Monday, February 10, 2014

Rackspace's CEO Steps Down

Rackspace announced the retirement of Lanham Napier as its Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors.  Napier, who plans to invest in and advise other entrepreneurial companies, will remain a consultant to Rackspace for the next several months to ensure a smooth transition.

Graham Weston, Rackspace’s co-founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer.

Under Lanham’s leadership, Rackspace grew from a small startup to a global $1.5 billion public company, serving more than 200,000 customers, and has been one of the fastest-growing firms on the New York Stock Exchange. We are grateful for the way Lanham positioned Rackspace for continuing success in this attractive and growing market," stated James Bishkin, lead director on the Rackspace Board of Directors.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blueprint: SDDC – Moving Beyond the Early Adopter

by Steve Riley, Technical Director, CTO Office, Riverbed

The term “early adopter” can carry with it something of a stigma. We tend to think of early adopters as technophile geeks who overpay for some new piece of consumer technology that is only partially functional. One significant example was those who scoffed at the earliest automobiles, because they were initially less reliable than the horses that were the standard form of transportation.

What many people failed to realize, however, was that automotive technology would rapidly improve until those who insisted on continuing to use horses and wagons were seen as the odd ones out. This has happened with business technology as well over the last several decades, with some organizations (such as many doctors’ offices) reluctant to adopt computerized systems until they were forced to in order to remain competitive. The challenge for any company is to know whether a new technology will be beneficial long-term, or if it's merely a flash in the pan.

Under the Hood in the Business

One area of technology that is relevant to business performance – but often goes unnoticed by the end user – is that of the corporate data center and its underlying network architecture. While the user is concerned with access to applications and services, similar to the way we evaluate a car's appearance and stereo system, what is “under the hood” will make or break the experience in the long run.

Key to business success in the current economic climate is agility: the ability to quickly adapt to changing business circumstances. To that end, virtualization and cloud computing have emerged to accelerate deployment of the services an organization needs, when they’re needed. But the need for agility goes beyond virtualized software applications and servers. Businesses are quickly growing beyond the network “box,” or the limitations of the physical network infrastructure.

What Is Software-Defined Networking?

To overcome the rigidity of the traditional data center network, software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as a popular solution. Traditional network equipment bundles the decision-making logic (the “control plane”) and the data routing mechanism (the “forwarding plane”) into a single box. In SDN, these functions are separated. Boxes still move data, but the decisions are made by software running on general-purpose computers. SDN provides the fundamentals for effective network virtualization.

Administrators are already familiar with the benefits of server virtualization, which has streamlined workload management in organizations of all sizes. By deploying right-sized application-specific logical servers over a farm of inexpensive general-purpose physical server hardware, resource utilization is increased and provisioning can be accomplished much more quickly.

As server virtualization became more commonplace, desktops soon followed. Rather than provision each machine and piece of software individually, IT soon discovered the advantages of centralizing these processes and delivering them either through local servers, over the WAN, or even over the Internet.

SDN relies on well-defined application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow an organization to develop specialized software that extends functionality beyond what is available out of the box. Load balancing, for example, no longer requires an expensive specialized appliance in an SDN environment, but can be handled with software and provisioned in a “service chain” along with other networking services such as firewalls. These services run on commodity hardware that is sized (and can be resized) as appropriate. The underlying physical network is simplified, and redundant tools can be eliminated because resources can be moved around as needed. Adjustments to the network can be made in real time through software applications, rather than having to frequently replace or reconfigure physical devices in the data center. And SDN delivers the same benefits as other virtualization initiatives, such as the ability to house logically separate entities on a single device, even if they have conflicting requirements that would ordinarily cause compatibility issues.

Virtualizing the network

To varying degrees, network virtualization isn’t new. Virtual LANs (VLANs) create logical local network segments across distinct physical network segments. Virtual switches manage the traffic between virtual machines, on either the same or separate physical hosts. But neither of these techniques can be considered full network virtualization.

Administrators are beginning to consider whether it would be beneficial to bring full virtualization to the network and, if so, how. For years this has been considered a legitimate possibility, but there have been concerns. Managing state changes, access control lists, and counters in logical networks with thousands of virtual nodes can be a real challenge. It turns out that SDN is very good at solving these particular challenges, and with SDN it becomes possible to build fully virtualized networks completely decoupled from the underlying hardware.

