Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rackspace Builds Out is Private Cloud Software

Rackspace Hosting announced new features for its free and open source Rackspace Private Cloud Software, which powered by OpenStack, including  a single interface for deploying, configuring and operating clouds at scale in an enterprise data center.

New features of Rackspace Private Cloud Software include:

  • OpenCenter – Drawing from experience of operating The Rackspace Open Cloud, OpenCenter provides a centralized graphical user interface and API that simplifies and automates the operational activities associated with deploying, managing and maintaining Private Clouds.
  • High Availability – OpenCenter provides API or point-and-click deployment and management of high availability environments for the OpenStack controller nodes, improving up-time and reducing business risk.
  • Host Operating System Choice – Customers can now select from Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or CentOS for the host operating system in Rackspace Private Cloud deployments.
  • Rackspace Private Cloud Software is a combination of stable OpenStack community 'trunk' code and proven Rackspace tools, packaging and configuration. Rackspace engineers have validated and certified products from over nine major industry partners for the private cloud software through its Technology Alliance Program. 

"Rackspace Private Cloud’s powerful new OpenCenter platform is a user interface and orchestration tool built to deploy, operate and scale on-premise private clouds. This paves the way for Rackspace to bring its continuous integration and deployment expertise from the public cloud arena into private enterprise data centers,” said Jim Curry, SVP and GM of Rackspace Private Cloud. “We are taking our own solid technology practices forward into private open cloud backed by Fanatical Support."

"Through the operation of The Rackspace Open Cloud, built on OpenStack, we have already seen over 1590 code releases pushed live to open cloud without customer disruption. This joins 465 million API requests for Cloud Servers and a total of over 8400 unit tests have been run before each code release, so it has been a busy and dynamic period," Curry said.

Atrato Orders Multiple 100GEs from Hibernia

Atrato Communications has selected Hibernia Networks to provide multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet circuits to bolster its global IP backbone.  The deployment is Atrato’s first native 100 Gigabit Ethernet deployment within Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Atrato operates a Global Network (AS5580) with both MPLS and IP services on its core backbone.

"Atrato built its network with the latest in technology and is directly connected to key Internet exchanges to ensure we can deliver the most resilient and low latency network routes,” states Michiel Muhlenbaumer, CEO for Atrato Communications. “Our new multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet agreement with Hibernia Networks further prepares Atrato for the extreme growth we’ve been experiencing across the global IP market."

“We have seen extraordinary growth in global data traffic, in large part due to the adoption and use of cloud, video and interactive applications,” states Fergus Innes, Vice President of Sales, EMEA for Hibernia Networks. “As a result, Hibernia’s expert team has been helping companies like Atrato leverage its high capacity routes and customizable solutions so clients can quickly scale and reliably accommodate surges in traffic today and tomorrow.”

AT&T Project Velocity Earmarks $600-800M for Kentucky

As part of its national Project Velocity IP initiative announced in November 2012, AT&T expects to invest between $600 and $800 million during 2013 to 2015 in the state of Kentucky.

AT&T said theis investment will include:

4G LTE Expansion.  AT&T plans to expand its 4G LTE network to cover the majority of people in Kentucky.  Currently AT&T 4G LTE has been launched in Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green.

Densification & Small Cell Technology. As part of Project VIP, AT&T will increase the density of its wireless network, which is expected to further improve network quality and increase spectrum efficiency.

AT&T plans to expand U-verse (TV, Internet, VoIP).  Upgrade U-verse Internet service to speeds ranging from up to 75Mbps to up to 100Mbps.

AT&T plans to proactively expand its fiber network to reach business locations in Kentucky.

Mellanox's 56 Gbp/s Infiniband Delivers Blazing Performance

Mellanox Technologies confirmed that its FDR 56Gb/s InfiniBand adapters and switches accelerate Microsoft’s new SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse appliance.

Mellanox said tests show that the new appliance enables completion of a warehouse query of over 1,000 Terabytes of data in less than two seconds, compared to the previous generation’s completion time of two minutes with just 100 Terabytes of data.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) is a scalable data warehouse appliance that delivers performance and scalability through massively parallel processing connected by a single high-speed 56Gb/s InfiniBand interconnect. PDW takes advantage of Windows Servers 2012 SMB Direct protocol to support storage access over native RDMA, and can use Mellanox interconnect solutions to accelerate access to storage by 10X.

“Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Parallel Data Warehouse is an enterprise class appliance that was built for integration with Big Data and that can handle the most demanding data requiring very high scalability and performance,” said Mark Jewett, Director, Server and Tools Marketing, at Microsoft. “By taking advantage of storage innovations in Windows Server 2012, Mellanox benchmarks demonstrate that their RDMA interconnect solutions can help increase network speed significantly for data warehouse queries.”

