Thursday, March 27, 2014

Microsoft's Satya Nadella: A Cloud for Everyone, on Every Device

Microsoft rolled out "Office for iPad" – specifically Word, PowerPoint and Excel - as part of its vision to move customers to subscription-based, cloud services.  To get the full editing and creation experience, mobile users will need an Office 365 subscription ($100/year for home users, $150/year for small businesses).

Microsoft also announced the Enterprise Mobility Suite, which is a set of cloud services to help businesses manage corporate data and services on laptops, tablets and smartphones.  The new Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) provides device, identity and access management with data protection from the cloud. EMS includes Windows Intune, Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure Rights Management Services,

In addition, the company announced the upcoming availability of Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium and enhancements to Windows Intune. Azure Active Directory Premium delivers cloud-based identity and access management with single sign-on to over 1,000 popular software as a service (SaaS) applications, self-service tools for users, and machine-learning-driven security reporting and anomaly detection. Effectively, AAD acts as the "identity hub" in the cloud for single-sign on to Office 365 and hundreds of other cloud services.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's newly appointed CEO, said the launch represents the new "mobile-first cloud-first" world. He sees "mobile" and "cloud" as two facets of the same trend in connectivity.

"Microsoft is focused on delivering the cloud for everyone, on every device. It’s a unique approach that centers on people — enabling the devices you love, work with the services you love, and in a way that works for IT and developers,” said Nadella.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/mar14/03-27mobilecloudpr.aspx

Microsoft Azure Launches in China

Microsoft Azure is now commercially available in China. The service is delivered by 21Vianet from multiple locations in China to enable critical disaster recovery scenarios.

21Vianet has already provides cloud services to more than 3,000 customers in China, including CNTV, LineKong, GMW.cn and Coca-Cola China.

Microsoft said this launch is significant because Microsoft has now become the first global company to make onshore public cloud services available to customers in China.

http://www.microsoft.com

Tiscali Builds Social Network on Metaswitch’s Clearwater IMS Core

Metaswitch Networks confirmed Tiscali as the first customer for its Clearwater Core,  an implementation of IMS built for the cloud using Web development methods to provide voice, video and messaging services.  Tiscali has successfully built on Clearwater Core and Perimeta Session Border Controller (SBC) as part of its innovative Indoona over-the-top (OTT) application.

Tiscali’s Indoona application gives users access to a unique social network designed for smartphones. It allows users to publish posts up to 3,000 characters, share photos, audio or video files and much more. The application offers users 100 minutes per month of free calls to Western Europe, Canada, China and the U.S.

Metaswitch said the deployment of its Clearwater Core marks an important step toward network functions virtualization (NFV) for Tiscali, and also helps validate its own “software telco” strategy, which asserts that communications networks are transitioning to a cloud-based, software-centric, all-IP future.

Clearwater Core combines the economics of OTT-style service platforms with the standards  compliance and reliability expected of telco-grade communications network solutions. The Web-services-oriented design inherent to Clearwater Core makes it ideal for instantiation within NFV environments as a virtualized network function (VNF).

“A network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) is the perfect environment in which to construct, test, deploy and scale innovative network functions. We’re pleased that Tiscali chose Metaswitch’s NFV expertise to help it grow Indoona while providing telco-grade reliability,” says Dave Reekie, general manager of Metaswitch’s open source and security/interconnect business units. “We’re confident that as the Indoona service continues to scale and evolve and become more popular with consumers, Metaswitch will be right there helping Tiscali promote the rapid innovation of new services.”

“Our customer demand is growing rapidly and Metaswitch is helping us meet the needs of our customers quickly and easily,” says Tiscali CTO Andrea Podda. “Metaswitch’s Clearwater and Perimeta products are helping Tiscali achieve its goal of operating a modern, intelligent future-proof network in Italy, in turn delivering high-quality services to our customers.”

http://www.tiscali.it
http://www.indoona.com
http://www.metaswitch.com

  • In February 2014, Metaswitch 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.


Intel Backs Cloudera for Apache Hadoop Data Management

Intel announced a significant equity investment and broad strategic alliance with Cloudera, a start-up specializing in Apache Hadoop-based data management software and services for enterprises.

