Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Huawei reports robust 2019, revenue up 19.1%, profit up 5.6%

Despite pressure from the U.S. government and growing international restrictions, Huawei reported very robust financial performance for 2019:  global sales revenue in 2019 lept to CNY858.8 billion, up 19.1% year-on-year; net profit reached CNY62.7 billion; and cash flow from operating activities topped CNY91.4 billion, up 22.4% year-on-year.

"2019 was an extraordinary year for Huawei," said Eric Xu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "Despite enormous outside pressure, our team forged ahead with a singular focus on creating value for our customers. We worked hard to earn their respect and trust, as well as that of our partners around the globe. Business remains solid."

Some highlights from Huawei's 2019 annual report:
  • Carrier business revenue reached CNY296.7 billion, up 3.8% year-on-year.
  • Enterprise business revenue reached CNY89.7 billion, up 8.6% year-on-year.
  • Consumer business revenue reached CNY467.3 billion, up 34% year-on-year.
  • Overall revenue in China was CNY506.7 billion, up 36.2%
  • Overall revenue in EMEA was CNY206 billion, up 0.7%
  • Overall revenue in Asia PAC was CNY70.5 billion, down 13.9%
  • Overall revenue in the Americas was CNY52.5 billion, up 9.6%
  • R&D expenditures amounted to CNY131.7 billion
  • In 2019, Huawei shipped 240 million smartphones
"The external environment will only get more complicated going forward," Xu cautioned. "We need to keep enhancing the competitiveness of our products and services, promoting open innovation, and creating greater value for our customers and society at large. This is the only way we can seize the historic opportunities presented by the digital and intelligent transformation of industries, and maintain robust growth in the long run."

At the press conference, in response to a question regarding a possible tightening of restrictions of U.S.-based technology used by TSMC to produce 5G chipsets, Xu was quoted as saying "

"The Chinese government will not just stand by and watch Huawei be slaughtered on the chopping board... Why wouldn't the Chinese government ban the use of 5G chips or 5G chip-powered base stations, smartphones and other smart devices provided by American companies, for cybersecurity reasons?"

Palo Alto Networks to acquire CloudGenix for $420M

Palo Alto Networks agreed to acquire CloudGenix, an SD-WAN start-up based in San Jose, California, for approximately $420 million in cash.

CloudGenix is known for its AppFabric SD-WAN technology, which ensures application-specific, service-level agreements (SLAs). The CloudGenix SD-WAN platform serves approximately 250 customers, many of which are in the Fortune 1000 and include companies in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, finance, banking, tech and hospitality. CloudGenix co-founders, Kumar Ramachandran, Mani Ramasamy and Venkataraman Anand, have agreed to join Palo Alto Networks.

Palo Alto Networks offers its own Prisma secure access service edge (SASE) platform, delivering a global cloud network with cloud-delivered security for users. The company plans to integrate CloudGenix's cloud-managed SD-WAN products to accelerate the intelligent onboarding of remote branches and retail stores into Prisma Access.  This combination will extend the breadth of the Prisma Access SASE platform, address network and security transformation requirements, and accelerate the shift from SD-WAN to SASE.

"As the enterprise becomes more distributed, customers want agile solutions that just work, and that applies to both security and networking. Upon the close of the transaction, the combined platform will provide customers with a complete SASE offering that is best-in-class, easy to deploy, cloud-managed, and delivered as a service," states Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO, Palo Alto Networks.

"CloudGenix's vision has been to revolutionize branch offices through cloud-delivered Autonomous WANs. With CloudGenix, enterprises gain cloud-scale economics for the branch office with the freedom to use any WAN, any cloud, and best-of-breed infrastructure services. We thank our customers for making us an industry leader in enterprise SD-WAN. By joining forces with Palo Alto Networks, we will accelerate our ability to serve customers and partners in their network and security transformation," said Kumar Ramachandran, co-founder and CEO, CloudGenix

  • CloudGenix raised over $100 million in funding. Investors included Bain Capital Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Mayfield Fund, Intel Capital, and ClearSky. 

CloudGenix enhances SD-WAN with CloudBlades software


CloudGenix announced a major upgrade to its SD-WAN platform with the launch of new "CloudBlade" cloud-delivered software.

