Thursday, July 3, 2014

Zayo Files for IPO

Zayo Group Holdings filed an S-1 statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed public offering of its common stock.

Zayo operates a fiber network spanning 77,000 route miles across the U.S. and Europe, as well as 28 data centers in markets across the U.S.

The company was founded in 2007 and has completed a number of acquisitions since then. The company has about 1,400 employees.

From Edgar:

From its founding in 2007 through June 30, 2014, Zayo completed acquisitions with an aggregate of $3.7 billion. These include:

Memphis Networx
July 31, 2007
PPL Telecom
August 24, 2007
Indiana Fiber Works
September 28, 2007
November 7, 2007
November 7, 2007
Citynet Fiber Networks
February 15, 2008
Northwest Telephone
May 30, 2008
CenturyTel Tri-State
July 22, 2008
Columbia Fiber Solutions
September 30, 2008
CityNet Holdings Assets
September 30, 2008
Adesta Assets
September 30, 2008
Northwest Telephone California
May 26, 2009
September 9, 2009
AGL Networks
July 1, 2010
Dolphini Assets
September 20, 2010
American Fiber Systems
October 1, 2010
December 1, 2011
December 31, 2011
May 1, 2012
July 2, 2012
August 31, 2012
October 1, 2012
December 14, 2012
December 31, 2012
Core NAP
May 31, 2013
August 1, 2013
October 1, 2013
October 2, 2013
March 4, 2014
May 16, 2014

Nokia Networks Acquires 3-D Geolocation Tool from NICE Systems

Nokia Networks has acquired a 3-D geolocation solution from NICE Systems that can be used to enhance the planning and optimization of mobile networks.  The dead includes the tools, technical expertise, and the right to further develop these capabilities.  Nokia plans to build up a competence center in Israel, develop its future portfolio around 3-D modeling, and increase automation in its services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia said three dimensional modelling can deliver unparalleled accuracy of network performance for multivendor networks.  Combined with Nokia’s services expertise, this technology helps to provide deep insight into traffic trends and the performance of mobile broadband networks.

 “Advanced network planning and optimization services are at the forefront of Nokia Networks’ strategic services to mobile operators.  The evolution of small cells and LTE necessitates more accurate 3-D geolocation capabilities. Nokia Networks  intends to enhance this unique solution in order to offer superior services to our customers, regardless of which network gear they use,” said Dennis Lorenzin, head of Network Planning and Optimization** at the Global Services business unit of Nokia Networks.

Zayo Acquires Data Center in Atlanta

Zayo has acquired Colo Facilities Atlanta ("AtlantaNAP"), an Atlanta data center and managed services provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AtlantaNAP has over 72,000 square feet of total data center space, including 42,000 square feet of conditioned colocation space. The Atlanta colocation facility is connected to most major carrier hotels and data centers via high-count and diverse fiber rings, providing customers with increased connectivity options. The SSAE 16 type II compliant facility offers 5Mw of fully redundant 2N UPS power, serviced from diverse utility feeds.

Zayo said AtlantaNAP complements its metro fiber network in the region, which spans over 600 route miles. The deal brings Zayo's number of data centers to 28, with over 570,000 square feet of capacity.

“Atlanta is a high demand colocation market and a growing hub for healthcare, technology, and large enterprises,” said Greg Friedman, vice president of zColo. “The AtlantaNAP facility offers customers a highly secure and redundant infrastructure, and will now be able to leverage Zayo’s existing fiber footprint to provide a connectivity-driven colocation offering in Atlanta for new and existing customers.”

In March, Zayo acquired CoreXchange, Inc., a data center, bandwidth and managed services provider in Dallas, Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.  The purchase adds one new data center to Zayo's zColo portfolio. In addition, zColo will secure an additional 12,000 square feet in CoreXchange’s suite at its existing data center in the Dallas Infomart at 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway.