Intel's equity investment makes it the largest strategic shareholder in Cloudera.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the partnership, Cloudera's enterprise analytic data management software powered by Apache Hadoop will be optimized for data center architecture based on Intel Xeon technology. The goal is acceleration of customer adoption of big data solutions, making it easier for companies of all sizes to obtain increased business value from data by deploying open source Apache Hadoop solutions. Specifically, Cloudera will develop and optimize Cloudera's Distribution including Apache Hadoop (CDH) for Intel architecture as its preferred platform and support a range of next-generation technologies including Intel fabrics, flash memory and security. In turn, Intel will market and promote CDH and Cloudera Enterprise to its customers as its preferred Hadoop platform. Intel will focus its engineering and marketing resources on the joint roadmap.

Under the deal, Intel's Distribution for Apache Hadoop/Intel Data Platform (IDH/IDP) will be integrated into CDH and IDH/IDP and will be transitioned after v3.1 release at the end of March. To ensure a seamless customer transition to CDH, Intel and Cloudera will work together on a migration path from IDH/IDP. Cloudera will also ensure that all enhancements will be contributed to their respective open source projects and CDH.
 
"By aligning the Cloudera and Intel roadmaps, we are creating the platform of choice for big data analytics," said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "We expect to accelerate industry adoption of the Hadoop data platform and enable companies to mine their data for insights that inform the business. This collaboration spans our data center technology from compute to network, security and storage, and extends to our initiatives for the Internet of Things."

"Hadoop has changed the entire conversation around data," said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer, Cloudera. "Based on our ability to store, process and analyze all kinds of data, increasingly in new ways, the potential for advances in business, social and economic environments are vast. Teaming with Intel, the industry leader in data center technology innovation, presents an opportunity for us to layer Hadoop into a platform's core framework. The result is rapid performance improvements on workloads such as those extracting intelligent insight. Intel's vision for delivering open, performance optimized solutions for big data is synergistic to our vision to help companies accelerate time to achieving success."

http://www.intel.com
http://www.cloudera.com

Earlier this month, 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.

Hortonworks Raises $100 Million for Enterprise Hadoop

Hortonworks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced an oversubscribed $100 million funding round to support it enterprise Apache Hadoop solutions.

Hortonworks develops, distributes and supports a 100% open source Apache Hadoop data platform that deeply integrates with existing IT investments and upon which enterprises can build and deploy Hadoop-based applications. The company has deep relationships with the key strategic data center partners, including Microsoft, SAP, Teradata, HP and others.

The new funding round was led by funds managed by BlackRock and Passport Capital, joined by all existing investors.

http://www.hortonworks.com

Amazon Web Services Wins DoD Provisional Authorization

All four of Amazon Web Services’ infrastructure Regions in the U.S., including AWS GovCloud (U.S.), have received Department of Defense (DoD) Provisional Authorization under the DoD Cloud Security Model (CSM) for Impact Levels 1-2.

This enables more DoD agencies to use AWS’s infrastructure.

“After receiving an overwhelming response from defense agencies interested in leveraging our FedRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO), we’re very excited to further extend our services to the government community by meeting the additional requirements of the DoD,” said Teresa Carlson, Vice President Worldwide Public Sector, AWS. “Today, more than 600 government agencies use AWS services, and we look forward to continuing to demonstrate the security and reliability of the AWS Cloud so that an even broader set of DoD customers can use our services to reduce costs and innovate for their missions.”

https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/dod-csm-faqs
http://aws.amazon.com/security
http://aws.amazon.com/compliance

NSN: 87% jump in Indian Mobile Data Traffic in 2013

Mobile operators in India experienced an 87% rise in data traffic generated by 2G and 3G services during 2013, according to an annual study by NSN. 3G data traffic leapt by 146%, surpassing the world average that is roughly doubling every year. 2G data traffic continues to stabilize, growing by 59% over the same period.

“India is recording mobile broadband data growth figures higher than most other markets,” said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at NSN. “With the recent spectrum auctions paving the way for acceleration of mobile broadband penetration in the country, there is a great  opportunity for India to create a world-class infrastructure and improve the lives of millions of Indians. This can be achieved through a wider 3G rollout as well as through selected introduction of LTE technologies and the modernization of existing GSM networks.”