LSI and NetApp Collaborate on Server-based Flash Acceleration

LSI's Nytro WarpDrive family of application acceleration PCIe flash cards has been validated for use with NetApp Flash Accel software. The combined server flash caching solution can be used to speed application performance by converting server-based flash into "hot" data cache for critical business applications.

Specifically, the LSI and NetApp solution delivers automated and intelligent caching of hot data to PCIe flash storage. The LSI Nytro WarpDrive cards deployed in conjunction with Flash Accel software intelligently place the most frequently accessed or "hot" data on ultra-low latency, high-performance PCIe flash storage. The companies said test results have shown a reduction in application and server latency by up to 90 percent while increasing throughput by up to 80 percent. By allowing infrequently accessed data to remain on HDD storage, organizations can deploy an economical mix of flash and hard-disk storage, optimizing both cost per IOPS and cost per gigabyte of storage capacity.

"Flash memory adoption in the enterprise is a powerful complement to hard-disk-based network storage," said Tim Russell, vice president, Data Lifecycle Ecosystem Group, NetApp. "Deploying flash as a high-speed cache in the server is a simple and cost-effective way to significantly reduce latency and I/O bottlenecks, while providing enterprise-level data protection and manageability for the entire infrastructure. Working with our server cache partners, we're able to offer customers a complete end-to-end, high-speed solution."

ViaSat-1 Satellite Hits 200K "Exede" Internet Subscribers

Since introducing its "Exede" Internet satellite service in January 2012, ViaSat has signed more than 200,000 customers.

The company announced that the ViaSat-1 satellite that powers the Exede service has earned a Guinness World Records title as the highest-capacity communications satellite. At the time of its launch in October 2011, ViaSat-1 had more capacity than all of the other communication satellites covering North America combined.

The record confirms that ViaSat-1 provides the most total throughput capacity over the U.S. and Canada – 100 times the capacity of a typical Ku-band satellite and 10 times the throughput of any Ka-band satellite launched prior to ViaSat-1.

TeraXion Acquires COGO's InP Optical Modulator

TeraXion, which manufactures optical components and modules, acquired COGO Optronics' Canadian subsidiary along with critical intellectual property assets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Today's announcement is another milestone in line with our organic and acquisitive growth strategy. The team in Ottawa and California is bringing new and highly complementary expertise to our current capabilities. The InP modulator product line developed over the years at COGO has all the attributes to meet the market’s needs for next-generation 100 Gb/s and above transceiver development", mentioned Alain-Jacques Simard, President and CEO, TeraXion. "This additional building block will accelerate the development of our photonic integration products roadmap where performance, size and power consumption are key requirements", said Martin Guy, V-P Product Management and CTO at TeraXion.

"This combination will better service the needs of our existing customers and accelerate the time to market of the rich products pipeline COGO has been developing in conjunction with leading customers", commented COGO’s CEO Alka Swanson. "Combining the advanced InP technology and products developed by COGO with the larger scale and market reach of TeraXion will result in a more stable commercial platform from which the business can be ramped to its full potential", further noted COGO's CFO Ron Lacey.

Dell'Oro: Ethernet Switch Market Reaches Record $21B in 2012

The Layer 2-3 Ethernet Switch market reached $21 Billion in 2012 with almost all growth coming from data center deployments as spending in campus networks remained weak for most vendors, according to a recent report by Dell'Oro Group.

The report found that Fixed Top-of-Rack (Purpose Built) 10 Gigabit Ethernet revenues grew over 50 percent in 2012, with strong demand from both enterprise data center, and especially Service Provider Cloud customers.  Vendors with current Ethernet Switch offerings in this segment include: Alcatel-Lucent, Arista, Avaya, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Enterasys, Extreme, HP, IBM, and Juniper.

"Ethernet Switch Market revenues in 2012 achieved a new record at $21 Billion.  However weak spending by the U.S. government as well as a customer preference change caused Modular switching to contract in 2012," said Alan Weckel, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "We expected a shift towards Fixed as improved stacking and resiliency in Fixed switching helped campus deployments make the shift away from Modular, but we believe the lack of spending by the U.S. government, which typically purchases Modular, was an additional pressure that caused the 2012 weakness.  In looking forward to 2013, while we expect the market to grow robustly with strong gains coming from the data center, we expect Modular will not improve significantly," stated Weckel.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

eBay Shows its Digital Service Efficiency Dashboard

eBay has posted a Digital Service Efficiency (DSE) dashboard online to track the cost, performance and environmental impact of customer buy and sell transactions.  The dashboard essentially provides a guide to measuring the overall efficiency of eBay's technical infrastructure, across four key business priorities: performance, cost, environmental impact, and revenue.

eBay also published the following Digital Service Efficiency goals for 2013:

  • Increase transactions per kWh by 10% year over year
  • Reduce cost per transaction by 10% year over year
  • Reduce carbon per transaction by 10% year over year

Net Optics Tunes its Filter Network Packet Broker for Virtualization

Net Optics introduced its new xFilter Network Packet Broker (Version 2.5) for high-density, high-throughput network monitoring in areas using advanced tunneling protocols for optimized visibility, performance, efficiency and security.  The latest release provides traffic visibility throughout networks that employ complex tunneling technologies or virtualized topologies.

