Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dell Acquires StatSoft for Data Mining

Dell has acquired StatSoft, a provider of advanced analytics solutions that deliver a wide range of data mining, predictive analytics and data visualization capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

StatSoft, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, delivers advanced analytics tools that help organizations forecast future trends to identify new customers and sales opportunities, forecast industry shifts, explore “what-if” scenarios, and reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks. StatSoft’s software can be deployed on premises, in the cloud, or as software-as-a-service.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Cisco Plans "World's Largest Global Intercloud"

Cisco announced plans to build "the world’s largest global Intercloud" – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners.  The idea is to leverage a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, “near infinite” scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws. Cisco's open Intercloud promises APIs for rapid application development and a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers. It will support OpenStack and multiple hypervisors. It will also leverage Cisco's recently announced Application Centric Infrastructure.

Cisco plans to invest over $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years following a "partner-centric" business model.  The Cisco Intercloud will be hosted across a global network of Cisco data centers and partner data centers. It will offer value-added application- and network-centric cloud services to accelerate the Internet of Everything.

The first companies either planning to deliver Cisco Cloud Services, or who have endorsed Cisco’s global Intercloud initiative, include:

  • Telstra (Australia); 
  • Allstream (Canada); 
  • Canopy, an Atos company (Europe); 
  • Ingram Micro Inc., a cloud services aggregator, provider and wholesale technology distributor; 
  • Logicalis Group, a global IT and managed services provider; 
  • MicroStrategy, global provider of enterprise software platforms for business intelligence, mobile intelligence, and network applications; 
  • OnX Managed Services, an enterprise data center IT solutions provider ; 
  • SunGard Availability Services, an information availability services provider; 
  • Wipro Ltd., a leading global IT, consulting and outsourcing company. 

“Customers, providers and channel partners alike are turning to Cisco to create open and highly secure hybrid cloud environments, and they want to rapidly deploy valuable enterprise-class cloud experiences for key customers – all while mitigating the risk of capital investment,” said Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales, Cisco. “The timing is right for Cisco and its partners to invest in a groundbreaking, application-centric global Intercloud to provide broader reach and faster time to market. Together, we have the capability to enable a seamless world of many clouds in which our customers have the choice to enable the right, highly secure cloud for the right workload, while creating strategic advantages for rapid innovation, and ultimately, business growth.”

Cisco noted that its Cloud Services portfolio already includes SaaS offerings, such as WebEx, Meraki and Cisco Cloud Web Security; differentiated cloud services, such as hosted collaboration and cloud DVR; and technologies and services to build public and private clouds, such as the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), integrated infrastructure solutions such as VCE Vblock Systems and NetApp FlexPod, and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).


  • This week, Cisco is hosting a Partner Summit at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.
  • In November 2013, Cisco unveiled its Application Centric Infrastructure for data centers and clouds. In a press event in New York, John Chambers described ACI as the next big transformation of the IT industry driven by imperatives of the application economy.

    ACI is a step beyond virtualization and software-defined networks (SDN), said Chambers, because it brings agility and automation with full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources at the system, tenant, and application levels.  The architecture promises a pay-as-you-grow mode scaling to over 100,000 switch ports and capable of supporting more than one million IP end points in a data center spine with 60 Tbps capacity.  A key premise is that the network should adapt to application requirements through dynamic insertion and chaining of physical and virtual L4-7 network services including firewalls, application delivery controllers, and intrusion detection systems.  The new architecture is designed for multi-tenant cloud environments by providing real-time view of per tenant and per application health, statistics, and troubleshooting.  Real-time analytics will be used to drive intelligent application placement decisions.

    The foundation for ACI is an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), enhanced versions of the NX-OS data center switching operating system, and a new line of Nexus 9000 data center switches based on technology from Insieme Networks, the Cisco spin-in start-up that is being acquired and re-integrated into the company.
  • In January, IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud business and build on its acquisition of Softlayer data centers last year. The plans call for 15 new data centers worldwide, including new Softlayer facilities in Washington D.C., Mexico City, Dallas, China, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India and Canada. The expansion will bring the number of IBM cloud data centers to about 40 worldwide.

    Earlier in the year, IBM acquired SoftLayer Technologies, which operates 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe.  Bloomberg valued the deal at about $2 billion.

    SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and serves approximately 21,000 customers.  

    The acquisition strengthened IBM's position in cloud computing.  At the time of the deal, IBM said its expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015.

    IBM also announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. IBM plans to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities.

Dimension Data Adds Cloud Private Network Connection Option

Dimension Data, which is the global ICT solutions provider owned by NTT, will begin offering a Cloud Private Network Connection (CPNC) add-on service for its enterprise-class public, private and managed hosting cloud offerings.

CPNC services allow clients to establish a dedicated network connection between their own network and Dimension Data's Managed Cloud Platform locations to provide greater control and security over their data in the cloud.

