Sunday, March 23, 2014

CEO Interview: Radisys' Brian Bronson on Network Transformation

The network equipment market is being transformed by a move to separate hardware from software (such as #NFV), new service capabilities (such as #VoLTE), new architectures (such as Small Cells), open systems (such as #SDN) and a continued shift towards outsourcing.  In this interview, Brian Bronson, Radisys' CEO, discusses these trends and how he is positioning the company for these opportunities.

Topics of discussion include:

0:05 - How do SDN and NFV impact Radisys?
1:23 - Will carriers move to generic servers?
2:04 How does industry outsourcing come into play for Radisys?
3:35 - What traction are you seeing in the market for Small Cells?
4:29 - What traction are you seeing in the market for VoLTE?
5:07 - Will VoLTE leverage NFV?
5:43 - Will these virtualized platforms deliver the same Five Nines reliability?

Cogent Offers to Pay Capital Costs for Interexchange Upgrade

Cogent Communications has offered to pay the capital cost required to upgrade the exchange between its network and major telephone and cable companies (Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable). The offer would cover the capital cost of upgrading the interexchange to ensure adequate capacity to exchange Internet traffic, including streaming video traffic like Netflix.

The company hopes its offer will resolve the impasse caused by ISPs would have refused to upgrade traffic exchange capacity. Cogent is not offering to enter into paid peering arrangements with these or any other networks.

"Cogent believes the traditional Internet model in which each party bears its own capital costs to upgrade an interconnection should be the model for these relationships but the reality of the gatekeeper power exercised by these telephone and cable companies requires that Cogent accept these additional costs in order to provide the highest quality Internet service possible," said Dave Schaeffer, CEO of Cogent.

Rural Cooperative in No. Georgia Offers 1 Gbps FTTH for $99

Habersham Electric Membership Corporation, a non-profit, member-owned cooperative serving Northeast Georgia, began offering a 1 Gbps FTTH service for $99/month. The FTTH footprint currently serves 1,800 customers.

Teradata Supplies Data Warehouse to NTT Docomo

NTT DOCOMO has selected the Teradata Integrated Data Warehouse Appliance with the latest release of the Teradata Database to support its growing consumer credit services business.

The new platform enables marketers at NTT Docomo to gain has access to subscriber information without having to wait for IT data extraction.

NTT DOCOMO started its credit service program using "Osaifu-Keitai,” literally meaning "Wallet Mobile" in 2005 and their unique DCMX™ consumer credit services, NTT DOCOMO's brand and platform for mobile credit cards, and both have grown rapidly to 15 million members today.

We are proud to play a role in the evolution of NTT DOCOMO’s credit card business marketing operations, providing quick visibility into data for more insight and value opportunities across conversation points,” said Scott Sobers, Director, Communications Industry Marketing & Strategy. “Looking ahead, our approach is to help our telecommunications customers evolve beyond traditional analytics to the power of next-generation capabilities. Teradata is actively advising and guiding telecommunications customers forward with the innovation to deliver new products and services, and offer cutting-edge customer services.”

The Teradata system will be operational by the end of this month.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

NYT: NSA Hacked Chinese Servers

The National Security Agency penetrated Huawei's corporate network to tap the communications of its executives, gain insights into the workings of its routers/switches and to develop backdoors enabling it to penetrate the networks of its customers, according to reports published over the weekend by The New York Times and Der Spiegel.  The articles cite NSA documents from 2010 disclosed by Edward Snowden on operation "Shotgiant."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Telstra to Deploy Cisco Cloud Infrastructure

Last week, Telstra announced its support for Cisco’s global cloud platform

Specifically, Telstra said it will build a cloud infrastructure together with Cisco that provisions cloud and network services in real-time, providing greater speed, security and performance.   This includes investing in the Cisco Evolved Services Platform for its networking infrastructure, enabling seamless and highly secure delivery of cloud applications to customers, across the network and cloud, all the way to the branch and user desktop.

Telstra’s cloud offerings based on Cisco’s global cloud platform will be available in Australia by the end of 2014.