The end result: software-defined data centers

Data centers have enjoyed the benefits of compute and storage virtualization for many years. SDN brings effective virtualization to the network. The logical culmination of all these, then, is the software-defined data center (SDDC).

The SDDC is characterized by broad programmability across all elements: compute, storage, and networking. Consumable services are decoupled from hardware and implemented as abstractions that, for all practical purposes, behave just like their old-fashioned physical counterparts. But they’re free from old-fashioned physical constraints: they can be relocated as necessary, scaled according to demand, and billed according to usage. Applications will require no fundamental reconfiguration to keep processes running normally.

The software-defined data center delivers benefits in several important areas:
  • Today’s applications are utilizing more complex infrastructure requirements that can be a challenge to meet in order to ensure proper quality of service. The delicate balance of meeting each requirement without harming another process is improved by the level of abstraction made possible by the SDDC.
  • Because resources are provisioned on demand, developers are free to focus on the business functionality of applications without undue concern about whether the network can respond—the network in an SDDC automatically reacts to changing application requirements.
  • Combining a more consolidated and centralized control framework on top of commodity hardware means there are fewer specialized physical components that can break down and inhibit operations. In addition, centralized control brings improved visibility, which makes it more difficult for attackers to hide and conduct malicious actions.
  • With a reduced need for specialized network equipment, organizations employing an SDDC will likely see reduced capital and operational expenditures. With IT budgets frequently first on the chopping block in businesses, the SDDC is an ideal way to ensure continued operations at a lower cost.
A fully software-defined data center will be a game-changer for those organizations that successfully execute the vision. But it will require effective planning to execute, and it may still be several steps in the future for many companies. But even without being an early adopter, businesses today can look ahead and begin to make preparations, such as conducting test implementations of SDN and increasing their experience with virtualization.

Just as the automobile quickly redefined travel, the SDDC is likely to define the corporate network in the years to come. Organizations should overlook the growing pains of the technology and plan how and when to make the transition, to ensure that they don’t find themselves eating the dust of the competition.

About the author

Steve Riley is Technical Leader in the Office of the CTO at Riverbed Technology. His specialties include cloud computing, information security, compliance, privacy, and policy. Steve has spoken at hundreds of events around the world. Before Steve joined Riverbed, he was the cloud security evangelist at Amazon Web Services and a security consultant and advisor at Microsoft. Steve enjoys sharing his opinions about the intersection of technology and culture.

About Riverbed

Riverbed Riverbed delivers application performance for the globally connected enterprise. With Riverbed, enterprises can successfully and intelligently implement strategic initiatives such as virtualization, consolidation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery without fear of compromising performance.  By giving enterprises the platform they need to understand, optimize and consolidate their IT, Riverbed helps enterprises to build a fast, fluid and dynamic IT architecture that aligns with the business needs of the organization. Additional information about Riverbed (NASDAQ: RVBD) is available at


NTT Teams with ALU and Fujitsu on Server Study

NTT has launched a collaborative study with Alcatel-Lucent Japan and Fujitsu to develop server architecture for core systems of telecom networks.

NTT said it is interested in servers based on general purpose hardware that enable faster development of applications.  In this server architecture, all network functions would be realized on network-wide virtualized hardware.

NTT Laboratories will contribute core technologies. Alcatel-Lucent Japan is developing virtualization and orchestration technologies for network server systems, and Fujitsu has extensive experience in systematization of distributed computing and maintaining large-scale server systems.

The project is now underway.

Pluribus Networks Unveils its Virtualized Data Center Architecture

Pluribus Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, unveiled its "Freedom" architecture for integrating compute, network, storage and bare-metal hypervisor OS technologies.

Pluribus said its  he Freedom platform brings full bare-metal control and visibility into the network through powerful, Unix-style API to deliver true inNetwork Application Programmability, inNetwork virtualization, inNetwork analytics and inNetwork automation.

The solution is based on a distributed network operating system with hypervisor bare-metal virtualization capabilities of computing resources - CPU, memory, and storage - and merchant silicon switch chip. This is matched to a powerful server platform combined with a high-density 10/40 GbE merchant silicon switch and network processor.  The company said its technology partners include Intel and Broadcom.

