Sunday, August 30, 2009

EMC Acquires FastScale for Scaling Private Clouds

EMC has acquired FastScale Technology, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, for an undisclosed sum.

FastScale's technology simplifies application and server stack management and optimizes deployment for physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures. Its flagship product -- FastScale Composer Suite -- is a fully automated platform for building, optimizing, managing and deploying application environments in physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures. The company says its system allows data centers to run up to three times more virtual machines without degrading performance. FastScale also claims its technology decreases memory and disk usage by up to 75%, enabling some of the highest levels of tier-one application performance in the private cloud.
FastScale's technology will be used to enhance EMC Ionix portfolio, which is also aimed at accelerating the journey from physical to virtual to private cloud. The acquisition of FastScale extends EMC's Ionix solutions for automating IT management across a unified infrastructure of storage, compute, network and virtualization resources.

In addition, EMC announced an agreement to resell VMware's vCenter AppSpeed. This new solution, along with EMC's virtualization services, will be offered through EMC Select as part of the EMC Ionix portfolio, enabling customers to have full management capabilities across their physical and virtual IT infrastructures.
  • Investors in FastScale included ATA Ventures, Leapfrog Ventures and Hunt Ventures.

Australia Japan Cable and Pacific Crossing Launch GigE, 10GigE Service

Australia Japan Cable (AJC) and Pacific Crossing Limited (PCL) have teamed up to launch a Gigabit Ethernet Service for carrier, enterprise, and ISP customers looking for scalable, flexible connectivity options between Australia and North America.

Both companies had announced Gigabit Ethernet offerings on their own networks earlier in the year.

"Partnering together, AJC and PCL can offer standard 1Gigabit and 10Gigabit interfaces together with the flexibility of scalable capacity from 150Mbs (STM1) up to the full size of the port interface," stated said Seth Davis, PCL CTO.

Testing of the Gigabit service on the AJC and PC1 networks confirmed transmission performance up to the full rate and for frames up to a jumbo size of 9224 bytes.

Australia-Japan Cable is a 12,700km optical fibre ring submarine cable network, directly connecting Australia and Japan, via Guam. Pacific Crossing owns and operates the trans-Pacific, subsea fibre-optic network ring, PC1, connecting the U.S. and Japan.

Calix Raises $100 Million in New Financing

Calix has raised $100 million in financing and added three new members to its board of directors. The new financing of $50 million in equity raised from existing Calix investors and $50 million in debt financing established with Silicon Valley Bank.

Calix will use the funds to capitalize on the growth opportunities afforded by the $7.2 billion U.S. Broadband Stimulus program. Noting that more than 40 percent of the rural service providers in the United States are using its Unified Access Infrastructure to deliver advanced broadband services. Calix said it is uniquely poised to benefit from the Broadband Stimulus portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA

The new directors to the Calix board include Michael Marks of Riverwood Capital, Adam Grosser of Foundation Capital, and Robert Finzi of Sprout Group.

Calix Raises $100 Million in New Financing

Calix has raised $100 million in financing and added three new members to its board of directors. The new financing of $50 million in equity raised from existing Calix investors and $50 million in debt financing established with Silicon Valley Bank.

Calix will use the funds to capitalize on the growth opportunities afforded by the $7.2 billion U.S. Broadband Stimulus program. Noting that more than 40 percent of the rural service providers in the United States are using its Unified Access Infrastructure to deliver advanced broadband services. Calix said it is uniquely poised to benefit from the Broadband Stimulus portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA

The new directors to the Calix board include Michael Marks of Riverwood Capital, Adam Grosser of Foundation Capital, and Robert Finzi of Sprout Group.

Blue Coat Enhances PacketShaper for Application Accountability

Advancing its Application Delivery Networking strategy, Blue Coat released new software that enables its PacketShaper appliances to provide more granular application visibility, enhanced application intelligence and policy-based control over traffic flowing between an enterprise network and WAN.

