Sunday, August 18, 2019

Reuters: Commerce Department to grant 90-day extension

Reuters reported that the U.S. Commerce Department will grant a 90-day extension allowing U.S. vendors to continue shipping to Huawei Technologies under certain conditions.

In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a 90-day, temporary general license allowing U.S. vendors to continue delivering products and services to Huawei Technologies and its affiliates. This first Temporary General License runs from May 20, 2019 through August 19, 2019.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-usa-license-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-set-to-give-huawei-another-90-days-to-buy-from-american-suppliers-sources-idUSKCN1V701U


VMware to acquire Veriflow for network visibility/assurance

VMware announced its planned acquisition of Veriflow, a start-up offering tools for network verification, assurance, and troubleshooting. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Veriflow provides:

  • Network modeling in software;
  • Verifying network connectivity and application availability as well as segmentation assurance; and,
  • Preflight modeling and What-If capabilities to analyze proposed network changes, thus reducing network outages and maintenance windows.

Earlier this year, VeriFlow introduced its CloudPredict SaaS version which offers visibility and assurance across public cloud network deployments. The SaaS is built on the Veriflow verification and analytics platform.

Veriflow is backed by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Menlo Ventures, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

https://www.veriflow.net/

Microsoft launches Azure Ultra Disk Storage

Microsoft announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Ultra Disk Storage — a new, high-performance managed disk promising sub-millisecond latency for the most demanding Azure Virtual Machines and container workloads.

The new storage service is aimed at applications like SAP HANA, top tier SQL databases such as SQL Server, Oracle DB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra.

Ultra Disk Storage specs

  • Sizes ranging from 4 GiB up to 64 TiB with granular increments
  • It is possible to dynamically configure and scale the IOPS and bandwidth on the disk independent of capacity.
  • Up to 300 IOPS per GiB, to a maximum of 160K IOPS per disk
  • Up to a maximum of 2000 MBps per disk

Ultra Disk is now available in East US 2, North Europe, and Southeast Asia.

With the introduction of Ultra Disk Storage, Azure now offers four types of persistent disks—Ultra Disk Storage, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD.



Telstra posts declining sales/profits, focuses on T22 strategy

Citing negative headwinds from nbn, Telstra last week reported total FY 2019 income of A$27.8 billion, down 3.6 percent year over year. EBITDA decreased by 21.7 percent to $8.0 billion.

Regarding the impact of the nbn, Telstra absorbed around $600 million of negative recurring EBITDA headwind in the period. Underlying EBITDA decreased approximately 4 percent excluding the in-year nbn headwind.

To date, Telstra estimates the nbn has adversely impacted EBITDA by approximately $1.7 billion since FY16, and estimates it is around 50 percent of the way through the recurring financial impact of the nbn.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the company is fully committed to its T22 strategy one year in and that it is making strong progress on its implementation.

“FY19 has been a pivotal year for Telstra. Notwithstanding the intense competitive environment and the challenging structural dynamics of our industry, it is a year in which I believe we can start to see the turning point in the fortunes of the company from the changes we have embraced,” Mr Penn said. “We completed our strategic investment program announced in 2016 to digitise our business and create the networks for the future, delivering over $500 million of EBITDA benefits. We passed the halfway mark of customers migrating onto the nbn network. We launched 5G, the next generation of telco technology and the platform for future growth for us and our customers. And at the start of the year we commenced our T22 strategy, where we have made very significant progress."

Telstra said it has removed  $456 million in underlying costs in the year.

"This means we have achieved $1.17 billion in reductions since FY16 and we are on track to achieve our $2.5 billion net cost reduction target by FY22," Mr Penn said. “Our cost out drivers have included simplification and digitization and this has led to reductions in direct and indirect labour costs as well as non-labour related costs. Examples include 900,000 fewer truck rolls over the year enabling us to reduce our fleet vehicles by 14 percent, and we have also reduced our property footprint by 8 percent."




