from $533.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018. GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 was $116.1 million, or $1.93 per diluted share, and includes $39.5 million in stock-based compensation, $3.5 million in costs related to the announced acquisition of NGINX, $2.6 million in facility exit costs and $1.8 million in amortization of purchased intangible assets. This compares with second quarter fiscal year 2018 GAAP net income of $109.6 million, or $1.77 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 was $154.4 million, or $2.57 per diluted share, compared to $143.3 million, or $2.31 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.

F5 said software solutions revenue grew 30%.

“The combination of demand for application security and our new software consumption models, including Enterprise Licensing Agreements, helped drive 30% software revenue growth in our second fiscal quarter,” said Fran├žois Locoh-Donou, F5 President and Chief Executive Officer. "Security use cases are at the forefront of our customer conversations and customers globally rely on F5 to provide consistent application security and reliable performance as they deploy across private, public, hybrid, and multi-cloud environments.”

Ericsson to open "D-Fifteen" Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley

Ericsson will open its a "D-Fifteen" Innovation Lab at its campus in Santa Clara, California.  The lab will pursue innovative ideas and thought leadership based on the principles of: Dare, Design, Deliver.

The D-Fifteen name is a tribute to Ericsson founder Lars-Magnus Ericsson, his wife Hilda, and their partner Carl Johan Andersson, who created the company’s first products in a kitchen workshop at Drottninggatan 15 in Stockholm. This was essentially the company’s first innovation lab.

Early D-Fifteen initiatives include:

  • D-15 IoT Studio: A hands-on testing ground, where Ericsson engineers will roll up their sleeves and put connected technology to the test.  
  • D-15 Labs: A 5G testbed where service providers and partners will pressure test the multi-layered networks that are at the heart of the 5G experience and enable the promising technologies of the future like self-driving cars and the Industrial Internet of Things.


Margaret Herndon, Head of Marketing and Communications, Ericsson North America, says: ”D-Fifteen will be a place for experimentation and collaboration, a showcase for the promising technologies that 5G will empower. This facility will bring together the brightest minds in Ericsson and, working with our partners, we’ll tap into the fast-moving, boundary-breaking spirit of Silicon Valley to bring about the next evolution in mobile networks. We want our partners to dare, design and deliver all in one world-class facility.”

See also