The study is available online.

http://nsn.com/news-events/press-room/press-releases/nsn-study-shows-87-jump-in-indian-mobile-data-traffic-in-2013

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Amazon Web Services Cuts Prices Again

Amazon Web Services announced its 42nd price reduction since launching in 2008.

The lower prices, which go into effective on April 1, apply to Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, the Amazon Relational Database Service, and Elastic MapReduce.  For storage, AWS is reducing prices for Standard and Reduced Redundancy options by an average of 51%. Pricing for Amazon RDS DB Instances are being cut by an average of 28%, while pricing for Amazon ElasticCache cache nodes is being cut by an average of 34%.

http://aws.typepad.com/

AWS Launches Virtual Private Cloud Peering

Amazon Web Services introduced a peering capability for its Virtual Provide Cloud (VPC) service, which lets users create a logically-isolated section of the AWS Cloud.

The enhancement provides the ability to create a VPC peering connection between VPCs in the same AWS Region. For instance, Amazon EC2 instances could already be connected to a Virtual Private Cloud.  Now, EC2 instances in the peered VPCs can communicate with each other across the peering connection using their private IP addresses, as if they were within the same network.  Up to 50 VPCs in the same region can be peered with each other, and they do not have to be registered to the same AWS account.

More details are online.

http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2014/03/new-vpc-peering-for-the-amazon-virtual-private-cloud.html

Arista Prices 100GbE CF2 Port (40km) at $6,600

Arista Networks announced two new 100GbE modules for its 7500 Series switches:

  • 7500E Series 6 port 100GbE card with support for CFP2 optics up to 40km over single mode fiber is orderable in Q2 2014 with pricing starting at $6600 per 100GbE port. 
  • 7500E Series 12 port 100GbE card is planned for availability in 2H 2014 along with a full range of QSFP-100 optics and cables.

Arista said that with 100GbE in the spine layer, customers can now achieve network virtualization using VXLAN support in the modular platforms to deploy their cloud multi-tenant networks at large scale with high bandwidth. Additionally, those deploying the Arista DANZ features within Arista EOS can now get intelligent traffic visibility on 100GbE networks by leveraging Tap Aggregation on Arista 7500E modular platforms. Arista’s Data Analysis DANZ solution is now expanded to modular chassis platforms and enables customers to connect to 100GbE spline or spine networks and to deliver tap aggregated 10GbE connections into a single 100GbE uplink to network monitoring, management and analytic tools.

“We selected the Arista 7500E platform for our data center to provide customers with true 100 Gigabit Ethernet services,” said Ihab Tarazi, Chief Technology Officer at Equinix. “Because of the open architecture and cloud interconnect protocols, including VXLAN, the programmability of Arista EOS and multi-speed mode, we are able to allocate data center resources at 10/40 or 100 gigabits in a reliable and cost-effective manner.”

Arista also noted that its 7300X Series with 10GBASE-T modules are gaining adoption among customers deploying cost-effective single tier and two tier networks.

http://www.aristanetworks.com

Apache CloudStack 4.3 Adds Support for Microsoft Hyper-V & Juniper Contrail

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) released Apache CloudStack v4.3, its integrated Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) software platform for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. CloudStack, which is a top-level project at the all-volunteer ASF, includes an intuitive user interface and rich APIs for managing the compute, networking, software, and storage infrastructure resources.

New features in CloudStack V4.3 include:

  • Support for Microsoft Hyper-V - Apache CloudStack can now manage Hyper-V hypervisors in addition to KVM, XenServer, VMware, LXC, and Bare Metal
  • Juniper OpenContrail integration - OpenContrail is a software defined networking controller from Juniper that CloudStack now integrates with to provide SDN services
  • SSL Termination support for guest VMs - Apache CloudStack can configure and manage SSL termination in certain load balancer devices
  • Palo Alto Firewall integration - Apache CloudStack can now manage and configure Palo Alto firewalls
  • Remote access VPN for VPC networks - CloudStack's remote access VPN is now available for Virtual Private Cloud networks
  • Site to Site VPN between VRs - CloudStack now allows site-to-site VPN connectivity to it's virtual routing devices. This permits your cloud computing environment to appear as a natural extension of your local network, or for you to easily interconnect multiple environments
  • VXLAN support expansion to include KVM - CloudStack's support for integrating VXLAN, the network virtualization technology that attempts to ameliorate scalability problems with traditional networking
  • SolidFire plugin extension to support KVM and hypervisor snapshots for XenServer and ESX - SolidFire provides guaranteed Storage Quality of Service at the Virtual Machine level
  • Dynamic Compute offering - CloudStack now has the ability to dynamically scale the resources assigned to a running virtual machine instance for those hypervisors which support it.