In the Freedom architecture, the network switch becomes a true extension of the server. Merchant silicon chips are fully integrated into the operating system, controlled and virtualized like a NIC, and used as an offload/hardware acceleration engine for application flows and network functions. The network switch is managed by a server-class control plane through multi 10Gbps high-speed connections, unleashing a new class of services and functions to run directly “inside” the network; examples include the ability to run scalable monitoring and analytics for “physical” and “virtual” (tunneled) flows, free of taps and external monitoring gear.

Key components of the Pluribus solution include:

1) Netvisor 2.0, the industry’s first and only bare-metal, distributed network hypervisor operating system with full integration of merchant silicon switch chips into the server hypervisor

2) The Freedom Server-Switch product line, the industry’s most programmable network services platform based on off-the-shelf, open components to truly program, virtualize and automate the network exactly like a server

3)Pluribus Network Freedom Care, 24x7x365 support with escalation engineers in the U.S., India and China.

4) Freedom Development Kit (FDK), which allows developers to experience true inNetwork™ application programmability (with Unix-style tools such as C and Java) to support scalable and dynamic deployment of network-aware mission critical applications

The company said the its architecture simplifies the infrastructure by eliminating:

  • Separate monitoring network
  • Separate SAN
  • Separate overlay-underlay
  • Separate external controllers
  • L4-L7 appliance sprawl
  • Separate servers for services and orchestration (PXE, DHCP, DNS, OpenStack controllers, Argus, Wireshark, and more)

Pluribus expects to enter general availability in a few weeks. Oracle and Cloud Flare are reference trial sites.

  • Pluribus is headed by Kumar Srikantan (CEO), who was previously VP/GM of HW Engineering for the Enterprise Networking Business at Cisco where he was responsible for the HW engineering execution of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking portfolio.
  • Investors in Pluribus include New Enterprise Associates, Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow and China Broadband Capital.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Japan's DataHotel Teams with IBM's Softlayer

DataHotel, a Japan-based managed hosting service provider for mobile and smartphone application developers, has selected IBM's SoftLayer as its cloud infrastructure provider of choice.

With its flagship service, “DATAHOTEL for App.” DataHotel manages the IT infrastructure for gaming and smartphone application developers, allowing customers to focus on development rather than IT maintenance.  SoftLayer said its bare metal servers allow DataHotel to support its customers’ complex frameworks in a way that virtual machines could not. Further, the dedicated network and low latency that SoftLayer’s cloud provides allows DataHotel to maintain the security and performance that it needs to drive global expansion.

“DataHotel 's use of the IBM's SoftLayer cloud is a powerful example of how transformative cloud computing can be,” said Lance Crosby, Chief Executive Officer of SoftLayer, an IBM Company. “By simply moving its IT environment onto IBM's SoftLayer cloud infrastructure, DataHotel eliminated the cost, complexity and logistical constraints that it otherwise would have faced in deploying a traditional IT environment to support its global expansion.”

IBM’s SoftLayer Teams with Numericable in France

IBM's Softlayer division announced a partnership with Numericable Group, the only major cable operator in France with its very high speed fiber infrastructure.

Through this agreement, IBM and Numericable Group will offer public and private companies, including small and medium enterprises and industries (SME/SMI), agile, efficient and secure solutions, integrating Completel's network infrastructure and IBM's SoftLayer Cloud Computing.

By combining optical fiber with cloud, Completel and IBM will have the means to support their customers in the digital era: nomadism, social business, IT availability, or solutions such as Communication as a Service.

Nokia and HTC Settle All Patent Litigation, Enter LTE Collaboration Pact

Nokia and HTC reached a settlement of all pending patent litigation.  HTC will make payments to Nokia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies also entered into a technology collaboration agreement involving HTC's LTE patent portfolio.  The companies will also explore future technology collaboration opportunities.

"We are very pleased to have reached a settlement and collaboration agreement with HTC, which is a long standing licensee for Nokia's standards essential patents," said Paul Melin, chief intellectual property officer at Nokia. "This agreement validates Nokia's implementation patents and enables us to focus on further licensing opportunities."

"Nokia has one of the most preeminent patent portfolios in the industry," said Grace Lei, General Counsel of HTC. "As an industry pioneer in smartphones with a strong patent portfolio, HTC is pleased to come to this agreement, which will enable us to stay focused on innovation for consumers."

Ariane 5 Delivers Two Satellites into Orbit

Arianespace successfully launched two satellites from French Guiana aboard its Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket: ABS-2 and Athena-Fidus for the defense/homeland security needs of France and Italy.

