Sunday, August 10, 2014

Facebook's Load Balancer Achieves 27% Power Savings at Midnight

Facebook's engineering team posted details on its "Autoscale" load balancing technology, which is now yielding significant energy savings as traffic on the site rises and falls during the course of a day.

In a blog posting, Facebook engineers describe how the Autoscale load balancer dynamically adjusts the size of virtual pools of web servers such that each active server will get at least medium-level CPU utilization regardless of the overall workload level.

Gemalto + SafeNet Merger Combines Edge + Core Security

Gemalto, which specializes in digital security, agreed to acquire SafeNet from Vector Capital for US$890 million in cash.

SafeNet, which is based in Belcamp, Maryland,  provides an extensive portfolio of data protection solutions including HSM advanced cryptographic key management systems, encryption technologies for civilian applications, authentication servers and authentication as a service, as well as sophisticated software license management and monetization solutions. The company estimates its technology protects over 80% of the world’s intra-bank fund transfers. Its 1,500+ employees, including 550 cryptographic engineers, serve more than 25,000 customers, both corporations and government agencies, in over 100 countries. In 2013, SafeNet recorded revenues of US$337 million and profit from operations of US$35 million and expects revenues of US$370 million and profit from operations of US$51 million for 2014.

Gemalto develops secure embedded software for personal mobile services, payment security, authenticated Cloud access, identity and privacy protection, etc.

  • Gemalto was formed in June 2006 through the combination of Axalto Holding N.V. and Gemplus International S.A.. Axalto was an IPO spin-off of Schlumberger in 2004. Schlumberger began making making SIM cards in the early 1990s with the arrival of GSM. It first began making secure chip cards in 1979.

LG Uplus and Huawei Open 5G Research Center in Seoul

Huawei and LG Uplus, a leading mobile operator in South Korea, have established a Mobile Innovation Center (MIC) in Seoul to focus on LTE-A and 5G technologies.

"LG Uplus selected Huawei as its preferred LTE technology partner to build a nation-wide LTE network and we are thrilled to see South Korean people now enjoying superior mobile experiences as a result. Huawei is committed to bringing the world’s most advanced mobile broadband services to more people worldwide, and industry cooperation, such as the one we have with LG Uplus, makes it even easier for us to do so." said Mr. Yang Chaobin, Chief Marketing Officer of Huawei Wireless Networks.

In July 2013, South Korea's LG U + officially launched its LTE-Advanced service, promising download speeds of 75 Mbps to 150 Mbps -- roughly twice the performance of its standard LTE service.  The LTE-A network is using carrier aggregation of 800 MHz and 2.1 GHz spectrum.  LG U+ said its network will offer pure LTE connectivity between compatible handsets, where voice is carried by VoLTE rather than falling back to CDMA. Vendors on the network included  LG, Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and Samsung.

Arista and VMware Expand Partnership

Arista Networks and VMware announced a strategic relationship focused on network virtualization in the software-defined data center (SDDC).  This is the third phase of an ongoing collaboration between the two companies:

  • Phase 1 2010+: ESX and vSphere/VMware vCloud Integration
  • Phase 2 2012+: VXLAN specification and interoperability across physical/virtual networks
  • Phase 3 2014+: VMware NSX integration and Arista Networks support for VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite and VMware vCenter Log Insight

The companies said they will undertake joint marketing of the generally available Arista and VMware integrated networking solution for VMware NSX.

“With multiple years of joint engineering and customer deployments, this announcement highlights our growing relationship with VMware. Arista is committed to working with VMware products and architectures to optimally combine the VMware network virtualization platform and Arista programmable physical networks for the best network-wide virtualization deployments,” stated Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO, Arista Networks.

FCC Adopts Text-to-911 Rules

Building on commitments made by America’s four largest wireless carriers to provide text-to-911 service, the FCC adopted rules to ensure that all remaining wireless carriers and certain IP-based text application providers are prepared to support text-to-911 by the end of the year.  Currently, more one hundred 911 call centers in the U.S. are serving portions of 16 states and two entire states (Vermont and Maine) are now accepting emergency texts.

The FCC said its new text-to-911 requirements apply to wireless carriers and “interconnected” text messaging providers (i.e., those which enable consumers to send text messages to and from U.S. phone numbers). This includes providers of “over the top” applications that support texting to and from phone numbers but not, for example, messaging apps that only support communications among users of games or social media.

The FCC also adopted a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on the continued evolution of text-to-911, including the delivery of location information and support for text-to-911 when roaming.

The FCC previously adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to send an automatic “bounce-back” text message to consumers who try to text 911 where the service is not available.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

IBM Develops 2nd Gen NeuralSynaptic Chip in 28nm

IBM unveiled a "neurosynaptic" chip packing one million programmable neurons, 256 million programmable synapses and 46 billion synaptic operations per second per watt. Unlike conventional processors, IBM's second generation neurosynaptic features a non-von Neumann architecture designed to mimic the way the brain discovers patterns instead of systematically following rules.