Apache CloudStack V4.3 is now available for download.

http://cloudstack.apache.org/

Secure Domain Foundation Tracks Registrants Security Reputation

A new Secure Domain Foundation (SDF) devoted to the identification and prevention of Internet cyber crime was launched at ICANN's 49th Public Meeting in Singapore this week.

The SDF plans to provide no-cost tools, technology, research, and security intelligence to an initial market segment of Internet domain name registrars, registries, ccTLD operators, and gTLD operators.  In the coming months, the SDF plans to expand services to hosting providers, DNS operators, CERTs, law enforcement and other Internet infrastructure operators.

The first step is a free API service that domain name registrars and registries can use to obtain an instant domain or registrant "credit score" based on security reputation and contact data validation. The API could be used during domain name transactions such as new account creation, domain registration, and record updates.

The SDF is backed by some of the industry's leading Internet and Domain Name infrastructure companies and organizations including: Facebook, Verizon, Verisign, Enom, Name.com, CIRA(.ca), CO Internet(.co), CrowdStrike, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), Emerging Threats, ESET Anti-Virus, DomainTools, Internet Identity, CoCCA, Mailshell, Blacknight Solutions, Foreground Security, and the SecDev Group.

"ICANN has recently mandated that domain registrars must validate postal addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses that are provided as contact information during the domain registration process," said Norm Ritchie, Chairman of the SDF. "And many new gTLD registries have already pledged to take a more proactive role in combating domain abuse within their TLDs. The SDF provides an entirely free service that not only validates the contact registration data provided but also lets the registrar and registry know if we have seen that data used previously in relation to cyber crime."

http://www.securedomain.org

CenturyLink Provides EMP Shielded Fiber to USAF

CenturyLink will provide a fiber optic system to the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) that is buried in steel pipe encased in concrete conduit to protect it from the effects of high altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMP).

The system operates continuously among Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, thus delivering uninterrupted fiber connectivity among the three air bases in the Colorado Springs, Colo., area.

This contract, which includes telecommunications services, network systems, equipment and maintenance, follows a previous procurement for these services that was also awarded to CenturyLink. It could be worth a total of $1.7 million over the next five years.

http://news.centurylink.com/news/centurylink-wins-defense-information-systems-agency-contract


Verizon Selects Palo Alto for Data Analytics Lab

Verizon has selected Palo Alto, California as the primary site for a newly created data analytics team and lab that will provide strategic direction for data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine-learning activities.

"With the large base of big data and analytics talent in Silicon Valley, we are looking for the best and the brightest individuals who want the challenge of working on cutting-edge technologies," said Verizon Chief Data Scientist Ashok N. Srivastava. "We are working in a startup environment, but inside a large corporation, and there are very few such opportunities like this today. We have the opportunity to build intelligent systems based on recent advances in large-scale machine learning, analytics and the powerful computing technologies available today."

http://www.verizon.com

BT Selects GENBAND's Diameter Signaling Controller for LTE Roaming

BT has selected GENBAND's QUANTiX Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) to expand its existing Global IP Exchange (GIPX), which serves as an LTE signaling and data roaming exchange for its mobile network operator (MNO) customers.

The integrated QUANTiX DSC delivers a Diameter Routing Agent (DRA), a Diameter Edge Agent (DEA), a Diameter gateway interworking function (IWF), and a Diameter load balancer – all on a common platform with centralized management. The Diameter Edge Agent (DEA) function supports interworking between the wide variety of vendor equipment that is being deployed across its customers’ LTE networks. The software provides context-aware intelligent routing, scalable handling of SIP and Diameter traffic, and secure, seamless connectivity to any IMS/LTE network resulting in a simple, cost-effective deployment of rich LTE voice and data services.