The acquisition yields over 18,000 square feet of total data center space and brings zColo’s national data center count to 27 locations. As a part of the acquisition, Zayo will also assume ownership of ColoUnlimited, CoreXchange’s online presence that facilitates simple, real-time online sales and ordering of colocation services. zColo will continue operating ColoUnlimited in the Dallas market before integrating into Zayo’s recently announced Internet Portal, Tranzact, in the second quarter of 2014. Tranzact will enable transactional ordering capabilities across zColo’s national data center footprint.

In 2013, Zayo acquired CoreNAP, establishing zColo’s presence in Austin, Texas.  

Gowex Suspended for Financial Irregularities

Shares of Gowex, a provider of free municipal Wi-Fi services based in Madrid, Spain, were suspended from trading following reports of financial irregularities.

Over the weekend, the founder and CEO of Gowex, Jenaro Garcia Martin, resigned.  Insiders said Garcia Martin indicated to the board that financial records had been manipulated for some time.  The company subsequently announced plans to file for bankruptcy protection.

Gowex has previously announced multiple partnerships with cities and public transport companies to deploy a free Wi-Fi service supported by its business model.

Public transport Wi-Fi projects included with Madrid & Barcelona City Tour, the Subte and the Metrobus of Buenos Aires, the intercity buses of Madrid Arriva de Blas, etc.

Google Chrome to support WebRTC

Google Chrome is implementing WebRTC to enable users to launch Hangouts in the browser without needing a plug-in.

The capability is already available for Chrome Dev and Canary users.  Google plans to update Chrome shortly.

  • WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple JavaScript APIs.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Qualcomm Acquires Wilocity, Combining 60 GHz WiGig with 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Qualcomm has acquired Wilocity, a start-up specializing in 60 GHz wireless chipsets based on the IEEE 802.11ad standard, also known as WiGig technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Qualcomm is launching a family of tri-band platforms that combine Qualcomm Atheros' Wi-Fi and WiGig solutions to significantly increase performance and enable cutting-edge wireless applications. The initial tri-band platform is a reference design based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, which is the world’s first mobile platform designed to support WiGig to enable applications such as 4k video streaming, peer-to-peer content sharing, networking, wireless docking, and backing up entire media libraries in seconds.

Qualcomm said WiGig technology brings multi-gigabit speeds for next gen mobile applications and allows for greater cellular network offload. 802.11ad also extends the Qualcomm VIVE portfolio, and builds on the company’s recent initiatives to revolutionize Wi-Fi networks with11ac 2.0 solutions with MU-MIMO.  Tri-band Wi-Fi solutions from Qualcomm Atheros integrate the multi-gigabit performance of 802.11ad operating in the 60 GHz spectrum band along with 802.11ac that operates in the 5 GHz band and 802.11b/g/n in the 2.4 GHz band. In combination, 11ad and 11ac create the most powerful and efficient wireless solution in the market; coupling the whole home coverage of 11ac with the in-area multi-gigabit connectivity of 11ad will provide users with a superior connected experience.

“Qualcomm is continually innovating and investing in leadership technologies to drive value for our customers while creating new growth opportunities for our mobile, computing and networking platforms. WiGig will play an important role in Qualcomm’s strategy to address consumers’ increasingly sophisticated smartphone, tablet and computing requirements to support applications—such as immediate streaming of 4K video and high throughput peer-to-peer communication to enable the next generation of social interactions between users sharing content,” said Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros.

Qualcomm Atheros has been an investor in Wilocity since 2008 and worked closely with Wilocity to develop and distribute tri-band solutions for the computing market since 2011.

  • The WiGig MAC and PHY Specification, version 1.1 supports data rates up to 7 Gbps -- more than ten times faster than the highest 802.11n rate.  The spec supplements and extends the 802.11 Media Access Control (MAC) layer and is backward compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard.

