Sunday, July 13, 2014

Microsoft Acquires InMage for Cloud-based Recovery Tools

Microsoft has acquired InMage, a start-up providing cloud-based business continuity solutions.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

InMage, which is based in San Jose, California, develops software for backup and disaster recovery.  Its Scout products collects data changes from production servers as they occur, directly in memory before they are written to disk, and sends them to a software appliance called the InMage Scout Server.

Microsoft said it is working to integrate the InMage Scout technology into its Azure Site Recovery service.  The company already announced its plan to enable data migration to Azure with Scout. Microsoft said its strategy is to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment, be it Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others.

http://www.inmage.com/
http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/11/microsoft-acquires-inmage-better-business-continuity-with-azure/

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vidyo Raises $20 Million for IoT Video Collaboration

Vidyo, which specializes in video conferencing and collaboration technologies, announced a $20 million round of financing to accelerate its efforts to deliver visual communication solutions to the new generation of connected devices, appliances, services, platforms and workflow/business processes.

“Every day there are announcements of new connected solutions or applications in healthcare, banking, government or enterprise solutions visually connecting people at work,” said Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo’s CEO and co-founder. “Vidyo makes it possible to integrate visual communication into these applications, and many others, using commodity devices available today and will support new solutions as they emerge. While the focus of the ‘Internet of Things’ up until now has been on machine-to-machine applications, we are seeing strong demand to visually connect people into workflows for person-to-person applications in the workplace, on the road or at home, all federated with the Internet of Things.”

The current round includes participation from all existing investors, including: Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, QuestMark Partners, Saints Capital, Four Rivers Group, ORR Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners and Juniper Networks through its Junos Innovation Fund.

This brings the total amount of capital raised by the company to $139 million.

http://www.vidyo.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Microsoft's Azure Adds 8K Customers per Week, New Regions Activated

Microsoft continues to report growing momentum for Azure -- more than 8,000 customers and partners are joining Azure every week.

Next week, Microsoft is hosting its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., and the company is looking to entice IT integration vendors with a range of Azure services they can sell to their customers.

Some highlights from blog postings by Microsoft:

  • Microsoft has just activated two new Azure regions online -- US Central and US East 2 regions in Iowa and Virginia, respectively.
  • Azure ExpressRoute is expanding to six more Equinix data centers worldwide. Azure ExpressRoute provides a dedicated, private connection with low latency from the colo to the Microsoft cloud.
  • Beginning next month, a new Microsoft Azure StorSimple service will provide a hybrid cloud storage solution for Microsoft's IT integration partners.  Azure StorSimple simplifies disaster recovery, consolidates management and brings on-premises data to the cloud for development and testing of new apps.
  • The Azure Machine Learning service is now available for preview. Partners can use the service to build advanced analytic cloud services for their customers.
  • Microsoft is adding IaaS functionality to its Azure Preview Portal to allow users to manage virtual machines, as well as single-click SharePoint deployment for the management of multiple virtual machines within the Portal.
  • A new Azure Event Hubs service can broker millions of events per second, allowing partners and customers to pull in, process and analyze data from cloud-connected smart devices.
  • Microsoft is planning to expand its Azure government cloud, including offering a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online U.S. government cloud offering.
  • A new service called Delve will bring machine learning and advance search capabilities to Office 365.

http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/09/microsoft-delivers-updates-innovations-and-expansions-to-meet-cloud-demand/

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/09/azure-rapid-innovation/

In May, Microsoft confirmed that Azure ExpressRoute connections will be available with partners AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 5, TeleCity, SingTel and Verizon. Azure ExpressRoute ensures private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure or colocation facilities by using an MPLS VPN or other secure tunnel. In addition:
  • Azure Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection. This enables customers to securely connect multiple on-premises locations. With new VNET-to-VNET connectivity, multiple virtual networks can be directly and securely linked to one another for disaster prevention.  Another new capability is IP Reservation, which allows the customer to reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP addresses—ideal for applications that need static public IP addresses or when there is a need to swap reserved IP addresses to update applications.
  • Azure Traffic Manager, now generally available, supports both Azure & external endpoints, for building highly available applications across Azure and on-premises.