"Our customers will now have the choice of cloud infrastructure from global leaders, allowing them to select the cloud service to meet their requirements and scale network and cloud resources to deliver service agility, security and performance. We are excited to be developing an intelligent network enabled cloud with Cisco,” said Erez Yarkoni, Telstra Global Enterprise & Services, Executive Director, Cloud.

“Applications are critical to delivering business value and we believe we can offer our customers a differentiated solution for managing their applications across clouds. The Cisco relationship allows us to offer deeper and broader service capabilities to help our customers manage their critical applications, making the transition to the cloud simpler and more cost effective,” Mr Yarkoni added.

A10 Networks Begins Trading on NYSE under "ATEN"

Shares in A10 Networks, which specializes in application acceleration and network security solutions, began trading for the first time on Friday on the NYSE under the ticker symbol "ATEN."

On Thursday, A10 announced the pricing of 12,500,000 shares at $15 per share  ($187.5 million)

A10's solutions are built around its Advanced Core Operating System (ACOS), which serves as the high-performance, application-aware networking platform for all of its Application Services Gateway (ASG) products. In 2013, the company launched its A10 Thunder Series product family, which includes an Application Delivery Controller for data centers, a Carrier-Grade NAT for large-scal address and protocol translations in service provider networks, and a Threat Protection System that provides detection and mitigation against DDoS attacks.

A10 Networks was founded in 2004 and is based in San Jose, California.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

CEO Interview: Bill Barney on Building a Global Cloud Ecosystem

Bill Barney, CEO of Global Cloud Xchange (formerly Reliance Globalcom) discusses the company's new identity, the cloud services opportunity, key network architecture trends, and the prospects for 100G, 400G and terabit services.

See 3-Minute Video:

Global Cloud Xchange owns the world’s largest private undersea cable system spanning 67,000 route kms which, seamlessly integrated with Reliance Communications’ 200,000 route kms of domestic optic fiber backbone, provides a robust Global Service Delivery Platform connecting 40 key business markets worldwide. In addition to providing Managed Services to more than 230 countries/territories, the company also has extensive global VPLS-enabled Ethernet network capabilities.

“We are living in an era where mobile applications, social media, key technology drivers and applications will exponentially boost volume of digital information being shared every second,” said Bill Barney, CEO of Global Cloud Xchange. “Our new cloud ecosystem means delivering an interwoven portfolio of infrastructure and data center solutions with sophisticated cloud orchestration capabilities.” “As innovation continues in the software layer and big data gets even bigger, business requirements become more sophisticated. Our focus will be on further integrating our global assets to serve existing and future requirements of new media companies, carriers and enterprises. We will meet them at the crossroad of where the future Cloud will migrate,” Barney added.

Bharti Expands i2i Submarine Cable with Ciena

Bharti Airtel Limited has completed a submarine network upgrade of its i2i cable, which connects India to Singapore.

The upgrade uses Ciena’s converged packet optical and network management solutions for a flexible 100G ROADM-based network infrastructure. The deployment includes Ciena’s 6500 platform and leverages a combination of coherent optical technology and wavelength selective switching to enable rapid remote configuration of traffic across the i2i cable. Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System enables point-and-click service provisioning to enable faster service turn-up and end-to-end visibility of network performance.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Infonetics: Network Security Market Posted Gains in Q4

The global network security appliance and software market grew 9.8% from 3Q13 to 4Q13, to $1.8 billion and for the full year 2013, network security revenue totaled $6.4 billion, a 2.6% increase over 2012, according to new report from Infonetics Research.