CloudBlades enable additional SD-WAN capabilities, such as security, voice, multi-cloud access, and operational tools, to be delivered to a branch office without additional hardware or software.

CloudGenix said its approach differs from traditional enterprise branch office routers which require the installation of additional hardware blades or software. The cloud-delivered software approach brings cloud-scale economics and agility.  CloudBlades enables one-click, high-performance delivery of the above infrastructure services from the cloud, using best-of-breed providers in each category.

“As businesses take advantage of the tremendous opportunity at the branch, they need a new model for the delivery of infrastructure services,” said Kumar Ramachandran, founder and CEO at CloudGenix. “Our CloudBlades platform allows enterprises to reimagine what’s possible. Not only do customers get the agility and freedom to choose best-of-breed, they also get to take advantage of cloud-scale economics. The days of the multi-function hardware router are officially at an end.”

CloudBlades includes the following components:

  • The CloudGenix Instant-On-Network (ION) is Intel x86-based, lightweight CPE at the branch, this serves as the branch enforcement point for CloudBlades, and can simultaneously host CloudGenix’s SD-WAN products.
  • The CloudBlades Platform enables API based integration of the branch CPE directly with various cloud infrastructure services. It provides secure, authenticated API access to CloudGenix CPE and systems; a centralized API for programming the app-flow engine at the CPE; integration with the CloudGenix UI without any code; access to CloudGenix telemetry; and the hosting of approved CloudBlades.
  • Individual CloudBlades are created by CloudGenix as well as by partners, customers and other developers. The company is currently supporting more than twenty CloudBlades across various infrastructure services, including with Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, CheckPoint, Symantec, Microsoft, Google, Equinix, Amazon, RingCentral, ServiceNow, PagerDuty, Slack, Fuse, Zoom etc. 
  • To enable proactive IT, CloudGenix is supporting CloudBlade solutions with ServiceNow, PagerDuty, CloudGenix Clarity and Slack.

Ericsson: So far, no material impact from COVID-19

So far, Ericsson has not seen a material impact to its business from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to company CEO Börje Ekholm.

Speaking to Ericsson shareholders via webcast ahead of the Annual General meeting,  Ekholm stated “Last year we talked about switching on 5G globally. Today, we can say that we have succeeded. The world’s first 5G network was launched with Ericsson’s technology and the same was true for the first network in Europe.”

He continues: “Right now we have 86 commercial 5G agreements and 27 live networks in 4 continents. Ericsson is leading the 5G development. I see no one in front of us.”

Some additional key points:

  • Ericsson believes the 5G market is growing faster than most analysts have expected and that the company is well positioned to capture this growth.
  • Ericsson’s financial position is strong, with a robust balance sheet with net cash of SEK 34 billion at the end of last year. 


https://www.ericsson.com/en/about-us/corporate-governance/shareholder-meetings/annual-general-meeting-2020

Comcast sees a 32% spike in peak traffic loads

Compared with March 1, Comcast is experiencing up to 32% increase in peak traffic loads. Some areas are experiencing a 60% spike in peak traffic.

Comcast, which operates the largest residential internet network in the U.S., said the unprecedented shift in network usage remains within the capability of its infrastructure.

“Primetime” on the Comcast network (the busiest time of day) looks dramatically different today as the nation settles into new patterns. Downstream peak appears to be moving from 9 PM to between 7 PM – 8 PM, while upstream peak is moving from 9 PM to between 8 AM and 6 PM in most cities.

Significantly, Comcast said network traffic is beginning to plateau in early COVID-19 markets, such as Seattle and San Francisco.

Some additional notes from Comcast's COVID-19 update:

  • Weekday usage is up, driven primarily by VoIP, Video Conferencing, and VPN.
  • VoIP and Video Conferencing is up 212%
  • VPN traffic is up 40%
  • Gaming downloads are up 50% generally and 80% during new releases
  • There is a 38% increase in streaming and web video consumption
  • Linear video consumption increased 4 hours to 64 hours per week
  • Video OnDemand hitting record highs, up 25% YOY
  • There has been a nearly 50% increase in Voice Remote requests for “Free Movies”
  • We have seen Voice Remote queries top 50 million some days
  • On Xfinity Mobile, there has been a 10% decline in LTE Data usage and a 24% increase in mobile data usage over WiFi

AWS introduces Amazon Detective workload security service

Amazon Web Services released a new "Amazon Detective" security service that helps users to conduct investigations into security issues across their AWS workloads.

