Sunday, May 4, 2014

Infonetics: Hotspot 2.0 Predicted to Take Off

WiFi as a separate overlay network currently leads the list of technologies and architectures for offloading data traffic; meanwhile, more sophisticated carrier WiFi architectures gain gradual traction as respondents look to bring WiFi into the mobile RAN via SIM-based service models or by deploying dual-mode WiFi/small cells, according to a new survey from Infonetics.

“Carrier WiFi deployments are evolving to deliver the same quality of experience as mobile and fixed-line broadband service environments, and this is driving WiFi networks to become more closely integrated. Hotspot 2.0, a key tool developed by the industry to aid this drive, shows rapid adoption by carriers participating in our latest carrier WiFi survey,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for mobile backhaul and small cells at Infonetics Research.

Webb adds: “Operators are betting pretty big on carrier WiFi, but they’re also keen to develop ways of monetizing services so that WiFi starts to pay for itself over the coming years. WiFi roaming and location-based services are examples of customer plans that are growing fast.”

Some additional highlights:

  • Respondents have an average of around 32,000 access points currently, growing to just over 44,000 by 2015, representing 33% growth over the next year
  • 40% of Infonetics’ operator respondents expect to integrate Hotspot 2.0 into more than half their access points by the end of 2015
  • Among those surveyed, the top 3 monetization models for WiFi services are pre-pay, bundled with mobile broadband subscription, and tiered hotspots
  • Respondents perceive Cisco and Ruckus Wireless as the top carrier WiFi manufacturers for second consecutive year.

Perigon Opens Tier IV Data Center in Amsterdam

Perigon Networks opened a new Tier IV data center in Amsterdam -- its fifth global data center.

In addition to the new Amsterdam location, Perigon Networks boasts datacenters in Manchester, England; Brisbane, Australia; and multiple locations in Omaha, Nebraska, as part of its growing global network. The company features a "PowerCasting" technology that allows enterprise-level clients to broadcast their websites simultaneously from multiple global datacenter locations for seamless localized performance and business continuity.

Friday, May 2, 2014

TDS Telecom to Acquire BendBroadband

TDS Telecom, the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S., agreed to acquire substantially all of the assets of BendBroadband, which provides broadband, fiber connectivity, cable television and telephone services for commercial and residential customers in Central Oregon. The purchase price is $261 million.

BendBroadband generated annual revenues of $70 million in 2013 and has approximately 280 employees. TDS Telecom serves about 1.1 million connections.

BendBroadband's strong market position and technology leadership will help us achieve significant forward momentum in our cable strategy," said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom. "We will leverage BendBroadband's considerable expertise across our growing cable business, driving residential and commercial growth by delivering competitive broadband, video and managed services over the high-capacity network. We share BendBroadband's vision of being a trusted partner to our customers and communities, and growing profitably through quality, service and innovation."

Thursday, May 1, 2014

NTT and Partners Demo Virtual Network Platform as a Service (VNPaaS)

NTT, Alcatel-Lucent Japan Ltd. and Fujitsu will jointly demonstrate Virtual Network Platform as a Service (VNPaaS) to ETSI's NFV ISG.

The Virtual Network Platform as a Service (VNPaaS) is one of the use cases defined by ETSI NFV ISG.  The platform framework can be used for developing, deploying and administering applications on the virtualised network.  Alcatel-Lucent supplied its CloudBand NFV solution for this project. Fujitsu is supplying middleware that is capable of offering stateful VNF.

The demonstration will be presented at the Bankoku Shinryokan Resort MICE Facility on May 14, 2014.

NTT DOCOMO Ventures Invests in CertiVox

CertiVox, a start-up based in London, raised US$8 million in Series B funding from NTT DOCOMO Ventures and current investors Octopus Investments.

CertiVox provides password-less, two-factor authentication without tokens. Its M-Pin is a software-only solution, ideally suited for smart devices and does not require the presence of any third party authentication device. M-Pin can be embedded into software, hardware and can leverage Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) to provide the most secure strong authentication available to any application on any device.

The investment by NTT DOCOMO Ventures is its first in Europe, signifying the innovation and strength of CertiVox’s technology and its breakthrough potential to solve current problems in online authentication systems. Taken together with the company’s Seed and Series A financings, CertiVox has raised $17 Million to date.

CenturyLink Chops Cloud Prices

CenturyLink announced major price cuts for its cloud services, including Cloud CPU, RAM, and block storage.  The company says a typical CenturyLink Cloud VM will cost at least 60% less with the new pricing.  Customers without contracts will see the new pricing effective immediately.