ABS-2, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), carries 89 active C, Ku and Ka-band transponders across 10 different beams.  ABS-2 brings unparalleled coverage and expansion capacity at ABS' prime location of 75 degrees East, extending affordable and reliable communications and broadcast services to the emerging markets of the world. it will provide broadcasting, telecommunications and data services for Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Russia/CIS countries.

Athena-Fidus, which was built by Thales Alenia Space, will deliver telecommunications services to both armed forces and homeland security units in France and Italy from a geostationary orbit position.

The next Arianespace mission is planned for March 7, using another Ariane 5 to orbit the ASTRA 5B and Amazonas 4A relay satellites.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Next Steps for Big Switch and SDN

Doug Murray, Big Switch's new CEO, explains why he joined the company, its strategic direction, the importance of partnerships, the current status of SDN in the market, the open networking initative, and the balance of hardware vs. software for the industry going forward.

What's new on the agenda for this year's Open Networking Summit?

Guru Parulkar, Chair of the Open Networking Summit, previews some of the highlights of this year's ONS agenda.

Date: March 3-5, 2014
Venue: Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California

Keynotes include: Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures, John Donovan (AT&T), Albert Greenberg (Microsoft), Amin Vahdat (Google) and others.

Got a story to tell at ONS 2014?  Let me know...

Metaswitch Unveils Cloud-based, "Clearwater" IMS Core

Metaswitch Networks introduced Clearwater Core, a software subscription service capable of delivering voice, video and messaging services to millions of users.

The company said its Clearwater Core provides a foundation for complete wireline and wireless IP communications while effectively removing the typical cost barriers to deploying IMS-centric Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communications Services (RCS). This enables network operators to leverage their standard compute resources while incurring a minimal software subscription fee based on the number of virtual CPU cores utilized.  The IMS core implementation, which is fully supported by Metaswitch with custom engineering, bespoke professional services and consultancy, could be run within network functions virtualization (NFV) environments as a virtualized network function (VNF).

“NFV has far-reaching effects in communications networks and this new approach to building networks will provide numerous benefits to network operators, including reductions in both capital and operating costs and the promotion of rapid innovation in the services space,” says Dave Reekie, general manager of Metaswitch’s open source business unit.

"We’re pleased to be easing network operators into the NFV revolution with Clearwater Core, where we can provide individual network operators ongoing support and maintenance of their cloud-based IMS Core on a software subscription basis,” says Reekie. “Like Project Clearwater, the open-source effort that started us down this path, Clearwater Core is completely unique in the industry.”

In May 2013, Project Clearwater, an open-source IMS core initiative for the cloud, launched its website and opened its doors to software developers and systems integrators.

Metaswitch Networks contributed the initial codebase for Project Clearwater and is sponsoring the initiative.

Metaswitch said the goal of Project Clearwater is to deliver critical call and session control functions, along with Telephony Application Server (TAS) capabilities, within any virtualized data center.  Clearwater is being developed for massive scale and "telco-grade" reliability in private or public Cloud environments, together with exceptionally low running costs of around 2 cents per subscriber per year based on Amazon AWS pricing.

Clearwater provides SIP-based call control for voice and video communications and for SIP-based messaging applications.  It is designed for deployment on Amazon Web Services or other private cloud infrastructure.

Windows Azure Media Services Provides NBC Streaming for 2014 Sochi Winter Games

Microsoft's Windows Azure Media Services is being used to publish and stream all 98 events of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games for NBC Olympics in the United States.

The project is expected to include over 50 live high-definition streams  and over 1,000 hours of on-demand streaming coverage for millions of viewers with different devices and operating systems. Viewers will be able to access live and on-demand content via the NBC Sports Live Extra app available free on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices, Windows Phone, Android, and iOS.

To meet those demands, Windows Azure will be “leading the way by providing end-to-end live streaming of the Winter Olympics entirely in the cloud, including encoding, transcoding and streaming, for the first time in history,” said Scott Guthrie, acting lead of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a press release announcing the partnership with NBC.

Microsoft noted that it is working with Adobe's Primetime TV publishing and monetization platform, including Adobe Primetime Player SDKs for Android, iOS, Windows, Mac OS and other platforms, to ensure full scalability and monetization of video streams across millions of U.S. households. In addition, Microsoft is working with iStreamPlanet and its cloud-based, live video workflow solution Aventus to power live video ingest and multiple bit rate encoding, including ad insertion, for NBC’s streaming coverage of the Olympic Games.