The chip was fabricated using Samsung’s 28nm process technology. It boasts 5.4 billion transistors, making it one of the largest CMOS chips ever built.

IBM said its new cognitive chip architecture has an on-chip two-dimensional mesh network of 4096 digital, distributed neurosynaptic cores, where each core module integrates memory, computation, and communication, and operates in an event-driven, parallel, and fault-tolerant fashion. To enable system scaling beyond single-chip boundaries, adjacent chips, when tiled, can seamlessly connect to each other—building a foundation for future neurosynaptic supercomputers. To demonstrate scalability, IBM also revealed a 16-chip system with sixteen million programmable neurons and four billion programmable synapses.

“IBM has broken new ground in the field of brain-inspired computers, in terms of a radically new architecture, unprecedented scale, unparalleled power/area/speed efficiency, boundless scalability, and innovative design techniques. We foresee new generations of information technology systems – that complement today’s von Neumann machines – powered by an evolving ecosystem of systems, software, and services,” said Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha, IBM Fellow and IBM Chief Scientist, Brain-Inspired Computing, IBM Research. “These brain-inspired chips could transform mobility, via sensory and intelligent applications that can fit in the palm of your hand but without the need for Wi-Fi. This achievement underscores IBM’s leadership role at pivotal transformational moments in the history of computing via long-term investment in organic innovation.”

China Mobile Deploys LTE TDD 8T8R Active Antenna Unit with Huawei

China Mobile has deployed the first LTE TDD 8T8R Active Antenna Unit (AAU) in Hebei, China.

Huawei’s AAU series integrates the antenna unit and the remote radio unit (RRU) in one box, removing the need for operators to install two units separately. This improved installation efficiency reduces ongoing maintenance costs and the level of site space required.

Huawei said its AAU products are now available globally for LTE TDD-enabled operators. For LTE FDD-enabled operators, Huawei has successfully deployed its AAU solution in over 10 countries including the UK, Germany, Singapore, and Russia.

China Mobile, the leading LTE TDD operator, was the first to deploy Huawei’s LTE TDD AAU with a total of 10,000 Huawei 4T4R AAU units in 2013. Once 8T8R AAU was rolled out, China Mobile adopted this solution in Hebei province and plans a large scale deployment in the near future.

Metaswitch's Virtual SBC Powers the BT One Phone Service

Metaswitch Networks is supplying its virtual Perimeta Session Border Controller to support the new BT One Phone service, which brings fixed, mobile and office phone systems together into one service that is hosted in the cloud and delivered via mobile devices.

Metaswitch’s virtualized Perimeta SBC supports SIP interconnect between the BT One Phone core network and the network operated by BT’s wireless partner. In addition, Perimeta protects network services from nefarious attacks and manages packet throughput under all load conditions. Perimeta also makes SIP interoperability simple by normalizing otherwise incompatible protocols. Perimeta's highly efficient message manipulation framework (MMF) includes an extensive rules engine for treating SIP and SDP headers without degrading network performance.

Google Compute Engine Adds Features and Zones

This week, Google rolled out a number of new features and tools for Google Compute Engine.  Some highlights:

  • Introduced the ability to SSH directly from the Developers Console to a VM.
  • Added a third zone to both us-central1 and asia-east1 regions, making it easier to use Compute Engine to run systems like MongoDB that use a quorum-based architecture for high availability. The new zones, us-central1-f and asia-east1-c, both support transparent maintenance.
  • SSD persistent disks are now generally available.  In addition, new tools make it easier to create custom images from the root of persistent disk.

Google also named Coca Cola, Screenz and ABC’s Rising Star, AllTheCooks, Fastly and Brightcove as customers.

Cumulus Linux 2.2 Adds Enterprise Data Center Capabilities

Cumulus Networks announced a set of enterprise data center capabilities including support for x86 CPU architectures.

Some key additions in Cumulus Linux 2.2:

  • Network virtualization-optimized 10G SFP+ platform with hardware VXLAN support — Penguin Computing Arctica 4806XP
  • Improved Linux networking experience, bringing scalable and simplified interface configuration for networking devices (ifupdown2)
  • Simplified operations and workflow with Prescriptive Topology Manager (PTM)
  • Lightweight, consistent fast link failure detection mechanism with Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD)
  • Improved routing table scale leveraging the algorithmic LPM (ALPM) table
  • Solutions for dual-attached servers, from Layer 2 bonding to Layer 3 ECMP options (Host HA)
  • Overlay solution for L2 cloud services on bare metal switches, Lightweight Network Virtualization (LNV)
  • Network traffic visibility through sFlow with InMon’s open source Host sFlow agent
  • Turnkey infrastructure as a service (IaaS) integration with MetaCloud OpenStack private cloud.