  • Wilocity is headed by Tal Tamir (co-founder and CEO), who prior to co-founding Wilocity in 2007, served as Director of Wireless Strategic Planning at Intel, leading the wireless initiatives for Intel's Centrino mobile technology platform. Tal joined Intel from Conexant, where as General Manager he directed development for voiceband and broadband modem technologies.

Nokia Networks to Acquire SAC Wireless for its Integration Expertise

Nokia Networks agreed to acquire SAC Wireless, a privately-held network integration provider based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SAC Wireless, which has about 450 employees, supports the rollout of major telecom networks across the United States, including LTE upgrades and indoor/outdoor Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS). The company's core business consists of fully integrated network solutions specializing in site development, architectural and engineering design, construction services, equipment installation, commissioning and integration, operations and maintenance and advisory consulting services.

“This acquisition builds on our existing strengths and continued investment in our customers’ success. Once the transaction has been completed, it will help us increase market share in the network implementation space,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks. “With SAC Wireless’ capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers. No other infrastructure provider is offering this level of proven services.”

“As we continue to build an even stronger foundation for our U.S. services business, we see great opportunities to help our customers address the tough challenges of network deployment. These range from indoor/outdoor small cells, distributed antenna systems, 4G LTE upgrades, and solving backhaul connectivity and bandwidth issues,” said Jorg Erlemeier, vice president of North America Market Services for Nokia Networks. “SAC Wireless is to augment our existing network implementation service capabilities and increase the size and effectiveness of our delivery organization.”

DARPA Develops Silicon Transmitter Operating in Millimeter-wave Range

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced an all-silicon, microchip-sized transmitter that operates at 94 GHz -- the first silicon-only SoC that has achieved such a high frequency, which falls in the millimeter-wave range.

Researchers with DARPA’s Efficient Linearized All-Silicon Transmitter ICs (ELASTx) program have now shown that silicon chips be used for high data rate, millimeter-wave wireless communications systems.  Conventionally, such systems have used gallium arsenide (GaAs) or gallium nitride (GaN) chips.

DARPA said its all-silicon SoC transmitter uses a digitally assisted power amplifier that dynamically adapts amplifier performance characteristics to changing signal requirements, and it can support a range of modulation formats.  Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems supported the research program.

“This accomplishment opens the door for co-designing digital CMOS [complementary metal oxide semiconductors] and millimeter-wave capabilities as an integrated system on an all-silicon chip, which should also make possible new design architectures for future military RF systems,” said Dev Palmer, DARPA program manager.

Nexenta Hires Hillary Clinton for Keynote Speech

Nexenta, a start-up offering Software-Defined Storage solutions, has signed Hillary Rodham Clinton to deliver a keynote address at its upcoming OpenSDx Summit on Thursday, August 28, 2014 in San Francisco.  The invitation-only event coincides with the last day of VMworld 2014, which also occurs in San Francisco.

Fiber Theft Knocks Out Telefónica Movistar Colombia

Telefónica Movistar Colombia suffered a widespread outage of its mobile network in the capital city of Bogotá and other parts of country.  The company cited an act of theft that damaged its fiber infrastructure.

Virgin Mobile users were also impacted. Telefónica's fixed line, broadband and TV services were not impacted.

Support Grows for Apache Spark in Big Data Streaming

Cloudera, Databricks, IBM, Intel, and MapR announced their collaboration to collectively broaden the range of tools and technologies in the Hadoop ecosystem that leverage Apache Spark as an underlying processing engine.

Apache Spark is an open-source data analytics cluster computing framework that promises to run programs up to 100x faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, or 10x faster on disk.