Application accountability enables businesses to better assure the quality of bandwidth-hungry business-critical applications and communication, including telephony and video conferencing, while controlling usage of progressively more taxing recreational applications. The new PacketShaper 8.5 release uses integrated workflows to enable more detailed application understanding with real-time monitoring, historical reporting and policy-based QoS controls. Unlike conventional security appliances and filters that isolate WAN traffic by port type, Blue Coat said its appliance analyzes traffic flow to detect specific applications that may appear as general Port 80 or HTTPS traffic. Similar applications can be automatically grouped together in class of service categories, such as peer-to-peer (P2P), games or instant messaging, for ease of management. In addition, PacketShaper appliances now provide more granular visibility and control over voice, video and virtualized applications.

Based on more detailed application visibility, application accountability provides enhanced quality for important applications, including voice, video and real-time sessions. Blue Coat's appliance also manages applications to allotted bandwidth consumption and prevents them from impinging on the performance of other applications due to unexpected surges or changes in behavior.

In addition, the new PacketShaper 8.5 release adds the capability to specifically identify and manage network traffic from VMware View Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) applications on a granular basis. PacketShaper appliances, with this new software release, can prevent VDI set-up and downloads from temporarily dominating WAN capacity.

Qwest Appoints Teresa Taylor as COO

Qwest Communications announced the appointment of Teresa A. Taylor as chief operating officer, replacing Thomas E. Richards, who is leaving the company to become president and chief operating officer of CDW Corporation. Taylor has led Qwest's Business Markets, Wholesale and Product groups and also served as Qwest's chief administrative officer in which, among other things, she led two negotiations with the Communications Workers of America and the IBEW.

Brocade Adds Server and Storage Virtualization Capabilities

Brocade announced new features and capabilities across its networking hardware, software and management portfolio that provide storage area networks (SANs) more awareness and visibility of virtual machines (VMs) -- and vice versa -- while extending essential networking services beyond physical servers and into the virtual realms.

These enhancements currently apply for use in Brocade SANs but will support open, heterogeneous computing and storage environments established through Brocade's long-standing industry partnerships with the leading server and storage vendors.

Specifically, Brocade's DCFM SAN management application now provides visibility of VMs on Brocade fabrics. This enables SAN administrators to view VMs running inside of physical servers as well as VM properties end-to-end from the server to storage via Brocade HBAs and switches. Brocade also added support for a management "plug-in" for VMware vCenter that, once installed and activated, will supply key metrics and alerts through VMware vSphere. This capability will help VMware administrators troubleshoot issues pertaining to the fabric, which may impact VM and application performance.

Sprint Expands its Managed Network Solutions

Sprint is continuing to enhance its managed solutions portfolio to help business customers optimize their network and align IT strategies with business priorities. These services include planning, implementing and end-to-end management of converged voice and data networks.

Sprint Managed Network Solutions are now being offered through Sprint's newly formed Business Markets Group (BMG), which consists of more than 4,000 sales, support, marketing and operations personnel.
  • In July, Sprint reached a seven year deal to outsource the management of its own network to Ericsson.

Dell'Oro: Mobile Infrastructure Market Drops 12%, No Rebound in Second Half of 09

Despite very strong growth in the 3G markets, declines in the 2G market, particularly with GSM, the worldwide mobile infrastructure market revenue contracted 12 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2009, according to a recently published report by Dell'Oro Group. Although GSM spending is expected to pick up in the second half of the year, and the WCDMA market is expected to continue to ramp, revenue for the total mobile infrastructure market is forecast to contract 10 percent in 2009, according to the report.

"India and China continued to be the engine of the GSM market, but that engine is beginning to lose steam," stated Scott Siegler, Senior Analyst of Mobile Infrastructure research at Dell'Oro Group.

"Despite high 2G subscriber growth, spending in both regions significantly declined in the first half of the year. In the second quarter, Chinese operators continued to focus on their 3G rollouts, driving the WCDMA market to another record setting quarter of Node B shipments. In India, operators focused on optimizing their existing infrastructure, rather than expanding their footprint. Nearly 10 percent fewer GSM base stations were shipped this quarter as compared to the same period last year, and GSM's share of the total market fell below 50 percent for the first time since we began tracking it," continued Siegler.

NFC Forum and Mobey Forum Collaborate on Mobile Payment Standards

The NFC Forum, an industry group promoting the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the Mobey Forum, a global financial industry forum whose mission is to facilitate the offering by banks of mobile financial services, have agreed to collaborate to promote open standards that enable the delivery of services that provide secure and interoperable mobile financial transactions.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices. It operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters.

