Thursday, January 7, 2021

F5 to acquire Volterra for its open edge platform

 F5 Networks agreed to acquire Volterra, a start-up developing a universal edge-as-a-service platform, for approximately $440 million in cash and approximately $60 million in deferred consideration and assumed unvested incentive compensation to founders and employees. 

F5 said the addition of Volterra will give it an edge platform built for enterprises and service providers that will be security-first and app-driven with unlimited scale.

Volterra, which is based in Santa Clara, California, offers a distributed cloud service for deploying and managing applications at the edge. The cloud-native environment can be deployed across multiple public clouds and edge sites.


“Current edge solutions are simply inadequate for today’s enterprise customers. It’s time to break out of closed edge systems that only perpetuate the pain of building, running, and securing apps,” said Fran├žois Locoh-Donou, President and CEO, F5. “With Volterra, we advance our Adaptive Applications vision with an Edge 2.0 platform that solves the complex multi-cloud reality enterprise customers confront. Our platform will create a SaaS solution that solves our customers’ biggest pain points. The success of F5’s software transformation has put us in a position to deliver on the potential of Edge 2.0 and redefine our competitive position.”

“I am excited to work closely alongside Fran├žois and the F5 team to help pioneer the evolution of the edge to deliver more adaptive, dynamic application experiences for all of our customers,” said Ankur Singla, Founder and CEO, Volterra. “With our platform, we will extend F5’s application security leadership to the edge, thereby expanding our combined reach in the fastest growing segment of F5’s $28 billion 2023 total addressable market.”

In connection with the transaction, F5 raised its Horizon 2 (fiscal years 2021 and 2022) and long-term revenue outlook, and reiterated its Horizon 2 operating targets, including its commitment to achieving double-digit non-GAAP earnings per share growth. The company also reiterated its commitment to return $1 billion of capital over the next two years, including the initiation of a $500 million accelerated share repurchase in fiscal year 2021. 

In addition, F5 released a preview of its first quarter fiscal year 2021 financial results stating it expects GAAP and non-GAAP revenue in a range of $623 to $626 million, driven in part, by approximately 68% GAAP, and 70% non-GAAP, software revenue growth.

  • Volterra is headed by Ankur Singla, Founder & CEO, who previously was the founder and CEO of Contrail Systems, a pioneer in telco NFV and SDN technologies that was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2012. Prior to Contrail, Ankur was the CTO and VP Engineering at Aruba Networks, a global leader in wireless solutions. 

Volterra unveils distributed cloud platform for apps

Volterra​, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, emerged from stealth to unveil its distributed cloud platform for deploying and managing applications. The SaaS-based offering integrates a broad range of services that have normally been siloed across many point products and network or cloud providers.

Volterra has raised over $50 million in funding to date from Khosla Ventures, Mayfield and M12 (Microsoft’s venture fund), as well as a growing set of strategic investors/partners including Itochu Technology Ventures and Samsung NEXT. Volterra said it now has 100+ engineers and 30+ global customers.

The cloud-native environment can be deployed across multiple public clouds and edge sites. Key capabilities include:

  • Fleet-wide management of distributed applications and data across heterogeneous infrastructure
  • Globally distributed control plane with Kubernetes APIs for application orchestration and multi-layer security for workloads and data
  • Comprehensive compute, storage, networking and security for distributed edge locations
  • Secure, high-performance global connectivity across edge sites, private clouds and multi-cloud
Key elements of the offering are:

  • VoltStack deploys and manages distributed applications across multiple clouds or edge sites using industry standard Kubernetes APIs
  • VoltMesh delivers high performance networking and zero-trust security between multiple clouds and edge sites
  • Volterra Console​ is a management console for deploying and operating distributed applications at a global scale with centralized control and observability
http://www.volterra.io​

Red Hat to acquire StackRox for Kubernetes-native security

Red Hat agreed to acquire StackRox, a start-up specializing in container and Kubernetes-native security. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Unlike first-generation container security platforms, which were often container-centric offerings, StackRox differentiates with a Kubernetes-native security platform. The StackRox software provides visibility across all Kubernetes clusters, by directly deploying components for enforcement and deep data collection into the Kubernetes cluster infrastructure, reducing the time and effort needed to implement security, and streamlining security analysis, investigation and remediation. The StackRox policy engine includes hundreds of built-in controls to enforce security best practices, industry standards such as CIS Benchmarks and NIST, and configuration management of both containers and Kubernetes, and runtime security.