The companies said their new collaboration expands upon the Spark momentum to include several key Hadoop projects - starting with the Apache Hive SQL engine (Hive). Using Spark as the underlying execution engine, this effort will improve the performance of batch SQL jobs in Hive, while seamlessly maintaining compatibility with the core Hive code base.  The companies are also investigating ways to adapt Apache Pig to leverage Spark, as well as other popular tools, such as Sqoop and Search.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Coming Soon -- 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet

A new industry consortium, including Arista Networks, Broadcom, Google, Mellanox Technologies, and Microsoft, announced the availability of a specification optimized to allow data center networks to run over a 25 or 50 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet link protocol. The specification prescribes a single-lane 25 Gbps Ethernet and dual-lane 50 Gbps Ethernet link protocol, enabling up to 2.5X higher performance per physical lane or twinax copper wire between the rack endpoint and switch compared to current 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps Ethernet links. The new specification is being made available royalty-free by the Consortium members to any data center ecosystem vendor or consumer who joins the Consortium.

The 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium said its mission is to support an industry-standard, interoperable Ethernet specification that boosts the performance and slashes the interconnect cost per Gbps between the server Network Interface Controller (NIC) and Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch. The new specification covers 25 Gbps and 50 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) and media access control layer (MAC) behavior, including virtual lane alignment, autonegotiation, and forward error correction characteristics.

“We believe that 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) serves a focused market requirement for next-generation, performance and cost optimized server- and storage-to-switch interconnects and are proud to be a key contributor to the Consortium’s 25 and 50 GbE specification," stated Rochan Sankar, Product Marketing Director, Infrastructure and Networking Group, Broadcom.

“The companies joining the 25 Gigabit Ethernet Consortium are taking a major step forward in increasing the performance of data center networks,” said Anshul Sadana, Senior Vice President, Customer Engineering, Arista Networks. “With ever-increasing server performance and with the uplinks from the leaf to the spine layer migrating to 100 Gbps in the near future, it makes sense to increase the access speed from 10 Gbps to 25 and 50 Gbps.”

Ericsson Shows Pre-standard 5G at 5 Gbps in 15 GHz band

Ericsson demonstrated pre-standard 5G technology delivering 5 Gbps throughput in the 15 GHz frequency band.

Ericsson's demo, which was presented for senior management at NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom, employed a new radio interface concept and advanced Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology. Ericsson 5G network development activity includes new antenna technologies with wider bandwidths, higher frequencies and shorter transmission time intervals.

Ericsson said it is developing radio base stations built with baseband units and radio units specifically for 5G trials. Small cells in a heterogeneous network environment, new frequency bands (including 15 GHz) and high-speed, high-capacity backhaul transmission are also key 5G focus areas for Ericsson.

Johan Wibergh, head of Business Unit Networks, says: "5G will impact both the access and core of mobile networks so we are working closely with leading operators, including NTT DOCOMO and SK Telecom, to ensure a practical and proactive evolution. The development of advanced radio technologies is one of the first critical steps in the realization of a 5G future."

Microsoft Adds Encryption to Azure ExpressRoute, OneDrive, Office 365

Microsoft announced a set of security enhancements to its major cloud services and the opening of a Transparency Center on its campus in Redmond, Washington.  Highlights of the announcement include:

  • Enhanced message encryption in Office 365 as well as Azure’s addition of ExpressRoute, a service that enables businesses to create private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure on their premises or in a colocation environment. 

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption is now enabled in for both outbound and inbound email.
  • Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) encryption support is now enabled in for sending and receiving mail between email providers. Forward secrecy uses a different encryption key for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections.
  • OneDrive has now enabled PFS encryption support as well. OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients. As with’s email transfer, this makes it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections between their systems and OneDrive.
  • The new Microsoft Transparency Center provides participating governments with the ability to review source code for the company's key product. This is meant to assure software integrity and confirm there are no “back doors.” Microsoft plans to open addition Transparency Centers in other locations, including Brussels.

Interxion Offers Direct Connection to AWS and Azure from European Data Centers

Interxion announced private connections to both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure from all of its 37 data centers across 11 countries.

Private connections are now available from leading AWS Direct Connect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute network partners such as Level 3, Verizon, AT&T, IX Reach and BT – who all have points of presence in Interxion data centres.

