Monday, February 16, 2015

Virgin Media UK Plans £3 billion Cable Network Expansion

Virgin Media (UK) unveiled  "Project Lightning" -- a plan to extend its fiber-rich cable network to approximately four million additional premises over the next five years. The expansion will increase's Virgin Media addressable market by almost a third; from around half of the country today to nearly 17 million premises by 2020.

Virgin Media, which is a subsidiary of Liberty Global plc, expects to invest an additional £3 billion in Project Lightning.  The project will be financed mainly through incremental borrowings.

Virgin Media offers broadband speeds of 152 Mbps.  It also features an advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box.

“Our next-generation fibre-rich networks reach 50 million households across Europe, enabling our customers to discover and experience the endless possibilities of the digital world. After a record operating performance, Project Lightning is a significant investment that demonstrates the confidence we have in Virgin Media and the UK as a place to do business,” stated Mike Fries, Liberty Global Chief Executive Officer.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome this substantial investment from Virgin Media which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to support business and create jobs by building a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure. Together with this Government’s rollout of superfast broadband which has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.”

Liquid Telecom Raises $150M for African Fiber Network

Liquid Telecom, a telecom group operating long-haul fiber network in southern and eastern Africa, announced $150 million in new funding to expand its infrastructure. The new funding was structured by Standard Chartered.

Liquid Telecom, which is controlled by African telecoms company Econet Wireless, has already built 18,00 0km of fiber across 15 nations, including Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The network offers connectivity to the five main sub-sea cable systems – WACS, EASSy, SEACOM, SAT 3 and TEAMS.

AT&T Launches GigaPower across the Kansas City Area

AT&T launched its "GigaPower" all-fiber Internet network in in parts of Kansas City, Mo., parts of Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Kansas and in surrounding communities located throughout the metro area. The service boasts Internet access speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Additionally, AT&T announced plans to expand the service to Independence, Mo. and Shawnee, Kansas.

“We’ve moved quickly to bring more competition to the Kansas City area for blazing-fast Internet speeds and best-in-class television service,” said John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri. “But this is just our initial launch. We look forward to continuing to expand our AT&T GigaPower network in the Kansas City area where there are strong investment cases and receptive customers.”

With this announcement, the AT&T GigaPower network is now available across parts of the Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem markets. AT&T previously announced plans to deliver U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in parts of 11 additional markets – Atlanta; Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.; Chicago; Cupertino, Calif.; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Louis and San Antonio.

Brocade Intros IP Storage Switch for EMC Connectrix

Expanding on its longstanding OEM relationship with EMC, Brocade announced an an IP storage switch EMC's Connectrix family of network switches.

The Connectrix VDX-6740B switch can be used to separate IP storage traffic from other data traffic, providing greater reliability and efficiency to legacy deployments where storage traffic and all other network traffic share the same network infrastructure. It provides connectivity for a broad array of EMC high-end and mid-range NAS and iSCSI storage platforms. It supports load-balanced, multi-pathing for optimal performance and efficiency, and features deep on-chip buffers.

"Legacy IP network designs were never intended for today's New IP applications, such as cloud, mobile, social and big data," said Jason Nolet, senior vice president, data center switching, routing and analytics products group, Brocade. "Through our extended partnership with EMC, customers can now realize the improved performance, resiliency and agility of a dedicated IP storage network for the growing mission critical nature of their IP storage-based applications."

Motorola Solutions Acquires Emergency CallWorks for NG9-1-1 Software

Motorola Solutions announced its acquisition of Emergency CallWorks, a privately-held developer of Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) call-taking software for public safety. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Emergency CallWorks, which is based in Birmingham, Alabama, offers a helps police, fire and emergency medical teams better manage critical incidents by allowing more information to flow seamlessly from the public, through a 911 network and command center, to emergency personnel. The solution can be deployed either as an on-site implementation or as a remote hosted solution, making it scalable to even the smallest public safety agencies, which enables access to the latest technology at a predictable price point. Emergency CallWorks was founded in 2006.