StackRox’s Kubernetes-native security capabilities will be integrated into the Red Hat OpenShift enterprise Kubernetes platform. In addition to Red Hat OpenShift, StackRox will continue to support multiple Kubernetes platforms, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).


“Securing Kubernetes workloads and infrastructure cannot be done in a piecemeal manner; security must be an integrated part of every deployment, not an afterthought. Red Hat adds StackRox's Kubernetes-native capabilities to OpenShift's layered security approach, furthering our mission to bring product-ready open innovation to every organization across the open hybrid cloud across IT footprints,” stated Paul Cormier, president and CEO, Red Hat.

"We're thrilled to join forces with Red Hat, coupling the industry’s first Kubernetes-native security platform with the leading Kubernetes platform for hybrid cloud, multicloud, and edge deployments. This is a tremendous validation of our innovative approach to container and Kubernetes security. Red Hat is an ideal partner to accelerate our vision of enabling organizations to securely build, deploy and run their cloud-native applications anywhere,” said Kamal Shah, CEO, StackRox.

  • StackRox, which is based in Mountain View, California, was founded in 2014 by Ali Golshan and Wei Lien Dang. Golshan previous was the founder & CTO of Cyphort, which was acquired by Juniper Networks. Dang previously held senior product management roles for security and cloud infrastructure at Amazon Web Services, Splunk, and Bracket Computing. StackRox is headed by Kamal Shah (CEO), who previously was SVP of products and marketing at Skyhigh Networks, a leading Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) acquired by McAfee in January 2018. 


Telecom Egypt signs cable capacity contract with Google

Telecom Egypt will provide Google with a layer 3, meshed connectivity solution on multiple cable systems crossing Egyptian territory. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telecom Egypt said the mesh project will connect several cable landing stations in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Rapid re-routing capabilities will add to the resiliency of Google's international traffic.

As part of the deal, Google will gain capacity on TE North, a new cable expected to enter service this year.

http://ircp.te.eg/IRMedia/Corporate_News/2021/Corporate_News015eb0e7-d5d1-4fa4-9392-00c9a37c2c02.pdf


Airgain acquires NimbeLink for cellular-based edge devices

Airgain, which specializes in advanced antenna technologies, has acquired privately-held NimbeLink Corp., a developer of cellular industrial Internet of Things solutions and services. 

Headquartered in Plymouth, MN, and founded in 2013, NimbeLink is a trusted partner for edge-based cellular connectivity Industrial IoT solutions. 

NimbeLink’s certified Skywire cellular modems enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to  reduce their cellular development time. NimbeLink develops and markets complete edge-to-enterprise asset tracking solutions that are precisely configured to customers’ use cases and applications such as location tracking, inventory management, and resource optimization. Established in 2013, NimbeLink has sold more than 400,000 units over the last two years and its patented products have been deployed for thousands of end customers through multiple partner relationships. 

“We are proud to welcome NimbeLink to the Airgain team and look forward to strengthening our enterprise offering with proven edge-based cellular connectivity solutions for Industrial IoT and M2M applications,” said Jacob Suen, Airgain’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “NimbeLink is an excellent fit with our business and will play an important role in our overall growth strategy to broaden market diversification and extend the development of the AirgainConnect antenna-modem platform. The sum of the parts is truly greater than the individual pieces and together, we believe the combined company significantly advances our strategic mission to deliver higher levels of integrated wireless system solutions globally.”

Scott Schwalbe, NimbeLink’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We are very excited about what the combined strength of Airgain and NimbeLink will bring to our cellular connectivity and asset tracking customers. Airgain’s high performance antenna technology complements NimbeLink’s portfolio of cellular technology and will provide our customers with the benefit of enhanced product performance and a broader reach into global markets. Together, we will build upon our core competencies and advance forward-thinking Industrial IoT development and design at the network edge.”