Private connections between public cloud platforms and enterprise IT infrastructure provide better performance, lower latency and improved security compared to Internet-based connections.

“Our data centres act as a true Cloud Hub, enabling interconnection between Cloud Services Providers, their customers and channel partners making it attractive to customers building and managing reliable and high performance hybrid IT solutions. Thanks to our rich carrier community, our customers are provided with a choice to order services from. For example, in London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam we have at least 6 AWS Direct Connect and all 4 network partners for Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute,” said Vincent in’t Veld, Director of Cloud Segment at Interxion.

AWS Adds Lowest-cost EC2 Instance Option

Amazon Web Services announced the availability of T2 instances -- the lowest cost Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance type to date. Target applications include web servers, developer environments, and small databases.

Th new tier significantly reduces costs for applications that do not require sustained high CPU performance but benefit from the ability to burst to full core performance. T2 On-Demand Instance prices start at $0.013 per hour ($9.50 per month). When used with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) General Purpose (SSD) volumes, T2 instances also bring high-performance storage options to customers at a very low cost.

Customers can launch T2 instances using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), AWS SDKs, AWS Marketplace, and third-party libraries. T2 instances are available in three instance sizes and are initially available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Australia (Sydney), and Brazil (Sao Paulo) Regions. T2 instances can be purchased as On-Demand and Reserved Instances.

“Amazon EC2 provides an unmatched selection of instances to support customers running whatever workload they want on AWS. Some of our customers have requested instance types that optimize their performance and cost for applications that don’t use the full CPU capability frequently, but require the full CPU resources for short bursts,” said Matt Garman, Vice President, Amazon EC2 at Amazon Web Services. “T2 instances address this need by providing a consistent baseline performance with the ability to burst to full CPU core performance – all at a very low cost.”

EZchip to Acquire Tilera for its Multi-Core Processors

EZchip Semiconductor will acquire Tilera Corporation, a developer of high-performance multi-core processors, up to $130 million in cash.  The deal includes $50 million at closing and up to an additional $80 million is payable subject to the attainment of certain future performance milestones.

Tilera, which is based in San Jose, California, offers a line of multi-core processors, network interface cards and white-box appliances for data center networking equipment.

At the high end, Tilera's TILE-Gx8072 Processor includes 72 identical processor cores (tiles) interconnected with the company's iMesh on-chip network. Each tile consists of a 64-bit processor core as well as L1 and L2 cache and a non-blocking Terabit/sec switch that connects the tiles to the mesh and provides full cache coherence among all the cores. The company offers smaller versions with 9- 16, and 36-cores. Tilera offers its own line of accelerator cards based on its processors, as well as two 1RU appliances.

EZchip said Tilera complements its own portfolio.  EZchip’s next generation NPU family, the NPS, is targeting carrier edge routers as well as data center networking equipment.   For these markets, the NPS brings very high performance data-plane packet processing. Unlike the use cases for multi-core CPUs, the systems that use high-speed NPUs such as the NPS are high-end systems in which the data-plane is separate from the control-plane. In these high-end systems the control-plane is typically performed on a separate general purpose CPU.

EZchip currently expects the acquisition to be neutral to slightly dilutive in 2014 and accretive in 2015 to earnings per share on a non-GAAP basis. Following the closing, Devesh Garg, the CEO of Tilera, will serve as EZchip’s President in charge of all US operations.

“We welcome the Tilera team to the EZchip family. The addition of a multi-core product portfolio to EZchip expands and diversifies our product offerings and addressable markets. While our NPU portfolio and in particular our new NPS targets high-end carrier and data center equipment in which a high-performance data-plane only NPU is required, the Tilera multi-core CPUs address a wide range of data-center systems in which both data-plane and control-plane run on the multi-core CPU,” said Eli Fruchter, CEO of EZchip Semiconductor. “Furthermore, the combination of EZchip’s and Tilera’s market-proven leading technologies, in particular EZchip’s networking expertise and Tilera’s multi-core expertise, will enable us to develop new multi-core CPUs that uniquely integrate powerful networking capabilities with the highest number of processor cores addressing a wide range of applications and market segments.”