“Smart public safety starts with accurately routing and addressing emergency calls from the community,” said Bob Schassler, executive vice president, Solutions and Services, Motorola Solutions. “Emergency CallWorks’ solution provides an advanced, next-generation version of 911 that will be capable of moving beyond voice-only calls by processing multimedia information into the call flow. Its browser-based workstation architecture eliminates proprietary 911 switching hardware, simplifies operations and provides cost-effective system implementation, allowing for remote monitoring, service and support, with continuous delivery of innovative new features.”

IBM and CenturyLink Open Innovation Center in Lousiana

As part of a 10-year agreement between IBM and CenturyLink, IBM will open and staff a new applications development innovation center in Monroe, Louisiana. The facility is expected to create 400 jobs for specialists in application development, application management and system integration.

The State of Louisiana will contribute $4.5 million in funding over 10 years to expand key higher education programs, including the computer science program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the cyber engineering program at Louisiana Tech, and the data analytics program at Grambling State University. In addition, the State will provide $12 million for construction of new office space for the use of IBM, which will become an anchor tenant of a privately developed mixed-use complex.

Huawei Appoints Three Non-Executive Directors to UK Board

Huawei has appointed Lord Browne of Madingley as independent non-executive chairman of its UK subsidiary. In addition, two other non-executive directors have been appointed to the board: Dame Helen Alexander, chairman of UBM plc and Sir Andrew Cahn, who served as chairman of Huawei UK’s Advisory Board from 2011 to 2014.

The independent non-executive directors will be responsible for reviewing the performance of Huawei in the UK, where 70 per cent of employees are recruited locally, and providing counsel to the UK Management Team, as well as the standard legal obligations of directors of a UK limited liability company.

  • Lord Browne of Madingley is known for his role as the chief executive of BP between 1995 and 2007. 

Qosmos Debuts Service Classifier Virtual Network Function (VNF)

Qosmos introduced an ETSI-compliant Virtual Network Function (VNF) or software appliance for use in physical, virtualized and in Software Defined Networking (SDN) architectures.

The Qosmos Classifier identifies and extracts traffic information in real time, identifying protocols, types of application, and extracting additional information in the form of metadata. The company said the VNF is especially well-suited to enable intelligent, dynamic service chaining for mobile Gi-LAN environments. Unlike multi-function, legacy traffic steering solutions (e.g. PCEF, TDF, switches, etc.) which allow only limited service chain combinations, the Qosmos Classifier is a dedicated software function with open SDN & NFV interfaces, which makes it easy to programmatically create any type of service combination.

Key technical capabilities:

  • IETF NSH/SCH tagging (upcoming standard), in addition to existing ToS/DSCP marking and vLAN tagging
  • Application and subscriber awareness
  • Application metadata to enrich traffic information in real time
  • OpenStack-compatible northbound interface for provisioning
  • Open interfaces with SDN & NFV environments (OpenFlow, SDN standards, IETF, SFC)
  • Carrier-grade high performance and availability
  • Support for legacy applications to ensure a smooth migration between existing and future architectures

Ericsson Intros 200W DC/DC Module for RF

Ericsson introduced a new 200W DC/DC converter module for radio-frequency power amplifier (RFPA) applications and supplying the voltage to power transistors that are used in new generation of integrated radio amplifiers that use semiconductor technologies such as Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor (LDMOS).

Ericsson said its new eighth-brick formant offers ultra-wide adjustable output voltage from 15 to 33V, which makes it possible to power a wide range of power transistors and also reducing voltages when the RF power amplifier has been into sleep mode, thereby decreasing power consumption. It delivers power up to 200W and an output current up to 6.67A.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

ON.Lab's Open SDN Project Adds SK Tel and Cisco as Members

Cisco and SK Telecom will join ON.Lab's Open Source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS) for service providers. Founding members of the community include AT&T, NTT Communications, Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel and NEC.  Additional contributing members include ONF, Infoblox, SRI, Black Duck, Internet2, GARR, CNIT and Create-Net.

ONOS is a carrier-grade SDN network operating system for service provider networks architected to provide high availability, scalability, performance, and rich northbound and southbound abstractions. Cisco and SK Telecom join founding members who are funding and contributing to the ONOS initiative including:

"The successful launch of ONOS marks an important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the network infrastructure with SDN," said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ON.Lab. "Adding Cisco and SK Telecom as contributing partners significantly strengthens the ONOS community and drives our ongoing mission to bring openness and innovation to the Internet and Cloud for the public good."