  • Also effective today, two new compute-intensive virtual machine instances — A8 and A9 — came online.  Microsoft said these instances bring faster processors and interconnectivity, more virtual cores, and larger memory.

Microsoft Azure to Support Docker and Google's Kubernetes

Microsoft, which recently announced support for Docker containers on Azure Virtual Machines, and has just announced plans to collaborate with Google and Docker to bring support for both Kubernetes and libswarm open source projects on the Microsoft Azure platform.

Docker is an open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds. The use of a container allows the same app to run unchanged on laptops, servers, data center VMs or the cloud -- similar to the concept of shipping container for the transportation industry.

Kubernetes is a container cluster management tool developed by Google. It builds on top of Docker to construct a clustered container scheduling service.

Microsoft is also supporting Docker’s libswarm project, which offers imperative management on Docker, so that libswarm will natively support Azure in enabling deployment of containers on Azure Virtual Machines.

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/10/azure-collaboration-with-google-and-docker/


In June, Docker 1.0 was officially released, marking an important milestone for this open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds. 

Docker enables applications to be quickly assembled from components and eliminates the friction between environments.  It consists of the Docker Engine, the de facto container standard, and Docker Hub, a new cloud-based service from Docker Inc., the start-up company behind the open source Docker project and chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem.

Docker Inc. is now providing Long Term Support assurances for commercial users of Docker 1.0.  The company is based in San Francisco. 

Amazon Zocalo Offers Cloud Document Storage/Sharing

Amazon Web Services introduced a fully managed, secure document storage and sharing service for the enterprise.

Amazon Zocalo is a cloud storage service that lets users selectively share it with others (inside or outside of their organization), solicit feedback, manage versions and track deadlines.

A Zocalo client application on the desktop/laptop is used to sync files in a designated folder.  AWS initially is supporting Windows 7 and MacOS (version 10.7 or later). Pricing start at $5 per user per month, including 200 GB of storage. A limited preview is underway.

https://aws.amazon.com/zocalo/

Gigamon's Visibility Fabric Adds Security Tools

Gigamon is enhancing its Unified Visibility Fabric with forthcoming set of modules to address inline traffic security with high availability modes, as well as intelligent load distribution across multiple inline and out-of-band security tools.

The new GigaVUE-HC2 modules extend the power of the Visibility Fabric with Active Visibility, utilizing intelligence and robust bypass capabilities to better protect both critical IT traffic and the inline tools designed to prevent malicious activity. The company said high traffic volumes can be efficiently handled by sending only the appropriate data to each tool. The Visibility Fabric can also monitor the health of the attached inline tools and in the event of a tool failure will bypass the outage to ensure the network remains available and protected. For example, an inline appliance can be removed for maintenance while allowing network traffic to be sustained.

“The threat envelope to organizations is constantly expanding. As a result, many organizations have taken a multi-tiered approach to security by deploying both inline and out-of-band security solutions,” said Shehzad Merchant, chief strategy officer at Gigamon. “All of these security solutions depend on getting a relevant, consistent and accurate stream of traffic data. With these new security offerings, Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric will provide a comprehensive and sophisticated security services delivery platform that addresses the stringent traffic delivery needs along with the resiliency and uptime requirements for continuous security management.”

http://www.gigamon.com/gigamon-announces-new-solutions-for-security-services-delivery

Avere Raises $20 Million for NAS to the Cloud

Avere Systems, a start-up based in Pittsburgh, PA, raised an additional $20 million in venture financing for its enterprise storage solutions for the hybrid cloud.

Avere has developed a flexible, software-defined storage tiering methodology that fosters intelligent use of multiple storage technologies (RAM, SSD, SAS and SATA) that can negate the weaknesses of one type of media or accelerate underutilized strengths in another. Its product portfolio is optimized according to workload requirements ranging from small enterprise to the most intense storage scenarios in the world.

“The reality for 99% of enterprises is they will operate increasingly in a hybrid IT storage environment for many years to come. This means that no single storage technology will win, and both on-premises and cloud storage will be required to achieve cost and performance goals,” said Ron Bianchini, president and CEO of Avere Systems. “With this Series D funding round, we continue to scale the company so that we can provide the best solutions to customers embarking on their hybrid cloud path.”