Some highlights:

  • Telstra Consumer and Small Business - income decreased by 1.6 percent to $14,271 million, largely impacted by a 6.3 percent decline in fixed as a result of ongoing standalone fixed voice decline. Mobile services revenue decreased by 2.3 percent as declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) offset customer net additions. Network Applications and Services (NAS) revenue continued to grow, increasing by 13.9 percent, primarily driven by growth in unified communications.
  • Mobile broadband revenue decreased by 14.0 percent to $673 million after a decline in ARPU and reduction of 266,000 customer services in postpaid and prepaid. IoT revenue grew by 19.4 percent to $203 million, increasing customer services by 561,000 due to the introduction of new IoT products
  •  Telstra now serves a a total of 2,605,000 nbn connections, an increase of 659,000. nbn market share is now 49 percent (excluding satellite)
  • Telstra Enterprise - income increased by 0.3 percent to $8,243 million as growth in international offset a decline in domestic. Telstra Enterprise domestic income decreased by 2.1 percent as growth in NAS and mobility was offset by industry ARPU decline in Data & IP and ongoing decline in ISDN. Telstra Enterprise international income grew by 9.0 percent mainly due to growth in higher-margin Data & IP and a positive impact from the depreciation of the Australian dollar (AUD).
  • Networks and IT  - responsible for the overall planning, design, engineering architecture and construction of Telstra networks, technology and information technology solutions. It primarily supports the revenue-generating activities of other segments. Networks and IT income decreased by 6.7 percent to $70 million.
  • Telstra InfraCo - income excluding internal access charges decreased by 6.3 percent to $3,057 million due to expected declines from Telstra Wholesale fixed legacy and nbn commercial works, partly offset by increased recurring nbn DA receipts. Including internal access charges, income increased by 51.6 per cent to $4,948 million. Internal access charges were recognised from 1 July 2018 following the establishment of Telstra InfraCo as a standalone business unit, therefore there were no access charges in FY18.
  • Telstra InfraCo is now fully operational as a standalone infrastructure business unit within Telstra. Telstra InfraCo controls assets with a book value of around $11 billion and is responsible for key network assets including data centres and exchanges, most of the fibre network, the copper and hybrid fibre coaxial networks, international subsea cables, poles, ducts and pipes.

Telstra creates property trust to monetize assets

Telstra has created an unlisted property trust that will own 37 existing exchange properties.

A Charter Hall-led consortium will acquire a 49 percent stake in the new property trust for $700 million, reflecting a capitalisation rate of 4.4 percent and valuing the entire property trust at $1.43 billion. Telstra will retain ownership of a 51 per cent controlling interest in the property trust and retain operational control of the properties.

Telstra describes the exchanges as relatively high-value ones in which it expects to maintain a presence long term. The exchanges represent a significant portion of the value attributable to Telstra exchanges. Telstra will sign long-term triple-net leases with the property trust. The leases will have a weighted average lease expiry of 21 years, with multiple options for lease extension to accommodate ongoing requirements.

Telstra said the announcement reflects continued progress on the fourth pillar of its T22 strategy to monetise up to $2 billion of assets to strengthen its balance sheet.

Telstra sells 3 data centers, exits Ooyala

Telstra announced the sale of three international data centres for $160 million,  yielding a nine times EBITDA multiple and $110 million gain on sale.  Media reports identified the buyer as I-Squared Capital, a private equity fund.

Telstra also announced the sale of its Edison Exchange in Brisbane for $57 million. The company has also restructured its Telstra Ventures arm and exited its Ooyala business.

In 2014, Telstra acquired Ooyala, a Silicon Valley-based provider of video streaming and analytics, for US$270 million. Telstra had previously invested US$61 million in Ooyala over the past two years. Ooyala harnesses the power of big data to help broadcasters, operators and media companies build more engaged audiences and monetize video with personalized, interactive experiences for every screen.

DOCOMO invests in Light Field Lab for holographic displays

NTT DOCOMO Ventures has made an equity investment in LIGHT FIELD LAB, Inc. (LFL), a start-up developing display technology that enables a holographic objects to float in space without head-mounted accessories.

LFL’s projection technology is a new advancement in 3D holographic displays, enabling the control of billions of rendered photons of light which intersect in air to form real looking objects with full color and motion. LFL has been developing original light field technology to illustrate realistic 3D holographs.

NTT said the investment in LFL aligns with its own development of VR/AR technologies and 5G.

MIT researchers target “risk-aware” cloud traffic engineering

Researchers at MIT, working in collaboration with Microsoft, have developed a “risk-aware” mathematical model for improving the performance and resiliency of cloud infrastructure.

The model takes into account failure probabilities of links between data centers worldwide and then allocates traffic through optimal paths to minimize loss, while maximizing overall usage of the network.

The researchers believe their model can deliver three times the traffic throughput compared to traditional traffic-engineering while maintaining the same high level of network availability.

http://news.mit.edu/2019/reduce-cost-cloud-infrastructure-0819


See also