Based on preliminary, unaudited results, NimbeLink expects to report $12.5 million in revenue and $0.1 million in adjusted EBITDA for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020.


ADVA posts Q4 revenue of EUR 140.6 million, record profitability

ADVA reported preliminary revenues for Q4 2020 of EUR 140.6 million and down by 7.0% from the year-ago quarter (Q4 2019: EUR 151.1 million). 

“The fourth quarter of 2020 was an extraordinary finish to an extraordinary year,” said Uli Dopfer, CFO, ADVA. “Just like the beginning of the year, when the first wave of the pandemic hit, we encountered supply chain bottlenecks in Q4 caused by renewed lockdown regulations. As a result, we could not fulfill all orders as planned and revenue recognition for some projects moved to Q1 2021. In addition, the continuing depreciation of the US dollar against the euro reduced the revenue contributions from the dollar-denominated regions. On the other hand, this exchange rate shift was beneficial for our margins. Thanks to an advantageous customer and product mix and continued tight cost management, we can report today one of the most profitable quarters in our company’s history.”


“We look back with pride on a challenging but also very successful fiscal year,” commented Brian Protiva, CEO, ADVA. “In times of chaos, economic turbulence and global uncertainty, we held course and exceeded some of our ambitious goals. The cost reduction measures we introduced in 2019 continue to deliver sustainable results. In the fourth quarter of 2020, our profitability was well above analyst expectations, our cash generation was outstanding, and our order entry was very good in all regions. We’re starting the new financial year with well-filled order books and a strong tailwind. We are confident about our ability to drive continued profitable growth in the first quarter of 2021.”

Additional preliminary results for Q4 2020

  • The preliminary pro forma operating income of EUR 14.4 million was up by 39.1% compared to Q4 2019 (Q4 2019: EUR 10.3 million)
  • The preliminary pro forma operating income margin of 10.2% increased by 3.4 percentage points compared to the year-ago quarter (Q4 2019: 6.8%)

Preliminary results for the fiscal year 2020

  • Preliminary revenues were EUR 565.0 million up by 1.5% compared to the previous year(2019: EUR 556.8 million)
  • The preliminary pro forma operating income of EUR 33.8 million was up by 36.4% compared to the previous year(2019: EUR 24.8 million)
  • The preliminary pro forma operating income margin of 6.0% increased by 1.5 percentage points compared to the previous year (2019: 4.5%)

Openreach turns to EXFO for Full Fibre monitoring

Openreach has awarded EXFO a contract to supply optical test heads and test access switching for its Full Fibre initiative. With its cloud-based Nova Fiber solution, EXFO will equip Openreach to assure its build, thereby accelerating the programme and avoiding costly return visits to fix connection problems—additional “truck rolls” more than double operators testing costs.1 Following installation, Openreach will be able to remotely monitor its fibre infrastructure supporting the in-life operations of its Full Fibre service.


This announcement comes as Openreach hit a record build rate for its Full Fibre broadband programme. Openreach engineers are now delivering faster, more reliable connectivity to another 40,000 homes and businesses every week, or the equivalent of a home every 15 seconds.

Peter Bell, Director, Network Technology, Openreach: “We know that now more than ever that being connected matters. We’re convinced that our new Full Fibre network can play a crucial role in keeping the nation connected. This year, our build has been gathering pace and momentum, and we’re determined to match that rapid speed of deployment with the highest standards of build quality build and customer service.

https://www.exfo.com/

WeLink raises $185M for 5G wireless mesh broadband service

WeLink, a new wireless broadband provider offering service in the Las Vegas metro area, announced a $185 million investment from Digital Alpha Advisors to expand to new markets across the United States. 

WeLink is building a network based on a neighborhood 5G mesh architecture designed for gigabit-class service.