The Series D funding round was led by Western Digital Capital, with participation from previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. This bring total funding for the company to $72 million.

http://www.averesystems.com/

CenturyLink Wins 10-year NIH Colocation Contract

CenturyLink was selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide colocation, network connectivity and disaster recovery services to the NIH National Library of Medicine and the NIH Center for Information Technology. The deal could be worth nearly $63 million over the next 10 years. The new agreement follows a previous 10-year contract for these services that was also awarded to CenturyLink.

The National Library of Medicine, located on the NIH campus, is the world's largest medical library. Its collection offers information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and health care. It also coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that provides access to health information in communities across the U.S.

The NIH Center for Information Technology manages the agency's IT resources, which include operating the NIH computer center and providing data processing and technical services to more than 40,000 users in NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other government agencies.

http://www.centurylink.com

AWS Direct Connect Opens in Sydney

Amazon announced the 12th location where AWS Direct Connect is now available -- the Global Switch SY6 data center in Sydney, Australia.  This is the second Direct Connect location.  It is also offered at the Equinix IBX in Sydney.

Customers who are hosted within an APN Partner can now connect through the Global Switch SY6 data center using a dedicated 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps network connection, which can be provisioned through the AWS Management Console.

http://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/details/

Germany's Fraunhofer ESK Explores Gigabit over Existing Copper

Germany's Fraunhofer ESK has launched a multi-year research project in collaboration with Lantiq and InnoRoute Gmbh aimed at achieving gigabit broadband rates over existing copper access lines.

The research will explore channel properties in the 300 MHz frequency range over relatively short lengths of existing copper. VDSL2 utilizes frequencies up to 30 MHz.

The project is funded by the Bavarian Research Institute.

http://www.esk.fraunhofer.de/en/media/press_releases/pm1407.html

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ciena Unveils its Multi-layer, OpenDaylight SDN Controller

Ciena introduced a multilayer SDN controller for the WAN based on the OpenDaylight framework, along with an initial set of three new software applications for enabling virtualized, on-demand network services and functions.

Ciena said its new Agility software portfolio leverages real-time analytics to help network operators provision multi-vendor networks, ensure maximum efficiency and resiliency, and rapidly create and deploy new, differentiated virtualized services at lower cost.  The OpenDaylight support lets the network operator choose from open source, self-developed and vendor components, thereby avoiding single vendor lock-in.  The use of real-time analytics for provisioning high-bandwidth services and applications lets operators monetize and optimize their networks.

Some highlights of the announcement:

  • Ciena’s new Agility Multilayer WAN Controller enables agile allocation of network resources at the packet, circuit and wave layers.
  • Ciena's controller supports the vendor-neutral OpenDaylight ecosystem.
  • Ciena's controller is a focal point of joint development with Ericsson and further development will leverage contributions from both companies to expand its capabilities.
  • The new suite of SDN applications use advanced real-time analytics to provide greater network assurance, efficiency, monetization and application-driven agility. These applications include:

    Navigate – a multilayer path computation engine that combines a global view of all network resources and service demands with advanced analytics-based algorithms to automatically determine the best possible route through the network to establish a connection.

    Protect – a centralized global restoration calculator that speeds and increases resiliency and minimizes restoration bandwidth by pre-computing and distributing an optimal set of contention-free restoration paths for distributed execution in case of any failure.

    Optimize – a multilayer network optimizer that defragments the network to free up stranded bandwidth by reallocating raw capacity and fine-tuning connection routing.

    V-WAN – a network resource broker and scheduling application that offers immediate or scheduled bandwidth-on-demand to customers through an end-user portal or applications such as cloud and NFV orchestration systems via its open northbound API. 
V-WAN is available today, while the rest of Ciena’s Agility software portfolio is entering field trials with multiple service providers. 


Ciena also noted that its V-WAN network resource broker and scheduling application as well as its network management capabilities lay the foundation for multilayer SDN control. Equinix will use these capabilities to rapidly create and provision high-speed connections with greater agility and lower costs.

http://www.ciena.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/Ciena-Unveils-Agility-Software-Portfolio-to-Enable-Virtualized-Network-Capabilities.html

ALU Achieves 10G over Copper Phone Lines at 30m

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, demonstrated the ability to carry 10Gbps over traditional copper telephone lines over a distance of 30 meters.  Bell Labs also announced a prototype technology that can achieve 1Gbps symmetrical over existing copper access networks.