Some highlights:

  • Integrated security products (integrated security appliances, secure routers, SSL VPN gateways, and VPN and firewall software) make up the majority of revenue
  • Looking at the top 3 vendors' quarter-over-quarter (4Q13 vs 3Q13) performance, Cisco increased overall revenue 20%; Check Point had a typically strong 4th quarter, and Juniper posted its second consecutive quarter of growth
  • Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet once again posted strong quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth in 4Q13, and are well positioned to continue gaining share
  • Infonetics forecasts the worldwide network security market to reach $7.3 billion in 2018, a 2013–2018 CAGR of 2.5%

"Cisco completed its acquisition of Sourcefire in the fourth quarter of 2013, and in the process posted its highest security revenue quarter ever, gaining three points of market share," says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research. "The network security market nearly hit double-digit growth in 4Q13, and we expect growth to accelerate this year as service providers and enterprises increase security investment to improve security performance and keep up with a changing threat landscape."

CommScope Boosts Outlook on Wireless Sales

CommScope, which supplies connectivity and essential infrastructure solutions for wireless, business enterprise and residential broadband networks, boosted its sales and earnings guidance for the first quarter of 2014.  The company cited stronger sales with mobile operators.

“We are very pleased to see strength in our wireless business,” said Mark Olson, CommScope executive vice president and chief financial officer. “North American wireless operators continue to invest in our macro cell site and small cell distributed antenna system (DAS) solutions to improve network coverage and capacity. We are also seeing ongoing modernization of 3G wireless networks around the globe.”

The company provided the following Q1 2014 guidance:

  • Sales of $900 million to $925 million, up 13 percent year over year at the midpoint of the range.
  • Adjusted operating income of $175 million to $185 million, up 36 percent year over year at the midpoint of the range.
  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share of $0.43 to $0.47, up 29 percent year over year at the midpoint of the range. The first quarter earnings range assumes 191 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding.

Symantec Fires its CEO

Symantec's board of directors removed Steve Bennett as the company's president and chief executive officer and appointed Michael Brown as interim president and chief executive officer.

Symantec also reiterated its guidance for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, which was previously provided on January 29, 2014:

  • Revenue of $1.615 to $1.655 billion, compared to $1.748 billion in the year-ago period.
  • GAAP operating margin of 18.0 to 19.5 percent compared to 14.6 percent in the year-ago period.
  • Non-GAAP operating margin of 24.5 to 26.0 percent compared to 24.1 percent in the year ago period.
  • GAAP diluted earnings per share between $0.29 and $0.31 as compared to $0.27 in the year-ago period.
  • Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share between $0.40 and $0.42 as compared to $0.44 in the year-ago period.

On behalf of Symantec's board, chairman Daniel Schulman said, "We recognize Steve's contributions to Symantec, including developing and leading a series of successful initiatives focused on organizational realignment, cost reduction and process effectiveness. These changes have helped establish a solid foundation for Symantec's future, and we remain committed to our previously announced greater-than 5% organic revenue growth and better-than 30% non-GAAP operating margin targets by FY17. Our priority is now to identify a leader who can leverage our company's assets and leadership team to drive the next stage of Symantec's product innovation and growth. This considered decision was the result of an ongoing deliberative process, and not precipitated by any event or impropriety."

Union Ratifies Contract with AT&T Mobility

The Communications Workers of America voted to ratify a four-year contract covering more than 11,500 AT&T Mobility employees in CWA District 3 – the Southeast Region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and St. Croix, USVI. The contract covers wages, pension, work rules and disability benefits.

CWA members in October 2012 ratified a separate four-year benefit agreement for all CWA-bargained Mobility employees nationwide covering health care and certain other benefits.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ONF and ETSI Collaborate on SDN + NFV

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced a strategic partnership agreement to further the development of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) specifications.  A formal agreement was approved at this week's ETSI General Assembly meeting in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, France.

ETSI and ONF have maintained a strong working relationship since ETSI’s unveiling of the NFV Industry Specification Group (ISG) in 2012. The NFV architecture is supported by SDN and benefits from ONF’s work with the OpenFlow protocol. Together, the organizations will explore how SDN can enable forwarding-plane support for some of the most important NFV use cases. In particular, our two organizations will collaborate on the means to build dynamic, programmable Virtualized Network Function (VNF) forwarding graphs. ETSI’s NFV ISG has launched a call for NFV Proofs of Concept (PoC) and published a PoC framework. ETSI is now keen to see PoCs that employ both NFV and SDN and showcase the benefits of both technologies.