  • Tilera was founded in March 2005 and launched its first silicon product in August 2007.
  • In January 2011, Tilera announced a $45 million round of funding, including investment from WestSummit Capital Management and Comerica Bank in addition to existing investors Walden International, Bessemer Venture Partners and Columbia Capital. Cisco Systems and Samsung Venture Investment Co. also participated, joining Tilera’s previous strategic investors: Broadcom, NTT Finance, VentureTech Alliance, and Quanta Computer.
  • In March 2010, Tilera raised $25 million in Series C funding, including from Broadcom, Quanta Computer and NTT Financing.  This brought total funding in the company to $64 million.

Databricks Raises $33 Million for Apache Spark-based Cloud

Databricks, a start-up based in Berkeley, California, announced $33 million in series B funding and the launch of its cloud platform.

Databricks Cloud is powered by Spark, a unified processing engine with support for interactive queries (Spark SQL), streaming data (Spark Streaming), machine learning (MLlib) and graph computation (GraphX) natively.  A single API is used across the entire pipeline.

Databricks said its cloud platform benefits from the rapid pace of innovation in Spark, driven by the 200+ contributors that have made it the most active project in the Hadoop ecosystem.

The company's hosted platform simplifies the provisioning of a Spark cluster. Users simply specify the desired capacity of a new cluster, and the platform handles all the details: provisioning servers on the fly, streamlining import and caching of data, handling all elements of security, and continually patching and updating Spark—freeing users of all the typical headaches and allowing them to explore and harness the power of Spark.

Databricks Cloud is currently available on Amazon Web Services.  The company is looking to add cloud providers in the future.

The funding round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with follow-on investment from Andreessen Horowitz.

“Databricks remains committed to developing and expanding Apache Spark fully in the open and continuing to add to the capabilities that made it a vital big data platform,” said Matei Zaharia, CTO of Databricks. “We will continue to commit significant resources to drive open-source innovation in Spark alongside the community. Furthermore, we look forward to enabling a whole new set of users and developers to experience and leverage the power of Spark to drive enterprise value.”
  • Databricks is headed by Ion Stoica (CEO), who is a Professor of Computer Science at UC Berkeley and also co-founder of Conviva.  The Databricks' technical team is headed by Matei Zaharia (CTO), who is the creator of Apache Spark and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at MIT.
  • Apache Spark, which is part of the Hadoop movement, is an open-source data analytics cluster computing framework originally developed in the AMPLab at U.C. Berkeley. It promises to run programs up to 100x faster than Hadoop MapReduce in memory, or 10x faster on disk.

ADVA Supplies Transport/Aggregation for Washington's Noel Comm.

Noel Communications, a network operator based in Yakima, Washington, has deployed ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 and FSP 150 to advance rural connectivity throughout Washington.  ADVA said it was selected for the installation based on the rapid scalability and ease of use of its optical transport equipment and Ethernet access and aggregation devices.

“Trust is a key part of our company, a key part of our team. It underscores everything we do. This is something that our customers depend upon,” said Nick Guy, director, Networking, Noel Communications. “It's this focus on trust that explains why we're working with ADVA Optical Networking."

Ericsson Lands 7-Year Managed Services Deal in Romania

Ericsson signed a seven-year managed services agreement with leading Romanian operators Romtelecom and Cosmote, both subsidiaries of OTE, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Group of companies.

Under the deal, Ericsson will manage the operators' wireline and wireless networks in Romania. Ericsson will assume responsibility for network operations and maintenance of wireline and wireless access, transmission, core and IP domains, as well as network operations for operations support systems, for Romtelecom and Cosmote Romania. Ericsson will add about 730 employees from the carriers to its Global Services division.