The Mobey Forum has over 50 members with member categories covering leading banks, vendors, payment processors and mobile network operators. The Board Members of the Mobey Forum are from Deutsche Bank, UBS, HSBC, BBVA, eLaCaixa, Nordea, Rabobank, DnB NOR, and Nokia.

Clearwire Announces Two Executive Appointments

Clearwire announced two new executive appointments: Erik Prusch as Chief Financial Officer, and Teresa Elder as President of Strategic Partnerships and Wholesale.

Prusch was most recently President and Chief Executive Officer of Borland Software, where he also previously served as Chief Financial Officer, leading the restructuring of the company and returning the business to profitability. Prior to Borland, he was Vice President of Finance in Intuit's Turbo Tax division.

Elder, who assumes the newly created position of President of Strategic Partnerships and Wholesale where she will oversee Clearwire's wholesale operations, most recently was CEO of Vodafone, Ireland - a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone Group. Before joining Vodafone, Elder served as President, West of AT&T Broadband (now part of Comcast).

Clearwire also announced that Scott Richardson, who has served as Clearwire's Chief Strategy Officer, will leave the company, but continue to serve as a strategic advisor.

Trend Micro Tool Reports a Company's Entire Web Activities

Trend Micro launched a new Web Gateway Security solution that integrates its InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance 5.0 product and a new Advanced Reporting and Management module to monitor and manage employee Internet use at the office while proving on-premise malware scanning. The Advanced Reporting and Management module gives visibility into an entire company's Web activities, delivering real-time information at a very granular level.
Key features include:
  • The ability to scan HTTPS traffic and create exception policies based on specific sites or categories of sites to support privacy requirements

  • Flexible URL filtering policy engine that supports capabilities such as custom URL categories, exceptions and file type whitelisting.

  • Object-level blocking, which secures Web 2.0 Web pages by providing more granular enforcement of policy without blocking the entire page.

  • Support for Google and Yahoo!'s SafeSearch feature to prevent inappropriate content from appearing in search results.

  • Support for directory-based user identification while deployed in transparent bridge. This deployment mode allows all Internet traffic to be analyzed without having to reconfigure users' browsers or other network devices in the environment.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Evolution Digital Gains CableLabs Qualification for CableCARD

Evolution Digital LLC, a supplier of digital solutions for bandwidth reclamation and set-top boxes, and Conax, a provider of content security solutions, have partnered to develop a Multi-stream CableCARD specific to the North American cable market. The product, which has recently been awarded qualification by CableLabs, is designed to meet OpenCable CableCARD Interface 2.0 Specifications.

China Unicom and Apple Announce Deal on iPhone

China Unicom reached a deal to offer Apple's iPhone. The deal reportedly does not involve revenue sharing.

China Unicom Posts Revenue Decline in 1H2009

Citing the general economic malaise, mobile voice substitution of traditional fixed lines, and competitive pressure, China Unicom reported first half 2009 operating revenue of RMB76.32 billion. Service revenue amounted to RMB74.51 billion, representing a decline of 4.3% over the same period of last year and a decline of 3.3% over the same period of last year when compared on the same basis. Service revenue of the GSM business reached RMB34.19 billion, representing an increase of 5.7% over the same period of last year.

Service revenue of the fixed-line business reached RMB 40.19 billion, representing a decline of 11.3% over the same period of last year and a decline of 9.7% over the same period of last year when compared on the same basis. Of the revenue from the fixed-line business, revenue from the fixed-line broadband service was RMB11.73 billion, representing an increase of 10.3% over the same period of last year.

Due to the impact of corporate restructuring and intensified industry competition, the company recorded profit of RMB6.62 billion, representing a decline of 42.1% when compared with profit from the continuing operations over the same period of last year and a decline of 33.2% when compared on the same basis. Basic earnings per share was RMB0.28.

In the first half of the year, China Unicom added 7.012 million GSM subscribers, taking the total subscriber number to 140.377 million. ARPU was RMB41.7, representing a decline of 4.3% over the same period of last year and remained stable compared with the second half of last year. The company's mobile value-added services accounted for 26.8% of the total revenue from mobile services, representing an increase of 2.5 percentage points over the same period of last year. Revenue from GPRS reached RMB1.32 billion.