Google Chromebox Offers Hangouts Video Conferencing

Google is launching a cloud-based service for business that combines Google+ Hangouts and Google Apps in an easy-to-manage, $999 pre-packaged hardware solution.

"Chromebox for meetings" runs on an Intel Core i7-based box from Asus that is powered by Chrome OS.  The kit includes a 1080p video camera and an omnidirectional conference table microphone with built-in DSP for speech clarity.  A Google account is used to log-in to online meetings. No more complex dial-in codes, passcodes or leader PINs.  Up to 15 participants can join the video meeting. Integration with Google Apps makes it easy to invite others and add rooms to video meetings, directly from Google Calendar.

Management and support is covered by a $250 per device annual fee to Google.

NSN's Predictive Operations Forecasts Network Problems

Nokia Solutions and Networks is introducing a managed service for predicting mobile broadband service degradations up to two days in advance.

NSN's Predictive Operations service uses a self-learning analysis engine proven in other industry sectors and further developed and customized by NSN for a telecom operations environment. The engine evaluates a vast range of data that can include service quality, customer experience and other key performance indicators from the operator’s network, as well as external data such as weather forecasts and social media. When an abnormal pattern is detected, which can be up to 48 hours before subscribers would be affected, the service issues a predictive alert to NSN operations experts. They can then pinpoint the cause of the anomaly and take preventive action.

NSN said these capabilities can boost mobile broadband service quality by 15% for a better customer experience.

“Currently, most networks and service operations are run on a real-time basis. Predictive Operations goes a step further and anticipates potential  problems, down to the network element level, before they affect the subscriber. This capability is in line with a key goal of our Technology Vision 2020 – making networks self-aware,” said Amit Dhingra, head of Managed Services at NSN.

NSN is also introducing an LTE Service Management option that covers the entire lifecycle of mobile broadband services running on an operator’s LTE network, including service design, launch and monitoring. NSN Intelligent LTE service models provide an integrated view of all services across the LTE radio network, Evolved Packet Core (EPC), and transport networks. "Our new LTE Service Management offering, on the other hand, helps operators ensure the highest quality for such exacting services as mobile TV, video streaming and online gaming, which are sensitive to even small issues in underlying network performance.”

Ericsson Acquires Azuki Systems for OTT Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming

Ericsson agreed to acquire Azuki Systems, a provider of TV Anywhere delivery platforms for service providers, content owners and broadcasters, for an undisclosed sum.

Azuki, which is based in Acton, Ma., developed a TV Anywhere platform that combines the power of over-the-top video with personalization, content protection, scalability and reliability features. It also enables multiple monetization options, beyond portals and authentication services. Azuki was founded in 2008 and has 49 employees.

Ericsson said Azuki will extend its TV and media portfolio, which includes the recent addition of Mediaroom from Microsoft.  Some of the key capabilities from Azuki include adaptive bit rate and content protection technologies. In addition, the acquisition brings a team of highly skilled software engineers.

Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson said, "We are executing on our TV&Media strategy and Azuki adds key technologies and capabilities to extend our market leadership position. Traditional TV is shifting rapidly towards TV Anywhere. Azuki Systems further positions Ericsson to help customers deliver on the Networked Society's global demand for customized and personalized media experiences that include content on any screen, any time across any network."

Cheng Wu, CEO and co-founder of Azuki Systems, said: "Service providers, content owners and broadcasters face a range of challenges as they race to make content available on any device. Through worldwide deployments of our proven next generation video delivery solution, we have helped accelerate deployment and monetization of TV Anywhere services. Continuing this work as part of Ericsson will ensure that customers globally will have the most advanced support as they aim to deliver the best services for their subscribers."

In September 2013, Ericsson completed its previously announced acquisition of Microsoft's Mediaroom business and TV solution. The deal, which was first announced in April 2013, makes Ericsson the world's largest, by market share, and the most experienced provider of IPTV middleware technology and solutions.

The Mediaroom IPTV platform holds about a 25% share of the global IPTV market. Mediaroom-powered TV services are offered by nearly 60 of the world's leading operators, delivering services to almost 13 million households, and close to 24 million set top boxes, throughout the world. Customers include AT&T U-verse, Entertain of Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, TELUS Optik TV and Swisscom.