CenturyLink is also allowing its cloud customers to purchase various levels of Technical Cloud Service Engineering support.

Nutanix Intro VDI Management

Nutanix, a start-up based in San Jose, California, introduced a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) management program that lets customers purchase advanced web-scale infrastructure per desktop, and de-risk their VDI investment through a VDI Assurance pricing option.

Nutanix said its program addresses the concern that purchasing traditional server and storage infrastructure for VDI is complicated and can undermine user experience when not properly sized or designed. The company believes that cloud-based DaaS (desktop as a service) offerings to will struggle to match the security and long-term total cost of ownership (TCO) of on-premise solutions.

The Nutanix Per Desktop Program enables enterprises to purchase and deploy desktop infrastructure as a predictable, public cloud-like service.

In January 2014, Nutanix closed $101 million in Series D financing co-led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures.

The company, which is based in San Jose, California, said it has exceeded $100 million in lifetime sales and acquired 13 customers who have purchased more than $1 million of products within two years of launching its Virtual Computing Platform. Customers include eBay, McKesson, Toyota, Orange Business Services and Hyundai Hysco.

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a converged infrastructure solution that consolidates the compute (server) tier and the storage tier into a single, integrated appliance.

Cisco Allocates $150 Million for Early Stage Start-Ups

Cisco Investments, the corporate venture capital arm of Cisco, has allocated an additional $150 million over the next two to three years to fund early-stage companies in the following areas: big data and analytics; the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; and India innovation.

As part of this program, Cisco announced three minority investments in IoT accelerators and startups Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG.

"Our ability to identify and stay ahead of market disruptions is deeply rooted in our build, buy, partner and integrate approach to innovation," said Hilton Romanski, senior vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. "We gain valuable insight and an understanding of market trends through equity investments in young and interesting companies who are leading the way through new market disruptions. Our investments in Alchemist Accelerator, Ayla Networks and EVRYTHNG align with our focus on early-stage innovation and companies focused on the Internet of Things."

A10 Networks Posts First Quarterly Report

In its first quarterly report as a public company, A10 Networks reported Q1 2014 revenue of $45.7 million, up 55% year over year. GAAP net loss was $5.1 million compared with a net loss of $8.5 million in the first quarter of 2013.

“The first quarter was a strong start to the year for A10 Networks, and we are very pleased with our results,” said Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks. “In our first quarter as a public company, we achieved our third consecutive quarter of record revenue, grew revenue 55 percent year-over-year and added 200 new customers.

Akamai's Q1 Revenue Rises 23% YoY to $454 Million

Akamai Technologies posted Q1 2014 revenue of $454 million, a 23% increase over first quarter 2013 revenue of $368 million.  GAAP net income for the first quarter of 2014 was $73 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, a 9% decrease from the prior quarter's GAAP net income of $80 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, and a 2% increase over first quarter 2013 GAAP net income of $71 million, or $0.39 per diluted share.

"Our first quarter results demonstrated continued momentum across all our solution offerings and geographies, driven by traffic acceleration in Media Delivery Solutions and strong traction across our Security portfolio," said Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai.  "We believe that our unparalleled technology for optimizing and securing the delivery of online content and business applications, along with our continued investments across the business, enable us to provide more value to our customers than ever before."

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Huawei: SDN and the Future of Networking

In this video interview, Jane Li, Chief Operating Officer, Huawei Enterprise, discusses cloud networking and SDN as key trends reshaping the industry and leading to new opportunities for companies with a broad range of integration expertise.

00:08 - Where are the big opportunities in networking today?

01:21 - How is Huawei positioned to deal with the transition to SDN in enterprise and data center networks?

02:32 - Where is SDN in the market today?

03:19 - Is SDN just another marketing game or will the concept of openness really take hold?

05:40 - What elements does Huawei need in its portfolio to succeed in SDN?

Ajay Gupta, Director of Marketing, Huawei, comments on the following:

07:34 - Will bare metal servers/switches based on commodity silicon come to dominate the networks of tomorrow?

08:59 - Will the transition to SDN be about building overlays on top of conventional networks?

09:50 - What are the market drivers for SDN?

10:35 - From an SDN point of view, how does Huawei approach security?

11:21 - What is the best thing about SDN?

See video:

Red Hat to Acquire Inktank, Provider of Ceph Scale-Out Storage

Red Hat agreed to acquire Inktank, a leading provider of scale-out, open source storage systems, for approximately $175 million in cash.