The Bell Labs tests used a prototype technology called XG-FAST, which is an extension of the G.fast standard being finalized by the ITU. When it becomes commercially available in 2015, G.fast will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106 MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500 Mbps over a distance of 100 meters.

Bell Labs said XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500 MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances. Bell Labs achieved 1 Gbps symmetrical over 70 meters on a single copper pair. 10 Gbps was achieved over a distance of 30 meters by using two pairs of lines (bonding). Both tests used standard copper cable provided by a European operator.

Marcus Weldon, President of Bell Labs: “Our constant aim is to push the limits of what is possible to ‘invent the future’, with breakthroughs that are 10 times better than are possible today. Our demonstration of 10 Gbps over copper is a prime example: by pushing broadband technology to its limits, operators can determine how they could deliver gigabit services over their existing networks, ensuring the availability of ultra-broadband access as widely and as economically as possible.”

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/press/2014/alcatel-lucent-sets-new-world-record-broadband-speed-10-gbps-transmission-data-over-traditional

Qualcomm Supports Docomo's VoLTE Launch in Japan

Qualcomm Technologies announced that NTT Docomo's newly launched VoLTE service in Japan is leveraging a VoLTE solution based on its Snapdragon 800 processor with a fully featured multimode integrated VoLTE modem and IMS software.  The Qualcomm implementation supports SMS, HD voice, video telephony (VT), and single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC), which can be found in a wide variety of smartphone devices available on NTT DOCOMO’s network.

The VoLTE solution is also designed to deliver higher quality voice calls, faster voice connections with low call set-up times and simultaneous voice and Cat4 data rates up to 150 Mbps over LTE.

“We are pleased to work with NTT DOCOMO on the first large-scale commercial VoLTE launch, which is designed to provide their customers in Japan with faster, more consistent user experiences,” said Serge Willenegger, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “From improved voice call quality to faster data access, users will recognize the many benefits provided by the Snapdragon 800 processor VoLTE solution.”

The Snapdragon 800 processor supports all key VoLTE features such as CDRX, RoHC, SPS, and TTI Bundling that are designed to improve call quality and lower power consumption. The Qualcomm Technologies modem centric IMS solution is designed to adapt to radio conditions for superior mobility performance, lower power consumption and optimized call latency. This enables wider-bandwidth, high-quality HD voice and low latency voice and video telephony. The VoLTE solution has been performance optimized for diverse radio conditions and its Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) is designed to support a smooth handover from LTE to 3G without dropping voice calls. It also incorporates robust inter-technology working with 2G, 3G and WLAN, all of which has been extensively tested across major infrastructure vendors and operator networks.

“NTT DOCOMO has launched the leading edge voice and video service, allowing VoLTE service to be available commercially nationwide in Japan as of June” said Kazuaki Terunuma, vice president and managing director of communication device development department, NTT DOCOMO, INC. “We have successfully worked with Qualcomm Technologies in LTE technology for many years, which is why we chose to work with them for VoLTE technology as well. With this comprehensive, stable and extensively tested chipset with IMS software solution, we are able to provide leading edge VoLTE services on mobile phones from several manufacturers to our customers.”

http://www.qualcomm.com/

  • In May 2014, NTT DOCOMO confirmed the pending launch of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in its home market in late June -- the first such launch in Japan.
    Four smartphones and two tablets in DOCOMO's summer lineup will become compatible with the new service after a software update scheduled in or after late June.

    The carrier said its VoLTE service will newly enable users to receive Area Mail disaster-information notifications while making VoLTE voice/video calls. Also, users will be able to experience data rate of up to 150 Mbps during VoLTE voice calls.

    DOCOMO's new VoLTE service will require a subscription to Xi. Existing Xi billing plans, packet flat-rate services, discounts and dialing charges will be applicable to VoLTE voice calls, including the new Kake-hodai & Pake-aeru billing plans for flat-rate voice and data, as well as data sharing with family members.