New support includes Extensible LAN (VXLAN) and Cisco FabricPath protocols. xFilter also allows such tools to monitor in the presence of revived protocols such as PPPoE and MPLS, which present processing and visibility challenges. It also supports both tunneling and de-capsulation for monitoring purposes.

Key xFilter features include:

  • MPLS and PPPoE stripping
  • Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) decapsulation
  • Cisco FabricPath and ER-SPAN decapsulation
  • LTE / GTP de-capsulation
  • Layer 2 and Layer 3 Filtering and policy-based forwarding
  • GRE encapsulation of traffic of interest point to point.

“We designed xFilter to ease the path of IT teams as they move forward in rapidly virtualizing environments, without sacrificing visibility,” said Sharon Besser, Net Optics VP Technology. “Sustaining visibility is really key to progress and to gaining virtualization’s many efficiency and cost-saving benefits.”

Array Networks Enhances its Application Delivery Controllers

Array Networks released new software for its line of Application Delivery Controllers designed to meet the load balancing and application delivery requirements of small to medium-sized enterprises.

The APV 8.4 supports new advanced load balancing and application delivery features, unlocks increased performance across all APV Series appliances and introduces a pricing model that makes enterprise-class traffic management available at 50% the cost of brand name ADC vendors.  The new version offers advanced server load balancing, link load balancing, GSLB, connection multiplexing, SSL acceleration, compression, caching, traffic shaping and application security. Key features of APV 8.4 include:

  • ePolicy: Allows administrators to write custom scripts to control application traffic. Includes the ability to tailor SLB methods for real services, analyze the content of HTTP, SOAP, XML and diameter protocols, receive, send, analyze and discard generic TCP and TCPS packets, control TCP connections, perform pattern matching for text data and monitor and record statistics.
  • IPv6: Gold certified by the IPv6 Forum IPv6 Ready program to support migration from IPv4 to IPv6 and provide a means for IPv6 and IPv4 networks and clients to communicate. NAT64/DNS64 allows IPv4 clients to communicate with IPv6 servers. SLB-PT/SLB-64 enables protocol translation from IPv4 to IPv6 and DS-Lite allows IPv4 client traffic to be tunneled over IPv6 networks. All 8.4 features are supported for both IPv4 and IPv6.
  • Independent session controlling: Extracts session IDs from application traffic to build mapping tables for associating session IDs with real servers. Independent session controlling improves persistence and security while enhancing application performance.
  • TCP stateful failover and additional enterprise-focused features including N+1 clustering for high availability, role-based administration control and advanced ACLs (SLB QoS) for preventing over-utilization of network resources by undesired clients.
  • eCloud API: Integrates Array’s physical and virtual ADCs with infrastructure service provider cloud management systems for the purpose of making APV Series appliances available to enterprises as a load balancing service. Gives cloud providers a flexible, script-based tool with which to manage and monitor Array ADCs, whether used as foundational infrastructure within IaaS or SaaS environments or as service offerings.

Big Switch Signs Itochu and Net One for Japan

Big Switch Networks announced distribution partnerships with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and Net One Systems for the Japanese market.  Big Switch Networks’ Open SDN product suite includes an SDN controller that serves as a network application platform for a variety of applications, including network monitoring and data center network virtualization.

Last week, Big Switch announced the addition of Tony Bates to its Board of Directors.  Bates was a long time senior executive at Cisco Systems, and is currently the President of the Skype division of Microsoft.  He joins industry veterans Mike Volpi, Shirish Sathaye, Mark Leslie, Bill Meehan and co-founders Guido Appenzeller and Kyle Forster on the company’s Board.

Digicel Completes US$1 Billion Bond at 6%

Digicel successfully completed a US$1 billion corporate bond offering at 6.00%.  The proceeds will be used to refinance all of its 12% Senior Notes due 2014 and for general corporate purposes which could include capital expenditures, acquisitions, debt repayment or dividends.

Digicel is a leading global telecoms operator serving customers in the Caribbean, Central America and Pacific. Its markets include: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, St Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos and Vanuatu. Digicel also has coverage in St. Martin and St. Barts in the Caribbean.

Alcatel-Lucent Cites Core Router Sale to Healthcare Provider

Alcatel-Lucent is supplying its new 7950 XRS core router family to UPMC, the top ranked healthcare provider in Western Pennsylvania.  The UPMC build-out will also include Alcatel-Lucent's proprietary optical coherent technology, the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS). The high-powered network will be used to handle the challenge of Big Data in the health care sector. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • Previously, Alcatel-Lucent has announced deployment of its 7950 XRS by Belgacom and Telefonica.