"We encourage the increased adoption of open source SDN solutions with developers and end-customers, and are supportive of industry initiatives that promote an open environment," said David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect at Cisco. "We are focused on collaborating with the ONOS community, to foster more innovation and advances in networking application platforms to grow the developer community for networking."

"SDN and network virtualization hold great promise for mobile carriers," said Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO and Executive Vice President at SK Telecom. "As mobile subscribers tend to be younger and have always-on access to their devices, we often see the demand for new use cases and services come from mobile markets first, creating vast business opportunities. The promise of open source SDN to deliver true cloud-like benefits to the network such as scale, automation, programmability, flexibility and service agility will enable us to meet the rapidly evolving demands of this sector."

ON.Lab also disclosed another significant milestone: 1,000 software downloads globally since its code was made publicly available on December 5, 2014.


OIF's FlexEthernet Aims for Incremental Speeds

The Optical Internetworking Forum has launched a FlexEthernet project that will pave the way for Ethernet to more efficiently use optical link bandwidth.

FlexEthernet will support Ethernet speeds in between and beyond the fixed speeds currently defined.  It will do so by building upon the OIF’s multi-link gearbox (MLG) work that addresses multi-lane configuration.

A new FlexEthernet toolkit provides channelization, bonding and sub-rate functionality to connect one or more Ethernet MACs using standard Ethernet PMDs between equipment, either directly or through transport links.

“Ethernet connections between routers or transport gear needs to be flexible by providing incremental increases in bandwidth,” said Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity and the OIF’s Technical Committee chair.  “The proposed FlexEthernet toolkit bridges the gap between previous, current and next-gen rates.

The OIF said its recent quarterly meeting also brought progress on its SDN Framework, a technical white paper identifying components and interfaces requiring standardization to provide a cohesive SDN app development framework designed around Web 2.0 technologies. Members also made progress on developing implementation agreements for SDN APIs addressing Topology, Service Request, Connection Request and Path Computation.

“The OIF is ahead of the industry in identifying specific work that needs to be done to bring SDN to fruition,” said Jonathan Sadler, Coriant and the OIF’s Technical Committee vice chair.   “The API documents are the outcome of the prototype SDN demonstration that took place late last year.  We have motivated, enthusiastic members working hard to finalize these APIs for service provider deployment.”

Members of the Physical and Link Layer Working group held a one-day interim meeting in addition to their usual three-day meeting discussing PAM4 and NRZ specifications as they continued work on the multiple CEI-56G projects.   The CEI-56G development work will increase the data rates by a factor of two over the data rate of CEI-28G while also defining new application spaces.  The group will hold another interim meeting before the Q2 meeting in April.

Bell Labs Quantifies Benefits of IP/Optical Control Integration

Network operators who use converged IP and optical transport technologies can significantly ease the burden being placed on their infrastructure by demands for capacity caused by the explosion of bandwidth-hungry applications, according to a study by Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent.

The study found that by converging routing and optical transport technologies operators can meet the same requirements for service availability while using up to 40% less network resources, such as 100G router ports and optical transponders.

Some key findings:

  • An integrated resiliency strategy saves costs while still guaranteeing network and service availability
  • Introducing protection for the optical layer based on GMPLS (Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching) allows service providers to meet the same availability levels achieved by routing protection methods based on MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), with total savings up to 40% on router ports and optical transponders over a five year period.
  • The combination of IP and optical transport layer protection with a GMPLS user network interface (UNI) allows service providers to accelerate these savings by freeing up a third of deployed network capacity and provide headroom for two years of traffic growth.

The key recommendations for service providers:

  • Introduce an Agile Optical Network with a dynamic GMPLS control plane
  • Extend optical transport layer control to the IP routing layer with GMPLS UNI
  • Provide open, programmable Software Defined Network (SDN) interfaces based on open standards

"We know network traffic continues to increase exponentially, especially with new Cloud applications and ‘the rise of the machines’ on the horizon. This study provides the foundation for what will be a deep look into new optimized, network architectures and infrastructure,” stated Ben Tang, a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs.

Level 3 Offers DDoS Mitigation Service with 4.5 Tbps Ingest

Level 3 Communications introduced a new DDoS Mitigation Service that provides protection closer to the network edge.