"ETSI is focused on addressing the problems that telecommunications networks face today by evolving standard IT virtualization technology to consolidate many network equipment types onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and storage," said Luis Jorge Romero, director-general of ETSI. "This collaboration with ONF allows us to both significantly contribute to the goals of the NFV ISG, and serve as a relevant source for requirements and use cases for the SDN community."

In addition, ONF released an "OpenFlow-enabled SDN and NFV" solution brief that discusses the network challenges that operators will need to overcome to implement NFV, and presents use cases that demonstrate how OpenFlow-enabled SDN can meet the need for automated, open, and programmable network connectivity to support NFV. The NFV solution brief will provide insight into how OpenFlow-enabled SDN can accelerate NFV deployments by offering a scalable, elastic, and on-demand architecture well suited to the dynamic NFV communications requirements for both virtual and physical networking infrastructures.

Cloudera Raises $160 Million for Enterprise Apache Hadoop

Cloudera, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced $160 million in new venture funding support its Apache Hadoop-based data management software and services. The new funding round was led by T. Rowe Price, along with three other top-tier public market investors, and included an investment by Google Ventures and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment firm for Michael S. Dell and his family. To date, Cloudera has raised $300 million in venture funding.

Cloudera said it will use the funding to further drive the enterprise adoption of and innovation in Hadoop and promote the enterprise data hub (EDH) market; support geographic expansion into Europe and Asia; expand its services and support capabilities; and scale the field and engineering organizations.

"Cloudera is successfully helping enterprises exploit 'big data' and manage the transition to becoming more data centric," said Henry Ellenbogen, Portfolio Manager, T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. "With strong leadership, an ability to innovate, a satisfied customer base, and a large partner community, we believe Cloudera is well positioned to build a durable and leading company in this space."

"We see broad demand from enterprises who want a flexible approach to handling large amounts of data, and we expect this market to continue to grow rapidly," said Google Ventures General Partner Karim Faris. "Cloudera is dramatically lowering the cost of reliable storage for the enterprise and is enabling the analysis and mining of large data sets in a way that wasn't possible before."

Recently, Cloudera brought to market the industry's first complete enterprise data hub.  The company said the key advantages for enterprise customers are:

  • Frees them from being dependent on expensive, specialized data storage and compute systems, and instead take advantage of the power of industry-standard server hardware and scale-out architecture;
  • Enables enterprises to store any amount of data, of any type, and keep it online as long as needed;
  • Ensures that data is secure and governed to meet enterprise requirements;
  • Makes it possible for customers to "bring compute to the data," to build a single unified data system rather than moving data around from one system to another;
  • Lets customers offload selected data and workloads from expensive, specialized data warehouse infrastructure to alleviate the pain of missed SLAs and degraded query performance;
  • Can accommodate huge and varied data sets for more meaningful and timely analytics and enable innovative security solutions, such as real-time anomaly detection without duplicating data or building custom, specialized solutions.

Vertical Systems: 2013 U.S. Cable MSO Ethernet LEADERBOARD

Time Warner Cable leads among cable MSOs in the U.S. market in terms of delivering Ethernet services, according to Vertical Systems Group’s latest research.  The next five cable MSOs on the 2013 U.S. Cable MSO Ethernet LEADERBOARD are as follows (in rank order based on port share): Cox, Comcast, Charter Business, Lightpath (formerly Optimum Lightpath) and Bright House Networks.

“Cable MSOs headlined the Carrier Ethernet market in 2013 with meteoric growth. Operators across all service territories successfully competed with Incumbents and CLECs on the basis of price and rapid provisioning.” said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “Within the Cable MSO segment, Time Warner Cable and Cox led in port share, while Comcast led in growth. Overall, cable operators were particularly competitive selling metro Ethernet LAN services and Ethernet Internet access.”