Amazon Detective automatically collects log data from a customer’s resources and uses machine learning, statistical analysis, and graph theory to build interactive visualizations that help customers analyze, investigate, and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities. There are no additional charges or upfront commitments required to use Amazon Detective, and customers pay only for data ingested from AWS CloudTrail, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Flow Logs, and Amazon GuardDuty findings. To get started with Amazon Detective, visit https://aws.amazon.com/detective/.

“Even when customers tell us their security teams have the tools and information to confidently detect and remediate issues, they often say they need help when it comes to understanding what caused the issues in the first place,” said Dan Plastina, Vice President for Security Services at AWS. “Gathering the information necessary to conduct effective security investigations has traditionally been a burdensome process, which can put crucial in-depth analysis out of reach for smaller organizations and strain resources for larger teams. Amazon Detective takes all of that extra work off of the customer’s plate, allowing them to focus on finding the root cause of an issue and ensuring it doesn’t happen again.”

Amazon Detective is available today in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Paris), Europe (Stockholm), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and South America (Sao Paulo) regions, with more regions coming soon.

Nokia introduces “AI-as-a-service” for telcos

Nokia introduced a set of AI capabilities for helping service providers to automate their network with cloud scalability. This framework provides an end-to-end service view with near real-time impact correlation for better visibility and control, supported by Nokia’s extensive library of AI use cases.

The new Nokia AVA 5G Cognitive Operations offering anticipates network and service failures with a high level of precision and accuracy up to seven days in advance. If failures arise, Nokia 5G Cognitive Operations can solve them up to 50 percent faster and accurately assess the impact on customers and services. The insights provided will help support CSPs with their slice creation, with an intelligent provisioning system identifying network resources, what SLAs can be committed and where new revenue opportunities can be found. Future capability will also enable CSPs to customize slice creation, providing different SLA levels based on unique user requirements.

Nokia is currently hosting the new capabilities in Microsoft Azure but says other public and private cloud options are possible.

“Operators face a perfect storm of rising traffic and consumer expectations, so it is crucial to be able to predict and prevent service degradations at an earlier stage, while solving issues that arise significantly faster. Nokia AVA 5G Cognitive Operations enables CSPs to operate and assure latency for 5G use cases through AI, ultimately delivering an enhanced customer experience for consumers and enterprises,” states Dennis Lorenzin, Head of Network Cognitive Service unit at Nokia.

Nokia claims that CSPs trialing the service have seen a 20 percent reduction in customer complaints and a 10 percent reduction in costly site visits.


https://www.nokia.com/networks/solutions/nokia-ava-telco-ai-ecosystem/

IP Infusion and Okinawa Open Laboratory test disaggregated networking

IP Infusion has joined Okinawa Open Laboratory (OOL) to help further the adoption of disaggregated networking.

IP Infusion will be working with OOL to verify white box solutions through field trials with various vendors and follow market trends.

The Okinawa Open Laboratory partners with both industry and academia in research and development to promote the practical application and dissemination of next-generation information and communication platform technologies (ICT), including software-defined networking (SDN), network function virtualization (NFV) and cloud computing using open-source software (OSS).

“Our participation with OOL is significant since it will help more companies to take advantage of the benefits of disaggregated networking, such as faster deployments, lower costs and the opportunity to offer more services,” said Atsushi Ogata, CEO and president of IP Infusion. “IP Infusion has a deep understanding in the features and quality required for the industry to develop a standard disaggregated networking platform, which are present in our line of network operating system products.”

“We look forward to working with IP Infusion to field test their disaggregated NOS with our other industry vendors,” said Yukio Ito, chairman, Okinawa Open Laboratory. “Their 20 years of experience in the NOS industry will be of tremendous value to the OOL community.”

See also