“Cumulus Linux 2.2 is another milestone towards fulfilling the promise of an open ecosystem within the data center,” said Shrijeet Mukherjee, VP Engineering Cumulus Networks. “We continue to demonstrate strong execution to our existing customers while bringing our solution to a new audience of enterprise customers looking for choice, rapid application integration and more flexibility with modern data center designs.”

Arista Hits Revenue of $137.9 million, Up 65% YoY

Arista Networks reported Q2 2014 revenue of $137.9 million, an increase of 65.2% compared to the second quarter of 2013, and an increase of 17.7% from the first quarter of 2014.  GAAP gross margin reached 67.7%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.6% in the second quarter of 2013 and 69.4% in the first quarter of 2014. GAAP net income was $21.6 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $10.3 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 20131.

“I’m pleased with our performance in Q2 2014 as we increased to 2,700 customers this quarter,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “We saw good balance across our top four verticals, as customers adopted our new Arista 7000 Spine and Spline products for cloud networking innovation and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).”

Telekom Malaysia and SK Telecom Invest in P1

The shareholders of Green Packet Berhad approved an agreement under which Telekom Malaysia and SK Telekom (Korea) will invest in Packet One Networks (P1). The deal was initially announced on March 27.
P1 operates a WiMAX network in Malaysia and is transitioning to LTE.

Group Managing Director, CC Puan said “The strong shareholder support received today sets a clear path for P1 to grow to its fullest potential and realize its future business plan and LTE transition. GPB will benefit from P1’s direct entry into the mobile market which instantaneously grows P1’s addressable market size to RM34.5b, a four times growth”.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Google Acquires Emu for Smart Messaging Team

Google has acquired Emu, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, that developed a texting application for the iPhone with a built-in, Siri-like assistant.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Emu application uses machine learning and natural language processing to interpret the meaning the message and then add to the calendar, create a lunch reservation, share location, etc.

Google plans to shut down the application as of 25-August-2014.

  • Emu was founded in 2012 by Gummi Hafsteinsson (formerly VP Product Siri,  previously at Apple and Google), Dave Feldman (previously with AOL/TechCrunch and Yahoo!), and an experienced team of mobile and machine-learning engineers. The company has received seed funding of $1.5M to date from Kleiner Perkins, TriplePoint Capital, Menlo Ventures, DFJ, and additional angel investors. 

HP Announces Lower-Cost Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

HP announced a leaner and lower-cost managed infrastructure-as-a-service solution.

HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Lean allow organizations to reap the enterprise benefits of a managed VPC, such as a regionalized cloud for data sovereignty, low latency, compliance, high availability, security and a variety of continuity options, for a lower upfront investment. The service is now globally available to customers with pricing starting as low as $168 per month for a small virtual server configuration. A pilot trial service also is available for customers who want to certify an application to run in the cloud with the full support of the HP team.

“HP already offers a feature-rich industry-leading managed virtual private cloud offering for enterprise customers,” said Jim Fanella, vice president, Workload and Cloud, HP Enterprise Services. “The new HP Helion Managed VPC Lean now delivers a lower-priced alternative designed to enable clients to further optimize cloud workloads in the enterprise —while still providing superior, enterprise-class service and performance.”

  • In June 2014, HP introduced its Helion Network, a global, open network that promises a portfolio of services for enterprise customers and the ability to create a secure hybrid IT environment.
    The HP Helion Network will feature an OpenStack-based distributed cloud computing model. It will be hardware agnostic and HP promises that it will provide a unique commercial and operating model for service providers. HP hopes to attract a wide ecosystem of independent software vendors, developers, system integrators and value-added resellers.  It will also build on the HP CloudAgile Service Provider program, which has more than 115 service providers worldwide and 1,500 private cloud deployments. HP said its Helion Network will include companies such as AT&T, HKT, Intel and Synapsis. 

    HP expects to launch a pilot version of the Helion Network in Q4 2014.  General availability for HP Helion OpenStack and the HP Helion Development Platform is planned for the same time frame.

LSI's 3rd Generation SandForce Flash Controller Hits 1800 MB/s

LSI's third-generation SandForce SF3700 flash controller has demonstrated sequential performance of 1800MB/s,as well as mixed 80/20 (read/write) workload performance of up to 1300MB/s with a native PCIe interface.  The company said this industry-leading performance is supported by its integrated SHIELD error correction with hard and soft LDPC and DSP technology.

The controller is optimized and architected for bi-directional PCIe traffic.

"Flash storage solutions used for client computing, big data, andhyperscale enterprises are continuing to grow at unprecedented levels, driving the need for more advanced flash controllers to manage these data-intensive environments," said Thad Omura, vice president of marketing, Flash Components Division, LSI. "The SF3700 is the ideal-building block for next-generation storage solutions with its
full-duplex architecture. Both enterprise and client applications will benefit from our proprietary LDPC engine which enables customers to significantly extend NAND flash life by dynamically balancing
performance and reliability with minimal latency."