WeLink is led by Kevin Ross, former co-founder of Vivint Wireless and Smartrove and Luke Langford, former co-founder of Vivint Wireless. 

https://welink.com/

Verizon expands 5G Home fixed wireless access


Verizon will begin offering its 5G Home Internet service in parts of Arlington, TX; Miami, FL; Anaheim, CA; San Francisco, CA and St. Louis, MO, and Phoenix, AZ. The service offers max download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, depending on location, with typical download speeds of 300 Mbps.

“We ended 2020 with 2,700 cities with Nationwide 5G service serving 230 million people, 61 cities with Ultra Wideband service, and 12 cities with access to our 5G Home service; and we’re not slowing down,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon. “We're rolling out new services to more customers continuing the digital transformation Verizon has been driving.”

https://www.verizon.com/coverage-map


Pivotal Commware intros 5G Smart Network Repeater

Pivotal Commware, a privately-held company based in Kirkland, Washington, introduced a 5G smart network repeater that redirects, extends and shapes service coverage outdoors

The new Pivot 5G repeater is one component of Pivotal Commware’s mmWave ecosystem based on its Holographic Beam Forming technology for mmWave. The entire ecosystem can be planned by WaveScape, a network modeling tool that provides network operators with precise placement of network elements, such as repeaters and 5G base stations, to optimize network connectivity for subscribers and to minimize total cost of ownership for the operator. 

The company also offers its Echo 5G smart indoor repeater, which floods mmWave indoors to provide subscribers with superior connectivity speeds. Finally, Pivotal’s cloud-native Intelligent Beam Management System (IBMS) uses machine learning to extract intelligent insights and optimize the network in real time.

“The Pivot 5G significantly closes the mmWave coverage gap by giving operators a new way to position coverage on specific clusters of subscribers, rather than a general geography,” said Brian Deutsch, CEO of Pivotal Commware. “Pivot is a key player in the mmWave ecosystem we designed to support our claim of ‘mmWave solved.’ We are helping to deliver on the promise of 5G by enabling operators to cost-effectively accelerate their mmWave network rollouts and deliver a superior 5G user experience with the gigabit speeds their customers expect.”

https://pivotalcommware.com/

Cisco adds John D. Harris II to its Board - former Raytheon exec


 Cisco announced the appointment of John D. Harris II to its board of directors.

“We are very pleased to welcome John to the Cisco Board,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO, Cisco. “John is known for his strong leadership and results-oriented approach. His depth of experience operating a global business at scale, and commitment to excellence will positively impact Cisco’s strategy and enhance our trusted relationships with customers as they increase their digital agility.”

Harris previously served as vice president of Business Development for Raytheon Company and chief executive officer of Raytheon International. 


L-com intros passive CWDM Mux/Demux products

L-com introduced a new series of passive, coarse wave division multiplexing (CWDM) cassettes and barrel filters to address the multiplexing and de-multiplexing of optical signals over fiber.

The new passive CWDM product line consists of 4, 8 and 16 channel mux/demux cassettes as well as barrel filters which add a single channel to a composite signal or remove a single channel from a composite signal.

The PCW1-series cassettes are designed for inside plant (ISP) use and feature either 4 or 8 channels, LC connectors with a UPC polish and 20nm channel spacing. Additionally, a 19" 1U rack-mount unit with 16 channels is available with a monitor port option.

The PCWXX-series cassettes consist of 4 and 8 channel mux and demux units that are designed for outside plant (OSP) applications. For higher fiber count applications, 16 channel mux and demux units are available. The products in the PCWXX-series feature 1-meter 900um fiber leads and 20nm channel spacing.

Lastly, the PCW5A-series are single-channel, barrel-style units that feature 20nm channel spacing, 2-meter, 250um colored bare fibers and pass fiber for unused CWDM channels. These units are designed for outside plant (OSP) applications and feature an operating temperature range of -40°C to +85°C.

"Our new passive CWDM products address a wide range of applications that call for the aggregation and separation of fiber channels found in telecommunications, R&D, test lab, research and mil/aero installations. By offering these CWDM mux/demux units as in-stock items, we are able to meet our customers urgent requirements," said Paul Hospodar, Product Line Manager.