Dimension Data offers two options for clients wanting a global, high-performance and secure method to access their Dimension Data cloud and managed hosting environments without traversing the public Internet:

  • Direct Connect – access to a dedicated, physical port at the MCP location at a speed of 1Gbps
  • Private Connect – access to a virtual port via a partner MPLS provider at flexible speed options

"CPNC replicates the security, connectivity and responsiveness that enterprises are accustomed to from their own wide area and local area networks. Enterprises that have delayed the migration of production systems and applications to the cloud due to connectivity concerns can now utilize this new service to deliver certainty in network performance and throughput," stated Gerard Florian, director of product management at Dimension Data.


Palo Alto Networks to Acquire Cyvera for $200 Million

Palo Alto Networks agreed to acquire Cyvera, a privately held cybersecurity company located in Tel-Aviv, Israel, for approximately $200 million.

Palo Alto said Cyvera's approach to end-point security is revolutionary and simple: understand the techniques used to exploit networks then employ a series of roadblocks and traps to prevent an attacker from successfully exploiting that vulnerability. Cyvera claims its approach has been so powerful that they’ve successfully stopped every published zero-day attack since they first began deploying their product.

Cyvera will be combined with Palo Alto's next-generation firewall and its next-generation threat cloud/   represents the most innovative, integrated, and automated enterprise security platform in the market. As we bring this acquisition to a close we look forward to sharing many more details with you. Our two companies have had a longstanding relationship that’s only going to grow as we bring our technologies together to offer the most effective approach to protecting you from the most advanced cyber attacks.

"This event marks a key milestone in our strategic enterprise security vision.  It extends our next-generation security platform with a very innovative approach to preventing attacks on the endpoint.  It enables us to accelerate the delivery of the market’s only highly integrated and automated enterprise security platform spanning network, endpoints, and the cloud.  For customers, this translates into the most sophisticated and automated threat prevention for their entire organization," stated Mark McLaughlin, President and CEO of Palo Alto Networks.


Buick Builds AT&T LTE into 2015 Cars

Most 2015 Buick models will come with OnStar 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers to browse the Internet, download movies, play games or send email on up to seven devices at once.  The connectivity will be provided by AT&T.

Buick announced today at the DENT Conference that the 2015 LaCrosse, Regal, Verano and Encore would come standard with OnStar 4G LTE hardware, with data packages available for an additional charge. Available in the U.S. and Canada, OnStar 4G LTE hardware will be in every Buick model by the 2016 model year.

“Today’s Buick lineup is full of technologies that help make our owners safer and more secure than they would be without them,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of Buick Marketing. “With the introduction of high-speed OnStar 4G LTE, Buick owners will be better connected as well.”

Buick will also offer its own AppShop.  Initial apps will include iHeartRadio, Priceline.com, the Weather Channel, NPR, Slacker Radio, Cityseeker, Eventseeker, Glympse and Kaliki.

Current AT&T customers can add their vehicle to a shareable bucket of data through AT&T Mobile Share plans. All drivers can pay for data through OnStar, independently from their other mobile data accounts. Pricing and data packages for OnStar 4G LTE will be announced later this year.


Box.net Files for IPO

Box filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.


  • Box, which was founded in 2005, has evolved from being a cloud storage provider to an "enterprise platform" in which its API provides app developers with easy access to its infrastructure. Box claims more than 20 million users worldwide at more than 180,000 businesses.
  • Box is based in Los Altos, California.
  • In December, Box announced $100 million in new venture funding and strategic partnerships with with Itochu Technology Ventures, Macnica, Mitsui USA, MKI, Telef√≥nica Digital and Telstra.  Coatue, DST Global, and existing Box investors also participated.

Infonetics: Bare Metal Switch Market Has Potential

The bare metal switch market has the potential to transform a significant portion of the Ethernet switching market into a disaggregated model, similar to the server market, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“There’s still room for best-of-breed in the Ethernet switch market, but as the industry moves beyond early adopters and the early market for data center fabrics, the next wave of adoption has to be made simpler for the ‘main street’ buyer,” notes Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center and cloud at Infonetics Research. “This will keep the market for best-of-breed solutions healthy even as a portion of the data center Ethernet switch market turns to bundled solutions.  The shift to cloud-architected data centers with automated deployment of virtual workloads will require storage networking to be more agile, driving the need for a converged network with storage and application traffic on Ethernet."

Some highlights:

  • Data center Ethernet switch ports sold as part of a bundled solution made up 27% of all data center ports shipped in 2013, growing to 45% in 2018
  • Nearly half of all converged data center network ports shipped in 4Q13 will carry storage traffic
  • Infonetics forecasts Ethernet switch ports-in-use for storage to reach 55% of all data center purpose-built switch ports shipped in 2018
  • Switch ports-in-use for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) are expected to account for 22% of all data center purpose-built ports shipped in 2018.


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: http://youtu.be/pTAn9zP2oT4

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.