The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance Consolidate

The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance finalized the agreement for the consolidation of WiGig technology and certification development in the Wi-Fi Alliance.

"This is a significant and exciting moment for our members and our industry," said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. "With 60 GHz efforts concentrated in one organization we have the momentum, technology, and members to deliver on the promise of WiGig technology."

Wi-Fi Alliance will continue work begun in WiGig Alliance on features that extend WiGig capabilities beyond baseline connectivity, to address a range of applications from high-definition WiGig Display, to peripheral connectivity and I/O cable replacement.

  • The WiGig Alliance promotes short range, multi-gigabit capable wireless connectivity based on unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. Early 60 GHz implementations based on the WiGig specifications are entering the market now and ABI Research forecasts that by 2016, annual shipments of devices with both Wi-Fi and WiGig technology will reach 1.8 billion.
  • The Wi-Fi Alliance and the WiGig Alliance have been collaborating for the past two years, during which time the WiGig Alliance developed the key specifications including MAC-PHY and Protocol Adaptation Layers (PALs) and Wi-Fi Alliance initiated work to develop an interoperability certification for 60 GHz products.

Microsoft Acquires MetricsHub for Cloud Monitoring

Microsoft has acquired MetricsHub, a Seattle-based start-up specializing in Active Cloud Monitoring, for an undisclosed sum.

MetricsHub developed technology for automating cloud performance management.  The solution works with Windows Azure. A pre-release version is now available in the Windows Azure Store.

Anaplan Raises $30 Million for Cloud-based Planning Service

Anaplan, a start-up offering cloud-based modeling and planning solutions for finance and operations, closed $30 million in new venture financing. Using cloud resources, the San Francisco-based company helps corporate customers to dynamically test their operational plans, manage complex multi-dimensional models, collaborate across functions and regions, and share insights and content.

Meritech Capital led the round, along with existing investors Granite Ventures and Shasta Ventures. Anaplan recently opened offices in the UK, France, Sweden and Singapore.

“The enterprise planning and modeling market has been under-innovated for 10 years and is ready to be profoundly disrupted. Anaplan is that long-awaited innovation,” said Anaplan CEO Fred Laluyaux.

Radisys Reports Revenue of $69.3 Million, MRF Accelerates

Radisys posted Q4 2012 revenues of $69.3 million and a GAAP net loss of $4.9 million or $0.18 per share. Fourth quarter non-GAAP net income was $0.9 million or $0.03 per diluted share.

"Our fourth quarter revenue and profitability exceeded our expectations. Increased shipments in Software-Solutions, particularly within our MRF business, as well as our ATCA product lines enabled a 9% sequential quarterly increase in total revenue. This improved revenue performance, combined with solid expense management, enabled a return to non-GAAP profitability, stated Brian Bronson, Radisys' President and CEO.

Some highlights:

  • ATCA and Software-Solutions revenue accounted for 69% of revenue, growing 21% sequentially when compared to the third quarter of 2012.
  • Fourth quarter platform design wins spanned a number of different applications such as Femto Gateways, Load Balancers, and Edge Routing.
  • GAAP gross margin was 30%. Non-GAAP gross margin was 33%.
  • Increased shipments of both Software-Solutions and ATCA products enabled a nearly two percentage point sequential gross margin improvement over the third quarter of 2012.
  • The market response to the MPX-12000 (Media Resource Function) exceeded expectations and when combined with the company'saudio conferencing position, resulted in 2012 annual revenue growth of over 23% and a ramping funnel of opportunities in 2013. Trials and lab testing of the product's ability to process both voice and video over Next Generation LTE wireless networks at several large Tier 1 customers continue to progress well.
  • The company's full suite of 40G ATCA T-Series products have been released to production.

Cyan Appoints Mike Zellner as CFO

Cyan appointed Mike Zellner as vice president and chief financial officer. Zellner joins Cyan from PMC-Sierra where, for the past six years, he served as chief financial officer. Prior to PMC-Sierra, Zellner was senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer at Wind River Systems.

ZTE Confirms Intel Atom Smartphone Ambition

ZTE confirmed a strategic partnership with Intel to develop unique smartphones based on the Intel Atom Z2580 processor. The platform’s dual-core processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology provides double the compute performance and up to 3x graphics capabilities over the previous generation Intel Atom Z2460 processor while delivering the same competitive battery life.

The ZTE Grand X IN smartphone already features Intel Inside. The ZTE Grand X IN was one of the best-selling smartphones in Austria during 2012. The Android-based device is also available in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovakia, Moldova, Greece, Sweden and Norway. It will also soon be available in France.