    Packet communication charges for VoLTE video calls will be offered free of charge until September 2015, after which video calls will incur both voice and packet communication charges.
    https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2014/0514_00.html

IBM Kicks off $3 Billion Silicon Research Initiative

IBM announced a $3 billion research initiative that aims to advance silicon technologies to the 7nm threshold or below.  Over the next 5 years, IBM will conduct two broad research and early stage development programs.

The first is aimed at so-called “7 nanometer and beyond” silicon technology and the second is focused on developing alternative technologies for post-silicon era chips using entirely different approaches.

IBM said its research teams will be able to leverage work it already has underway in area such as carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum and cognitive computing.

"The question is not if we will introduce 7 nanometer technology into manufacturing, but rather how, when, and at what cost?" said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Research. "IBM engineers and scientists, along with our partners, are well suited for this challenge and are already working on the materials science and device engineering required to meet the demands of the emerging system requirements for cloud, big data, and cognitive systems. This new investment will ensure that we produce the necessary innovations to meet these challenges."

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44357.wss

Colombia's UNE EPM Deploys 100G with ALU

Colombia’s UNE EPM Telecomunicaciones has deplooyed a 100G core supporting both mobile and fixed-line customers in urban area using the Alcatel-Lucent 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS).

The DWDM/OTN network includes the main fiber rings in Colombia’s national backbone network to connect submarine landing points in Cartagena, Barranquilla and Tolu with the main capital cities including Bogota, Medellin, Bucaramanga, Cucuta, Cali, Ibague, Neiva and Popayan.

The network, which boasts 8.8 Tbps of capacity, became operational in time to deliver video services for the World Cup.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/

América Móvil to Sell Majority Share of Mexican Assets

América Móvil announced plans to sell the majority interest (over 50%) of its operations in Mexico in order to cease being a "preponderant economic agent" as defined by new laws intended to break up the telecom monopolies in the nation.

The intended sales concern América Móvil's fixed line business, TelMex, and its mobile network, Telcel.  Carlos Slim is the largest stakeholder in América Móvil.

As part of the plan, all cellular cites (base stations), including towers and related passive infrastructure, will be separated from Telcel so that they may serve on a wholesale basis to all interested parties.

América Móvil's TelMex division also ratified a commercial agreement with Dish México in anticipation of offering pay television service once its regulated status as preponderant economic agent is cleared.

http://www.americamovil.com/amx/en/cm/news/2014/08072014.pdf


DragonWave Posts 61% Revenue Rise

DragonWave reported revenue of $28.8 million for the first quarter of its fiscal year 2015, compared with $17.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 and $24.5 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2014.

Revenue from the Nokia channel (formerly called Nokia Solutions and Networks) represented 61% of revenue in the first quarter of this fiscal year, versus 68% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 and 57% in first quarter of fiscal year 2014. There was a net loss of $6.6 million or ($0.11) per basic and diluted share. This compares to a net loss applicable to shareholders of $11.6 million or ($0.20) per basic and diluted share in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 and a net loss applicable to shareholders of $6.6 million or ($0.17) per basic and diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

Gross margin for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 was 20.5%, compared with 14.5% in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 and 11.5% in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014.

“We are pleased that the increased demand that we observed in Q1 2015 is continuing into our second quarter.  Momentum is such that we anticipate revenue growth between 25% and 40% relative to Q1,” said DragonWave President and CEO Peter Allen.

http://investor.dragonwaveinc.com


Beijing Internet Harbor Picks Coriant for Packet Optical

Beijing Internet Harbor, an Internet service provider in China, has selected Coriant's 7100 Nano solution to support the creation of high-performance metro networks in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition, Beijing Internet Harbor is using Coriant's 8000 Intelligent Network Manager (INM), a single network management system that offers service providers full, end-to-end support for commissioning and monitoring services.

Coriant's 7100 Nano, part of the 7100 Packet Optical Transport Platform family, combines advanced optical networking technology with a full-featured integrated services layer. Coriant also creates flexibility in Beijing Internet Harbor's network using advanced multi-degree ROADM technology.

http://www.coriant.com/company/press_release.asp?id=1135

See also