The Level 3 DDoS Mitigation Service leverages the carrier's vast DDoS ingest capacity, 4.5 terabits per second, to predict and detect malicious attacks, alert customers and quickly re-route traffic to defend their critical data infrastructures. Infected packets are routed to one of Level 3's globally located scrubbing centers before being returned via a private connection or the public Internet. The global service provides enhanced network routing, rate limiting and IP filtering alongside a network-based detection and mitigation scrubbing solution.

Level 3 said the combination of its expansive network, which provides extensive attack traffic visibility, and the service's ability to work on both Level 3 and on third-party networks provides a clear differentiator in the marketplace for customers. The vast level of visibility comes from the company's Content Delivery Network (CDN), IP and Domain Name System (DNS) networks. The addition of Level 3's threat analysis capabilities and managed security services enable it to assist enterprises in building a strong security posture to address today's complex threat landscape.

"Throughout my tenure in the cybersecurity business, I have never seen such an accelerated and sophisticated cyber threat landscape – and attacks will only continue to grow in frequency, size and complexity," said Chris Richter, senior vice president of managed security services at Level 3. "Level 3 has leveraged its global network infrastructure and managed security services with leading detection and mitigation technologies to provide our customers with a truly advanced layer of defense against these evolving exploits."

Alcatel-Lucent Intros 10G TWDM-PON

Alcatel-Lucent is looking to bring down the cost of TWDM-PON (Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks) by allowing different types of optics to be used.  Currently, TWDM-PON requires new optics capable of providing four tunable 10 Gbps wavelengths.

Alcatel-Lucent's new ‘Universal TWDM’ solution enables operators to initially deploy one non-tunable 10 Gbps wavelength and easily add more pluggable as demand grows, providing a smooth upgrade to full TWDM without the need to replace network components, evaluate new technology, or reconfigure operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS).

"The primary obstacle for deploying new ultra-broadband infrastructure and services is the business case. Universal TWDM is Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative solution to this challenge. We are enabling operators to build upon their existing fiber investments while bringing down the total cost of ownership of TWDM technology. This means they can immediately address new high-revenue opportunities for gigabit services while knowing that their investment is future-proof,” stated Federico GuillĂ©n, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Access Business Line.

The company noted that Universal TWDM and full TWDM-PON can co-exist with current PON technology. Alcaltel-Lucent also estimates that Universal TWDM will have a similar cost as established 10 Gbps technologies, such as XG-PON.

  • In October 2014, Alcatel-Lucent introduced the industry’s first TWDM-PON (Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks), a new fixed, ultra-broadband access technology for scaling the capacity of existing fiber networks. TWDM-PON uses four wavelengths per fiber, giving a total capacity of 40 Gbps. An operator can choose to deliver different services over each wavelength, enabling residential, business and mobile backhaul services to be carried over a single fiber. TWDM-PON technology is supported by Alcatel-Lucent‘s 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager FX solution.  The company is introducing a new 4-port TWDM-PON line card and optical network unit supporting 10Gbps symmetrical bitrate. Products will be available in the first quarter of 2015.  Alcatel-Lucent and Vodafone have been co-developing TWDM-PON since 2010 as a potential successor to GPON. During this time, the companies have contributed to its standardization and completed a successful trial. Significantly, TWDM-PON can co-exist with current PON systems.

Alcatel-Lucent: Mobile Infection Rate at 0.68% Worldwide

An estimated 16 million mobile devices worldwide have been infected by malware, according to a new study from Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Security Labs.

The Motive Security Labs report – which looked at all popular mobile device platforms - found that such malware infections in mobile devices increased 25% in 2014, compared to a 20% increase in 2013. Android devices have now caught up with Windows laptops, which had been the primary workhorse of cybercrime, with infection rates between Android and Windows devices split 50/50 in 2014. While less than 1% of infections come from iPhone and Blackberry smartphones, new vulnerabilities emerged last year to show they are not immune to malware threats.