In the first half of the year, the net addition of fixed-line broadband subscribers was 4.832 million, taking the total subscriber number to 34.913 million. ARPU was RMB60.2, representing a decline of 13.5%; a total of 1.118 million local telephone subscribers were lost, taking the total subscriber number to 108.452 million. The revenue proportion of the fixed-line non-voice business to the total fixed-line service revenue (excluding upfront connection fees) reached 47.2%.

China Unicom also noted that since obtaining its 3G (WCDMA) operating license on 7 January, it has moved forward aggressively on developing its 3G network construction and preparing for service launch. On May 17th, China Unicom initiated 3G pre-commercial friendly trials in 56 cities including various 3G services, such as mobile internet, mobile search, mobile music, mobile TV, video telephony, mobile newspaper and wireless internet access cards.

China Unicom has also established a new full-service brand -- "WO" -- which was launched on April 28th.

Australia passes 50% for Digital TV Transition

More than half (53%) of Australian households have converted to free-to-air digital TV broadcasts -- up from 47% in the previous quarter, according to the latest Digital Tracker Survey released by Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy. The Rudd Government has made a commitment to complete digital switchover by December 31, 2013

DOCOMO's Credit Payment Service Tops 10 million Subscribers

The number of subscribers to NTT DOCOMO's DCMX credit payment service has topped the 10 million mark.

Launched in April 2006, DCMX reached 1 million subscribers in November 2006, 5 million in February 2008 and 10 million, just three years and four months since the original launch.

DCMX is a service brand for DOCOMO-issued credit cards, which allows subscribers to make purchases using their mobile phones as credit cards via "iD", DOCOMO's branded mobile payment platform for handsets equipped with contactless IC cards (Osaifu-Keitai). For security, DOCOMO's Osaifu-Keitai phones can be locked remotely over the wireless network if misplaced or stolen.
DOCOMO noted that currently, over 30 million DOCOMO customers use Osaifu-Keitai-compatible handsets and about 60% of all DOCOMO customers are using Osaifu-Keitai services. As of July 31, 2009, there were approximately 420,000 iD readers/writers nationwide. iD is now used in various settings in daily life, such as shopping at convenience stores and electronics retailers, eating at fast food restaurants and taking taxis.

Infinera Supplies Optical Transport for Washington Utility

Washington state's Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) has selected Infinera to supply an optical backbone supporting its triple-play broadband services.

Grant County PUD currently supplies fiber optic service is currently available to nearly 15,000 homes, businesses and farms in the county.  The utility began building its wholesale fiber-to-the-home network in 2000.  Currently, Grant PUD claims a 40% "take rate" for homes passed who have chosen to subscribe to one or more triple play services.

Comcast Prevails in Legal Battle over MSO Size

Comcast prevailed in a legal case against the FCC. The decision handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that vacates an FCC rule limiting the sized of cable operators. The court ruled that the FCC must consider competition from satellite providers when calculating the market share held by a cable operator. The decision could clear the way for further consolidation of cable operators.

France Telecom to Acquire Digital Advertising Network

The Orange France Telecom Group has acquired 100% of UNANIMIS, the UK's largest exclusive digital advertising network.

The combination of UNANIMIS's premium advertising network and Orange's mobile and web assets, provides a reach of over 71.5% of the UK's online population and over 66% of the online population across UK, France, Spain and Poland.

UNANIMIS has exclusive online advertising relationships with key website brands such as the AA, Ticketmaster, ASOS, Gumtree and giving it the most extensive, exclusive-access, digital advertising portfolio in the UK.

France Telecom estimates that the Western European online advertising market was worth an estimated 12 billion euros in 2008 and the UK represented Europe's largest market (31%). Orange and UNANIMIS will also have strong positions in new growth areas such as mobile advertising.

"As 2008 marked the revolution in the mobile Internet space, so 2009 will see the major advances in digital and mobile advertising. The Orange mobile portal, Orange World, and our fixed portal attracts over 12 million monthly users and with the advances in handset technology coupled with new prices plans, this is set to rise even further. More companies are increasingly turning to the mobile Internet to enhance the way they advertise. A key part of our strategy at Orange UK is to grow and evolve our business in order to offer advertisers richer opportunities to engage with people," said Gerry McQuade, Chief Development Officer, Orange UK.