Vertical Systems Group’s LEADERBOARDs measures Ethernet Service Provider market presence based on billable retail port installations. Share results are calculated at year-end and mid-year for the U.S. and Global Provider markets. Year-end results additionally include U.S. provider share analysis for three separate segments: Incumbent Carrier, Competitive Provider, and Cable MSO. Research sources for share calculations include Vertical’s base of enterprise installations, plus direct input and other data from our bi-annual surveys of Ethernet providers throughout the world.

Taiwan Mobile Picks NSN for LTE-Advanced

Taiwan Mobile has selected NSN for a rapid roll-out of its multi-band LTE-Advanced network.  The deployment will use NSN’s Liquid Radio and Liquid Core technology, along with LTE-Ad carrier aggregation technology to increase bandwidth and network performance by combining the 700 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum bands.

Specifically, NSN will implement its high-capacity Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations, Evolved Packet Core technology and NetAct network management system. The agreement covers also network planning and optimization services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We have a successful history of collaboration with Taiwan Mobile, which started in early 1997 with the launch of the operator’s GSM network. NSN is now the sole supplier of Taiwan Mobile’s 2G, 3G and 4G networks,” said Markus Borchert, President of NSN Greater China region. “With our innovative Carrier Aggregation solution and network planning and optimization services, the operator can combine its spectrum for significantly increased data throughput and an unmatched customer experience.”

ChinaCache to Integrate Caching in LTE Base Stations with NSN

ChinaCache is working with Nokia Solutions and Networks to incorporate content delivery network (CDN) technologies into NSN’s Liquid Applications solution, enabling content to be delivered directly from the LTE base station for greater performance.

The companies said the intent of the collaboration is to further enhance Liquid Applications and strengthen ChinaCache’s capabilities in mobile Internet content delivery. Liquid Applications will enable innovative features for ChinaCache’s current technology, such as improved location capabilities, awareness of user behavior, and real-time adaptation to network conditions.

“Liquid Applications is a disruptive innovation that will enable mobile operators to truly differentiate the mobile broadband experience for their subscribers through accelerated content delivery and exciting new applications and services,” said Markus Borchert, president of NSN Greater China region. “Cooperating with ChinaCache on the next generation of mobile CDN technology will open up the opportunity for unprecedented subscriber experience while allowing mobile operators to introduce new business models.”

Padmasree Warrior Joins Box's Board

Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Cisco, has joined the board of directors of Bos.

“Padma is an extraordinary leader with deep insights into global technology trends and a wealth of experience leading innovative, world-class organizations,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO, Box. “We are in the midst of a once-in-a-generation shift to a world defined by cloud and mobile computing. Padma will be a great resource for both Box and our customers as we navigate this transition.”

“The cloud and mobile devices are dramatically changing how people use and share their content, and Box is at the forefront of building both an innovative product and an enterprise platform that can define this new era of work,” said Padmasree Warrior. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Box board and to be a part of a team and company with such potential.”

Dell'Oro: Shifts in the Evolved Packet Core Market

The overall Wireless Packet Core market grew two percent during the fourth quarter of 2013 versus the year-ago period, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The higher growth portion of the market that is used to manage LTE wireless networks, called Evolved Packet Core (EPC), experienced significantly higher growth than the total market.

"This year, 2014, will see significant shifts in the packet core market," explained Chris DePuy, Vice President of Wireless Packet Core Research at Dell'Oro Group. "The introduction of NFV systems and new LTE projects emerging outside of US, Korea and Japan will offer both challenges and opportunities for the wireless packet core market."

Some highlights:

  • North American growth slowed significantly.  Asia-Pacific growth, specifically, China, is expected to contribute significantly to growth in 2014.  Vendors with significant exposure to Chinese EPC contracts include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, NSN, ZTE, and others.
  • Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), is now available from many vendors.  This is a software-only version of packet core products that can be run on computer servers.  Its use represents a significant departure from traditional bundled software and hardware deployments.
  • Average price per license dropped noticeably in the fourth quarter versus the third quarter, as vendors offered new licensing terms to service providers.
  • Installed base of MME licenses as a percentage of total mobile subscribers in North America is ten times greater than each of the other three major regions.