Some highlights of the Motive Security Lab:

  • The mobile infection rate in 2014 is 0.68%. Based on this Alcatel-Lucent estimates that worldwide, about 16 million mobile devices are infected by malware.
  • Mobile malware is increasing in sophistication with more robust command and control protocols
  • Mobile spyware, used to spy on a phone’s owner, is also on the increase. It tracks the phone’s location, monitors ingoing and outgoing calls, text messages, e-mail and tracks web browsing.
  • The overall monthly infection rate in residential fixed broadband networks is just under 14%. This is up substantially from the 9% seen in 2013. This is mostly attributable to an increase in infections by moderate threat level adware.
  • High-level threats such as ‘bots’, ‘rootkits’, and ‘banking trojans’ remain steady at around 5%.
  • The Motive Security Labs report also noted in 2014 an increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks using network infrastructure components such as home routers, DSL modems, cable modems, mobile WiFi™ hotspots, DNS servers and NTP servers. Additionally, the first DDOS attacks launched from mobile phones took place, suggesting how so-called ‘hactivism’ movements against the mobile infrastructure might be launched in the future.

“With malware attacks on devices steadily rising with consumer ultra-broadband usage, the impact on customer experience becomes a primary concern for service providers,” said Patrick Tan, General Manager of Network Intelligence at Alcatel-Lucent. “As a result, we’re seeing more operators take a proactive approach to this problem by providing services that alert subscribers to malware on their devices along with self-help instructions for removing it.”

Facebook Brings Free Mobile Data Services to India's Reliance Subscribers

Facebook will make available free basic mobile data connectivity in India to mobile subscribers of Reliance Communications.

Reliance customers in six Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Mahararashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana) will now have access to more than three dozen services ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information via the Android app.

Some of the services include:

  • Aaj Tak: Read news in Hindi
  • AccuWeather: Get updated weather information
  • Read news in Hindi
  • AP Speaks: Engage with local government
  • Babajob: Search for jobs
  • BabyCenter & MAMA: Learn about pregnancy and childcare
  • BBC News: Read news from around the world
  • Bing Search: Find information
  • Cleartrip: Check train and flight schedules & buy tickets
  • Facebook: Communicate with friends and family
  • Internet Basics: Learn about the basics of the Internet
  • Messenger: Send messages to friends and family
  • NDTV: Read news
  • TimesJobs: Search for jobs
  • Translator: Translate words and phrases
  • Wikipedia: Find information

Nokia Networks and Coriant Team on Mobile Backhaul Demo

Nokia Networks and Coriant are teaming up at Mobile World Congress to demonstrate a mobile backhaul Proof of Concept that combines advanced analytics and software defined networking (SDN).  The goal is to create programmable, self-aware networks that assure an optimal service experience end-to-end by automatically adapting the network to the traffic. The companies estimate that the same level of experience can be achieved with 20% less transport infrastructure than is needed in today’s networks.

The demo will feature:
  • Nokia’s SON technology
  • Coriant 8600 Smart Routers
  • Coriant SDN controller
  • Nokia LTE base stations
  • Nokia System Architecture Evolution (SAE) gateway
“This Proof of Concept is the first of its kind to provide a fully automated capability for self-configuration and self-optimization of multi-vendor mobile backhaul networks using SDN as the management layer. It is a major step towards teaching networks to be self-aware and realizing our Technology Vision 2020. It also reduces total cost of transmitting each bit by making transport networks intelligent enough to take network planning and daily operational decisions in the most cost-effective way on their own,” stated Hossein Moiin, Executive Vice President and CTO at Nokia Networks.

Broadband Forum Hosts Plugfest at UNH-IOL

The Broadband Forum hosted seven companies implementing chipsets based on the ITU-T’s new specifications at the first industry plug-fest, which was conducted at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) on January 26-30.

The ITU-T’s G.9701 ( specification was approved this past December, designed to provide broadband connection speeds of up to 1Gbps over a single twisted pair cable, meeting the ever increasing demands of applications in the home and business around the world.

The plugfest marked the first time implementations of the ITU-T specification came together to test with one another, to ensure deployed products will be interoperable from “day one.” Broadcom, HiSilicon, Ikanos, Lantiq, Metanoia, Realtek, and Sckipio all participated in the event with their chipset platforms. Sparnex Instruments also participated in the event, providing a copper loop simulator.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cyan Packs 800 Gbps in 1RU for Cloud Data Center Interconnect

Cyan unveiled its N-Series Open Hyperscale Transport Platform (OHTP), a new family of high-density, high-capacity transport products designed for the rapidly growing need of cloud and providers to deploy large numbers of 100G connections between data centers over campus or metro regional distances.