  • LSI is now a subsidiary of Avago Technologies.

Sprint Names Marcelo Claure as CEO

Sprint named Marcelo Claure as its new CEO, replacing Dan Hesse, who joined Sprint as President and CEO in December 2007 and led the company through a series of acquisitions, including the merger with SoftBank, and a multi-year overhaul of its nationwide network, including the shutdown of the Nextel network.

Claure, 43, is founder and CEO of Brightstar Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp., a specialized wireless distributor serving leading mobile OEMs, retailers, and wireless network operators. Brightstar handles procurement, logistics, programming and kitting for mobile handsets and accessories on a global basis. The company is based in Miami.

Sprint said Claure’s first priority will be to continue the build out of Sprint’s network by leveraging its strong spectrum holdings as well as ensuring that Sprint always maintains truly competitive offers in the marketplace.

Ericsson to Provide Managed Service for Vodafone Egypt

Vodafone Egypt, which has over 36 million customers, has awarded a three-year contract to Ericsson to manage its network in the Cairo area.

The agreement is the first of its kind for Vodafone Egypt, which has chosen to outsource its network field services, and enhance the quality of its network in an effort to bring the latest services to Vodafone subscribers. Ericsson is the incumbent equipment supplier for the network.

Nutanix Cites $200 Million Bookings Run Rate

Nutanix, a venture-back start-up based in San Jose, California, reports that it has exceeded an annualized bookings run rate of $200 million.  The company has seen eleven consecutive quarter of rapid growth and now has 800 customers, including 29 customers who have purchased more than $1 million in aggregate products and services, up from 13 such customers in January 2014.

Nutanix offers a Virtual Computing Platform, which integrates compute and storage into a single solution for the data center.

Nutanix employs over 600 people and has sold products in 43 different countries, up from 30 countries only six months ago.

  • In June, Nutanix announced an OEM deal with Dell.
  • In January 2014, Nutanix closed $101 million in Series D financing co-led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures.

Timex IRONMAN Smartwatch is Powered by Qualcomm + AT&T

Timex introduced its IRONMAN ONE GPS+ SmartWatch boasting cellular connectivity even without a phone.

The watch, which was developed in collaboration with Qualcomm, offers email-based messaging, user tracking, emergency location signalilng, the ability to track speed/distance/pace, and social media integration. The device is powered by a cloud-based service delivery platform managed by Synchronoss, which is also leading the development of the product's mobile application and web portal. AT&T provides data connectivity. The price: $400.
"Wearables, including smartwatches, is an emerging category that holds significant promise for Qualcomm, and we are very pleased to have worked with Timex and AT&T on the development of the IRONMAN® ONE GPS+ sports watch and delivery platform," said Derek Aberle, President of Qualcomm Incorporated. "The watch combines the human wrist ergonomics expertise of Timex with proven Qualcomm technologies and will provide fitness enthusiasts with a truly unparalleled design and connected experience."

Interxion's Data Center Business Grows 9% YoY in Q2

Interxion reported Q2 revenue of €83.6 million, a 9% increase over the second quarter of 2013 and a 4% increase over the first quarter of 2014. Recurring revenue was €78.7 million, a 9% increase over the second quarter of 2013 and a 4% increase over the first quarter of 2014. Gross profit was €49.6 million in the second quarter of 2014, a 10% increase over the second quarter of 2013 and a 3% increase over the first quarter of 2014.

Equipped Space at the end of the second quarter of 2014 was 86,000 square metres, compared with 78,900 square metres at the end of the second quarter of 2013 and 82,900 square metres at the end of the first quarter of 2014.

Some updates on Interxion data centers:

  • AMS7 (Amsterdam): Phase 2 (1,000 square metres) became operational in 2Q 2014; phase 3 (1,300 square metres) is scheduled for 4Q 2014; phase 4 (1,300 square metres) is scheduled for 1Q 2015; phases 5 and 6 (1,300 square metres each) are scheduled for 2Q 2015.
  • FRA8 (Frankfurt): Phases 1 and 2 (900 square metres each) became operational in the second quarter of 2014; phases 3 and 4 (900 square metres each) are scheduled for 1Q 2015.
  • MRS1 (Marseille): Phases 1 and 2 (500 square metres each) are scheduled for 4Q 2014 and 1Q 2015, respectively.
  • STO3 (Stockholm): 900 square metres are scheduled to open in 4Q 2014.
  • VIE2 (Vienna): Phase 1 (600 square metres) is scheduled to be operational in 4Q 2014; phase 2 is scheduled to open 300 square metres in 1Q 2015 and the remaining 300 square metres in 2Q 2015.