Alcatel-Lucent Reports Operational Improvements, Sale of Enterprise Division

Alcatel-Lucent reported Q4 2013 revenues of Euro 3,930 million, flat year-on-year at constant exchange rate, along with a significant improvement in operating profitability and segment operating cash flow in Q4 and for 2013 as a whole.  The company cited a drop in its fixed costs, renegotiated managed services contracts and portfolio rationalization as contributing factors to the improved performance.

Revenues for the Core Networking and Access segments were up 0.4% year-on-year at constant exchange rates. Sequentially, at constant exchange rates, Group revenues increased by 8.8% and by 8.9% for Core Networking and Access segments, reflecting notably a strong performance in IP Platforms, IP Transport and Wireless.

Alcatel-Lucent also announced a binding offer from China Huaxin, a technology investment company, for the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise for Euro 268 million on an enterprise value basis (cash-free / debt-free).  The deal values Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise at an estimated Euro 237 million on an equity value basis, for 100%. Alcatel-Lucent will retain a minority stake of 15%.

A few highlights:

  • Revenues for the IP Routing division were Euro 555 million in Q4 2013, down 5.2% from a record Q4 2012, and down 2.6% sequentially, at constant exchange rates.
  • Revenues for the IP Transport division, which includes terrestrial and submarine optics, reached Euro 618 million in Q4 2013, up 0.3% year-on-year and 14.2% sequentially at constant exchange rates. 
  • Revenues for the IP Platforms division declined 5.8% at constant exchange rates to Euro 543 million in Q4 2013, off a high base in Q4 2012.
  • WDM revenues are stabilizing and 100G adoption rate is accelerating
  • ALU scored a key win for its 1830 Photonic Service Switch with Verizon and with SFR (France)
  • ALU is now shipping more vectoring than non-vectoring VDSL lines
  • ALU says 125+ million subscribers now supported on its IMS platform
  • ALU now has 45 million LTE devices under management
  • ALU had 65 Small Cell contracts at the end of 2013
  • ALU's LTE revenues grew 70%+ in 2013
  • In Managed Services, ALU restructured 15 contracts last year, leading to near break-even financial performance in Q4.

Interoute Opens Madrid Data Center

Interoute opened a state-of-the-art data center in Madrid, Spain that is tied into its pan-European network, adding a new physical location to Interoute’s unified ICT platform.

Interoute is promoting the ability for customers to build or buy as-a-service data center architectures – be they physical, virtual or hybrid. These can be distributed and connected across countries via fiber.

The new facility in Madrid is integrated with Interoute’s other data centers in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin, Geneva, Ghent, Stockholm, Munich and Zurich.  The Madrid data center covers 4,500m2 and offers up to 32 kW per rack. The building has a modular design consisting of 13 independent data center rooms, which can accommodate changing customer demands for space and the latest technological infrastructure. A key differentiator is in the modular and decentralised UPS and cooling distribution.

Huawei Signs ASI for North America Channel Distribution

Huawei announced a major distribution agreement with ASI, a leading distributor of IT products and services in North America.

ASI will work through its resellers to bring Huawei Enterprise’s extensive portfolio of IP network infrastructure, unified communications and collaboration, and storage solutions to enterprise and SMB customers throughout the United States. The deal covers Huawei Enterprise’s portfolio, including networking, server, storage, and telepresence solutions and services, to meet the IT demands of SMBs and large enterprises.

“We are truly excited to add Huawei’s industry-leading enterprise products and solutions to our networking and storage portfolio,” said Cathy Wang, vice president of Product Management, ASI. “Huawei has a strong history of technical achievement and providing end value to the customer.  This strategic partnership not only expands our enterprise offerings, but also allows us to bring Huawei Enterprise’s innovations to the SMB market.”
“Huawei is proud to partner with ASI to bring our innovative and highly competitive enterprise solutions to ASI’s extensive reseller network,” said Jane Li, Chief Operating Officer, Huawei Enterprise USA. “This partnership not only expands our U.S. presence, but also cements our commitment to the largest IT market in the world.”

ASI, which is based in Fremont, California, supplies over 20,000 VARs throughout North America.

Citrix and Palo Alto Networks Team on Multi-tenant Network Security

Palo Alto Networks' VM-Series next-gen virtualized firewall and threat prevention offering is now available on the Citrix NetScaler SDX service delivery networking platform.

The Citrix NetScaler SDX ADC cloud service platform is a multi-tenant appliance providing application availability, application acceleration and application security needed in the mobile and cloud world.