Cyan is using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) silicon and photonic components combined with an open, carrier-grade Linux network operating system in a modular shelf.  The company says this approach will appeal to data center operators who need an easy-to-deploy platform supporting many 100Gs in limited rack space. Unlike traditional optical transport solutions that are vertically integrated, the modular and COTS-based N-Series architecture will enable the platform to fully leverage advances in best-in-breed optical networking technologies and standards as they emerge to
further increase performance and reduce costs. Cyan expects the market for 100G components will gain momentum. The slim form factor enables a "rack and stack" for scaling data center interconnect (DCI) capacity.

The carrier-grade Linux network operating system (NOS), called Cyan Linux, can leverage Linux applications and facilitate rapid integration of third party applications. Cyan believes cloud and content companies will find this familiar to managing their compute resources.

The first member of Cyan's N-Series family is the modular N11, which packs 800 Gbps of total line and client capacity in one rack unit (1RU), or up to 34 Tbps in a seven-foot rack. The N11 is focused on transponding and 100G client interfaces and also supports selectable 200G coherent line interfaces. It can also be paired with Cyan’s Z-Series 96-channel ROADM to drive up to 19.2Tbps on a single fiber and enables Cyan's SDN capabilities.

“Cloud services, video, Big Data and social media are all contributing to a massive surge in data center and cloud traffic,” said Mike Hatfield, president, Cyan. “The N-Series’ COTS-based and modular architecture addresses this need and will significantly reduce the cost of high-capacity optical transport when compared to traditional approaches while eliminating the vendor lock-in and complexity typically associated with proprietary, vertically integrated solutions. The N-Series will further expand Cyan’s addressable market within the cloud and content space and will fully interoperate with our Z-Series packet-optical platforms, which are optimized for metro and regional services and transport.”

Cisco Builds Momentum - Q2 Revenue at $11.9 Billion, up 7%

Cisco reported stronger than expected second quarter revenue of $11.9 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.4 billion or $0.46 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.7 billion or $0.53 per share.

"Our Q2 results reflect continued progress as we transform Cisco to become the #1 IT company. In the quarter we grew revenues by 7%, with strong EPS growth, and saw the best balance of growth across all our geographies, products, and segments. We delivered this strong performance despite a volatile economic environment," stated Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers. "Our strong momentum is the direct result of how well we have managed our company transformation over the last three plus years and our leadership position in the key technology transitions of cloud, mobility, big data, security, collaboration, and the Internet of Everything. Every nation, every company, everything is becoming digitized and the network is at the center of this transformation."

Highlights for quarter:

  • Sales in US grew 7% y/y…compared with 3% y/y in Q1
  • Sales in Latin America returned to double digit growth up 12% y/y, with sales in Mexico up 21% y/y
  • Sales in EMEA were up 7% y/y, with UK up 17% y/y, Germany up 12% y/y and Southern Europe up 20% y/y
  • Sales in India grew 11% y/y 
  • Sales in China dropped 19% y/y
  • Gross margins remain stable in switching.
  • Sales of Nexus 3K and 9K switches grew 350% y/y. The Nexus 9K data center switch passed the 1 million installed ports mark 
  • Cisco now has approximately 1,700 Nexus 9K and ACI customers, up from 970 in Q1.  APIC customers grew to over 300. Chambers said Cisco is pulling ahead of its competitors in SDN because market is "seeing benefits of ACI" especially powerpoints of aspirational competitors. Chambers says APIC and ACI will become cornerstone of next-gen architecture.
  • UCS sales have reached over $3B revenue run rate…over 41,000 customers incl. 85% of Fortune 500 
  • High end routing sales were up 5% y/y
  • Wireless sales grew 18% y/y, with Meraki’s cloud networking business up 100% y/y. Chambers said the Meraki group is on a stellar growth path with a annual run rate of $400 million.
  • Collaboration solution sales grew 10% y/y, with deferred Collaboration revenue up 26% y/y 
  • Cisco's Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.21 per common share, a two-cent increase over the previous quarter's dividend.
  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments were $53.0 billion at the end of the second quarter.