Founded in 2012, Inktank’s main objective has been to drive the widespread adoption of Ceph, a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware.   The company's flagship technology, Inktank Ceph Enterprise, delivers object and block storage software to enterprises deploying public or private clouds, including many early adopters of OpenStack clouds. Ceph was developed by Inktank’s founder and chief technology officer, Sage Weil, and is a replacement for legacy storage systems and provides a unified solution for cloud computing environments. Inktank’s customers include Cisco, CERN and Deutsche Telekom, and its partners include Alcatel-Lucent and Dell. The company has offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Red Hat said the Ceph technology will be combined with its own existing GlusterFS-based storage offering, thus positioning Red Hat as the leading provider of open software-defined storage across object, block and file system storage.

Equinix Cloud Exchange Simplifies Direct Connects to Public Clouds

Equinix launched its new Cloud Exchange, an advanced interconnection solution that enables seamless, on-demand and direct access to multiple clouds and multiple networks.  The goal is to give enterprises direct access to services for building sophisticated hybrid cloud solutions inside Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers.

With the Equinix Cloud Exchange customers can connect to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. and London with planned expansions into 13 additional markets by the end of 2014.  Customers can also access Amazon Web Services via the Equinix Cloud Exchange in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. and London. In addition, Equinix is working with other key cloud and network service providers to provide access to their services via the Cloud Exchange. Equinix provides a Cloud Exchange Portal and APIs to simplify the process of managing connections to multiple cloud services. Businesses can use the Portal and APIs to allocate, monitor and provision virtual circuits in near real-time with the provisioning of those circuits automated end-to-end from the Cloud Exchange to the service provider.

Equinix expects to be serving a total of 19 markets by the end of 2014 with its Cloud Exchange.

"Just as it was with the Internet, the key to realizing the business benefits of the cloud is how well connected it is," said Ihab Tarazi, chief technology officer at Equinix. "But companies are recognizing that the Internet has security and performance limitations, given that it is inherently open and shared publicly. By utilizing direct access via the Equinix Cloud Exchange, businesses no longer have to compromise on these essential requirements when accessing cloud providers."

Riverbed Intros Virtual Cascade Express for Performance Monitoring

Riverbed Technology introduced a virtual version of its Cascade Express 460, which provides visibility into private cloud or software-defined data center environments running virtualized networks.

The Cascade Express 460 Virtual Edition network performance monitoring solution combines monitoring of traditional and virtualized network environments in a single virtual appliance that can be deployed easily into any type of environment.

“Software-defined data centers built on private cloud technology offer tremendous savings and flexibility, so businesses are increasingly adopting this approach to provision new services on demand,” said Dimitri Vlachos, vice president of marketing and products for Riverbed. “Cascade Express Virtual Edition enables customers to leverage powerful compute and network virtualization platforms while providing advanced application-aware network performance management. Customers gain a holistic view of their virtual and physical infrastructure, allowing them to have complete insight into application performance regardless of where the application is hosted and how it is delivered.”

Riverbed Cascade Express Virtual Edition runs on VMware vSphere.  Key capabilities:

  • End-to-end monitoring, analytics and reporting. Avoid impact to the business from bad apps with advanced analytics that automatically detect, isolate and pinpoint changes in performance. Map cloud application dependencies to accelerate troubleshooting across complex application ecosystems.
  • High-speed packet capture and storage with deep packet inspection of more than 1,000 popular applications combined with robust flow collection and deduplication for automated traffic and performance analysis.
  • A concurrent user license of Riverbed Cascade Pilot for graphically analyzing traffic data on the Cascade Express appliance without having to transfer large trace files across the network.
  • Support for network virtualization and overlay networks, such as VMware NSXTM, to give operations teams a unified view of network and application performance across the physical and virtual infrastructure.

SanDisk Readies Lightning Gen. II 12Gb/s SAS SSDs

SanDisk has begun sampling its Lightning Gen. II family of enterprise-class 12Gb/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) solid state drives (SSDs) for mixed-use, read- and write-intensive application workloads common in data centers.

The new Lightning Gen. II SSD product family doubles interface speeds over previously available 6Gb/s SSDs, providing the highest performance possible for mission-critical and virtualized data center application workloads. SanDisk also highlighted error correction and detection technology, full data path protection, instant secure erase, thermal monitoring, and die fail recovery capabilities of the new drives.

“Business data needs are becoming so performance-intensive that even applications that are already using SSDs need an additional boost,” said John Scaramuzzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. “The Lightning Gen. II SAS SSDs deliver double the throughput to each slot, empowering organizations to quickly and easily scale their performance infrastructure to meet this growing need.”