“Our strong relationship with GENBAND has helped to accelerate the growth of our wholesale network, supporting rapid expansion of our global footprint and enhancements to our GIPX services that meet customer demand for international roaming and increasingly data hungry applications,” said Steve Sherry, Head of (G)IPX Signalling, Messaging and Numbering for BT Wholesale. “The DSC solves complex Diameter signaling interworking, enabling network roaming across otherwise incompatible mobile networks. It also provides the security and routing scalability required to handle the explosion of mobile data traffic exchange for enhanced services, such as RCS, photo sharing, video and Over-the-Top (OTT) applications. GENBAND’s professional services organization has supported our ambitious plans in the marketplace – building and operating these critical solutions that drive revenue generation and customer satisfaction.”

“Although there are over 260 LTE networks in service worldwide, there are few interconnect roaming agreements in place between different mobile networks and this deployment marks a significant milestone for international mobile network operators,” said David Hiscock, Senior Vice President of Sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for GENBAND. “In the past, mobile service providers had to negotiate bi-lateral roaming agreements with network operators, implement point-to-point Diameter interconnects, and handle interoperability challenges between LTE and legacy 2.5G/3G networks. The enhanced BT GIPX solution addresses these challenges for BT’s international wholesale network, providing a seamless experience for roaming subscribers across 170-plus countries and varying vender equipment and host network scenarios.”

http://www.genband.com

  • In 2012, BT deployed GENBAND’s enhanced Global IP Interconnect solution to deliver SIP-based interconnect capabilities to its UK and global wholesale customers. Last year, BT leveraged the GENBAND solution to expand its GIPX services to wholesale customers across Asia and the Americas.

Cumulus Linux Selected by IXLeeds Internet Exchange Point

IXLeeds, a not-for-profit Internet Exchange Point (IXP) based in Leeds, UK, has selected the Cumulus Linux operating system.  The company said its selection followed a three-way bid over Extreme Networks and Juniper Networks. Cumulus Networks’ solution includes 1G Quanta and 10G Edge-Core Ethernet switches both of which are provided by R-Com and Hammer plc.

IXLeeds was launched in September 2010 in order to allow public peering in the north of the United Kingdom. The Cumulus upgrade replaces an existing Brocade BigIron RX-8 system, which was first installed when the project began and could no longer meet their requirements.

http://ixleeds.net/
http://cumulusnetworks.com/

ZTE's Profits Recovered in 2013 on Declining Revenue (-10.6%)

ZTE reported a net profit of RMB 1.36 billion in 2013, or RMB 0.39 per share, compared with a loss a year earlier. The company declared a cash dividend of RMB 0.3 (including taxation) for every 10 shares held, representing 75.8% of total net profit of the year available for distribution. Revenue fell 10.6% to RMB75.2 billion (US$12.1 billion).

Some highlights:

  • Operating revenue from the mainland China market reached RMB35.63 billion, accounting for 47.4% of the company’s overall operating revenue. 
  • Operating revenue from international operations reached RMB39.60 billion, accounting for 52.6% of overall operating revenue.
  • The company reported relatively fast growth in operating revenue from wireline switch and access products.
  • Operating revenue from terminal products decreased as a result of lower demand for feature phones and data cards. 
  • Smartphones and other smart terminal products now contribute a bigger percentage of total revenue, driven by the rapid development of the Mobile Internet. 

http://wwwen.zte.com.cn/en/press_center/news/201403/t20140326_421907.html

Cyan Replaces CFO

Cyan announced the appointment of Jeff Ross as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective immediately, following the resignation of Mike Zellner for personal reasons.

Ross most recently served as chief financial officer of Velti, a provider of mobile marketing and advertising technology and solutions. Previously Ross served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Sybase from 2007 to 2012, which was acquired by SAP in July 2010 when global revenue was above $1.1 billion. Prior to this, he was the chief accounting officer and corporate controller at Sybase.

Cyan also announced that it currently expects its first quarter 2014 revenue to be at or above the high end of its previously stated guidance. First quarter 2014 revenue guidance was provided on February 11, 2014, and included expectations that revenue would be between the range of $16 million and $18 million.

http://www.cyaninc.com

See also