Palo Alto Networks VM-Series runs the same PAN-OSTM software as Palo Alto Networks physical enterprise security platforms, bringing next-generation firewall and threat prevention capabilities to virtual data centers. The application-specific protections provided by NetScaler AppFirewall™ complement the next-generation firewall protections provided by the Palo Alto Networks VM-Series.
Add caption

The VM-Series integrated with NetScaler SDX serves as a multi-tenant platform capable of delivering dedicated advanced delivery controller (ADC) and next-generation firewall instances tailored to the specific needs of individual, "tenant" applications.

The companies also highlighted the use of Netscaler-enabled firewalls for delivering Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop®virtual application and desktop virtualization solutions.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Cisco: Mobile Data Traffic Growth Forecast at 61% CAGR

From 2013 to 2018, global mobile traffic growth will outpace global fixed traffic growth by a factor of three, according to Cisco's newly released Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Forecast, 2013-2018, reaching a worldwide load of 15.9 exabytes per month or 190 exabytes annually in 2018.

The study combines independent analyst forecasts, real-world mobile data usage, and Cisco’s own estimates for mobile application adoption, minutes of use, and transmission speeds.

Some highlights:

Growth Factors

  • By 2018, there will be 4.9 billion mobile users, up from 4.1 billion in 2013.
  • By 2018, there will be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices/connections—including eight billion personal mobile devices and two billion M2M connections, up from seven billion total mobile-ready devices and M2M connections in 2013.
  • Average global mobile network speeds will nearly double from 1.4 Mbps in 2013 to 2.5 Mbps by 2018.
  • By 2018, mobile video will represent 69 percent of global mobile data traffic, up from 53 percent in 2013.

Global Shift to Smarter Devices

  • Globally, 54 percent of mobile connections will be “smart” connections by 2018, up from 21 percent in 2013. Smart devices and connections have advanced computing/multi-media capabilities and a minimum of 3G connectivity.
  • Smartphones, laptops, and tablets will drive about 94 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2018. M2M traffic will represent five percent of 2018 global mobile data traffic while basic handsets will account for 1 percent of global mobile data traffic by 2018. Other portables will account for 0.1 percent.
  • Mobile cloud traffic will grow 12-fold from 2013 to 2018, a 64 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Impact of Machine-to-Machine Connections (and Wearable Devices)

  • In 2013, M2M connections represented nearly five percent of mobile-connected devices in use and generated more than one percent of total mobile data traffic
  • By 2018, M2M connections will represent nearly 20 percent of mobile-connected devices in use and generate almost six percent of total mobile data traffic.
  • In 2013, there were 21.7 million global wearable devices. By 2018, there will be 176.9 million global wearable devices or a 52 percent CAGR.

4G Mobile Adoption and Traffic Growth

  • By 2018, 4G connections will support 15 percent of all connections, up from 2.9 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, 4G connections will support 51 percent, or 8 exabytes per month, of total mobile data traffic, up from 30 percent, or 448 petabytes per month, in 2013.
  • 4G traffic will grow 18-fold from 2013 to 2018, a 78 percent CAGR.

Wi-Fi Offload Traffic Surpasses Cellular Traffic

  • More mobile data traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi from mobile-connected devices (17.3 exabytes per month) than will remain on mobile networks by 2018 (15.9 exabytes per month).
  • By 2018, 52 percent of global mobile traffic will be offloaded onto Wi-Fi/small cell networks, up from 45 percent in 2013.

Global Mobile Application Analysis: Video Remains on Top

  • Mobile video traffic will increase 14-fold from 2013 to 2018 and will have the highest growth rate of any mobile application category.
  • By 2018, mobile video will be 69 percent of global mobile traffic, up from 53 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, web and other data applications will be 17 percent of global mobile traffic, down from 28 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, streaming audio will be 11 percent of global mobile traffic, down from 14 percent in 2013.
  • By 2018, file sharing will be three percent of global mobile traffic, down from four percent in 2013.

Regional Growth Projections

  • The Middle East and Africa will have a 70 percent CAGR and 14-fold growth;
  • Central and Eastern Europe will have a 68 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • Asia-Pacific will have a 67 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • Latin America will have a 66 percent CAGR and 13-fold growth;
  • North America will have a 50 percent CAGR and eight-fold growth; and
  • Western Europe will have a 50 percent CAGR and seven-fold growth.