Integra Upgrades with Ciena's WaveLogic Photonics

Integra, an operator serving the western United States with a 6,400-mile long-haul fiber-optic network, 3,000 miles of metropolitan fiber and a nationwide IP/MPLS network, has deployed Ciena's converged packet optical to enhance a route that connects Salt Lake City to Sacramento.

With high-performance capacity of 100G per wavelength, this route is supported by Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, including WaveLogic 3 Coherent Optical Processors and Smart Raman with PinPoint advanced fiber analytics software. Ciena’s WaveLogic Photonics capabilities allow Integra to simply and quickly deploy high-capacity services across the 1400 km route without regeneration, bypassing numerous huts while reducing latency, power, and space requirements.

To monitor its network, Integra will utilize both Ciena’s Smart Raman with PinPoint software and OneControl Unified Management System. Through the use of integrated OTDR traces, PinPoint enables quick and controlled service turn-up of photonic services and precise localization of fiber faults, which accelerates repair time from days to hours. OneControl will be used for full service lifecycle management from low-touch service activation and end-to-end visibility for comprehensive service assurance to ensure that Integra can efficiently meet all end-customer service level agreements (SLAs). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson Names Rima Qureshi to be Chief Strategy Officer

Ericsson named Rima Qureshi as its new Chief Strategy Officer, a position in which she will drive the company's mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy and activities. In addition, she will serve as Chairman of Business Unit Modems.

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, said: "I am very pleased with this appointment. Rima's comprehensive experience in driving both business and M&A's, along with a solid track record in strategy development and execution, makes her ideal for the job. Rima successfully led the integration of the CDMA and LTE assets of the former Nortel Networks Corporation and ran the business unit CDMA Mobile Systems during the years 2010-2012."

Rima Qureshi has been Senior Vice President and part of Ericsson's Executive Leadership Team since 2010.

Rima Qureshi joined Ericsson in 1993, and prior to running Business Unit CDMA Mobile Systems, her career spanned leadership roles in R&D, sales, and Services, including managing Global Service Delivery Centers in Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil.

Edgewater Raises $5 Million to Expand Portfolio

Edgewater Networks, which supplies Enterprise Session Border Controllers, secured $5 million in debt financing to develop new products that leverage SDN and NFV.

Edgewater said it now has more than 240,000 Edgewater Enterprise Session Border Controllers (ESBCs) currently deployed by leading service providers and integrators, including one of the two largest U.S. carriers and three of the top five U.S. cable operators.

“We believe that SDN and NFV are driving significant transformation in service provider networks and opening new avenues for service delivery,” said Dave Norman, CEO of Edgewater Networks. “We are excited about the expansion of our product portfolio and how it will help our customers to easily deliver a new class of profitable business services.”

The new funding was secured from Eastward Capital and brings the total debt and equity funding raised by Edgewater Networks to date to $36 million.

IBM Awarded Patent for Job Scheduling in Clouds

IBM was awarded a patent for a method of managing how resources are used and work is done within a cloud by distributing control throughout the interconnected systems.

IBM said this latest cloud computing invention, U.S. Patent #8645745: Distributed Job Scheduling In A Multi-Nodal Environment, was originally designed to help manage resources in high performance computing systems used for government and academic research. These systems consist of hundreds or thousands of computing resources that are connected to perform complex tasks where demands for system resources can rise and fall dynamically -- similar to the model for cloud computing. The job scheduling function is broken up into pieces and distributed throughout the system, with a job scheduler assigned to each node of a system or cloud. Each job scheduler can manage resources and prioritize requests within its own node. But if it determines that it needs more resources it can dynamically join with other nodes. One of the nodes becomes the primary node, controlling the shared resources within the node group.

"Try to imagine the tens of thousands of airplanes that fly across the United States each day being managed by a single air traffic controller, who must keep track of each one and determine what runways, gates, maintenance facilities, etc. are available at every airport across the country," said IBM inventor Eric Barsness. "The best way to complete that task efficiently and effectively is to break it up to thousands of air traffic controllers, each of which has a view of all resources available and can prioritize and direct traffic accordingly. That's effectively what this invention can do within a cloud computing environment."

Cavium Posts 20% YoY Growth for Q1

Cavium reported Q1 2014 revnue of $83.2 million, a 2.5% sequential increase from the $81.1 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2013 and a 19.7% year-over-year increase from the $69.5 million reported in the first quarter of 2013. Net income (GAAP) was $2.3 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, compared to $0.2 million, or $0.00 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2013. Gross margins were 63.5% in the first quarter of 2014 compared to 64.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Total cash and cash equivalents were $124.1 million at March 31, 2014.