Monday, January 18, 2016

Blueprint: 2016 Predictions -- Big Guns and Long Tails

by Michael Murphy, CTO for North America, Nokia Networks

In 2014, I suggested that 2015 would be an inflection point due to the start of serious 5G activity and the start of cloud based deployments , which together had the potential to fundamentally change the telecom industry. So what really happened and what’s up for 2016?


5G did of course progress throughout the year, but perhaps the biggest news came in September. At the CTIA event, Verizon threw down the gauntlet (as did Nokia), and challenged the industry to deliver pre-standard solutions in 2017 just ahead of Korea’s 2018 Olympics and Japan’s 2020 Olympics. With that, we now have the big three (USA, Korea, Japan) having established lines in the sand. The 3GPP R13 meeting held in September also kicked off discussions on 5G with a preliminary view of timelines and study items, which was followed by the WRC15 meeting in November that looked at cmWave and mmWave candidates for WRC19. With those, we can say 5G work has started, formally.

And how about commercial cloud deployments?  It’s true they did start in 2015; however, this was typically for single network functions like new EPC or IMS installations. What’s coming in 2016 and 2017 will be more of the same, but with the result being multi-function cloud networks; and that’s really where the long sought after agility, OPEX and CAPEX gains will start to come. The reason is that clouds don’t really bring substantive change without scale. However, even with these early steps, the change to a horizontal purchasing model has started, where operators buy hardware, stacks, and VNFs, independently. That’s big.

Time will tell if these predicted inflection points will result in truly fundamental change going forward, but I do think so.


Looking forward into 2016, we can see these two big guns continuing, two new ones starting, and a few long tails. These will be very interesting developments indeed.

Regarding 5G, with 3GPP work started, and lines in the sand established, the race is now on to develop pre-standard systems that can be applied to limited use cases. Proof of Concept systems that exist today will evolve, mature, and begin early field trials in 2016. The challenges are immense. Chipsets, CPEs, antennas, wireless backhaul, frequency selection, propagation and penetration considerations, are just a small list of hurdles ahead. All of this will happen in parallel to standards being developed. It’s a race, and an ultra-marathon one at that.

Cloud computing will continue to progress towards the new normal by 2017, and there are parts that are predictable and parts that are still being defined. With the realization of increasingly dense, complex, and stringent transport requirements, there’s an invigorating discussion underway between several large operators and vendors on how to best use SDN, and employ strict control / user plane separation to both simplify and automate transport connectivity. We expect some large architectural changes to come out of those discussions, with baby steps showing up in 2016.

Are there any new big guns? Yes. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a wonderful buzzword that encapsulates more or less everything, and for that reason is hard to get a grip on at times. More practically though, in the wireless 3GPP world, it has come down to a single standard that is hotly debated, referred to as narrowband IoT, or NB-IoT, a 200KHz solution. It has LTE and clean slate alternatives being considered, with closure on the UL/DL selections expected at the next R13 RAN meeting in December. There is also a wider band LTE-M solution with a 1.4MHz carrier. Together, they could be loosely called high and low end solutions for cellular IoT. They will provide a foundation for the development of low cost chipsets that will enable the cellular industry to better compete with the dominant, lower cost, somewhat proprietary systems that exist today. It’s what many have been waiting for. That’s a big gun.

Finally, 3.5GHz. It’s hard to imagine how a frequency used by the U.S. Department of Defense could impact all of telecom, maybe forever - but it will. With the FCC’s announcement of the spectrum sharing rules for 3.5GHz, a paradigm has been set that may be applied to all future auctions. It’s a grand experiment with one of far reaching consequences. The associated WINN Forum also recently produced a technical report on the SAS to user (AP) interface. Combined, these set the stage for a new way of using spectrum that includes a general access option, permitting new operators to enter the telecom market in a cost effective way. In short, the 3.5GHz rules both change how spectrum is used and who can use it. It’s most certainly a big gun in the U.S., and one that could spill into other global regulatory regions. We expect products to start showing up in 2016.

So four big guns. And now for the long tails. In this case, I use the term to mean increments on top of larger bases, but this by no means implies they will be small or unprofitable, in fact, quite the opposite.

Virtual RAN is the first, and we refer to it as our Radio Cloud Architecture. As we virtualize the core, the obvious next step has always been to virtualize the radio access network. While more challenging due to real-time processing demands and latency constraints, it is doable and will happen. Through most of 2015, vendors investigated the best architectural solutions to implement practical virtual RAN solutions. For Nokia, that phase has completed and we are now firmly on a path of execution. Proof of Concept systems that have been around since 2014 will now evolve towards commercial systems in 2016. Note the timing. If we imagine that Radio Cloud systems start in 2016, and the first 5G systems shortly thereafter, would it not make sense to combine the two? Or putting it another way, will all 5G RANs be virtualized? Excellent question and one we are all actively considering.
As for other long tails, a couple of other technologies have silently been worked over the last couple of years that will start to see their pay days in 2016.

First, LTE-U (or LAA) and LWA, which are, put simply, the coupling of LTE and unlicensed spectrum to provide a better user experience. Also hotly debated due to perceived impacts to the Wi-Fi industry, products will come to fruition in 2016. The impact to users will be gains in terms of downlink throughput, and to operators the ability to take advantage of the large 2.4GHz and 5GHz free spectrum blocks. That in turn may be one tool of many to help support new data offers, like unlimited streaming of content that looks like it has just landed in the U.S. But we shouldn’t limit this long tail to just LTE coupling to Wi-Fi. Multiple Service Operators (MSOs) such as cable operators also have an interest in offering unlicensed voice and data solutions. With improvements in VoWi-Fi and authentication simplifications that come from HotSpot 2.0, MSO infringement into telecom territory will continue.

Secondly, how about those Small Cells? There’s been talk for years about adding tens of thousands of Small Cells to existing macro networks, but never really happened to the levels expected. That may be about to change in 2016. The reason is that products are getting better (with things like dual-band, Carrier Aggregation and LTE-U being the norm now), and more attention is being been put on the total solution. With a greater focus on permitting, wireless backhaul, different power levels, pole heights, and fiber and power access, once prohibitive cost levels are starting to drop. In addition, there’s a growing recognition that Small Cells are a highly effective and complementary part of one’s toolkit for designing networks from the start, and not only as an after-thought. It’s hard to say if we are at a global tipping point yet, but certainly, we envision a huge upswing in 2016 for both outdoor and indoor systems.

The Package

With four big guns and three long tails, 2016 will prove to be a very interesting time indeed for the industry, where new technologies will start to dominate the historically somewhat flat and predictable patterns of the past. Whenever there is change and disruption, there are winners and losers, on both the vendor and operator sides. With the mergers and acquisitions and partnering setups we’ve seen over the last few months, it’s clear that everyone is getting ready for the war by getting access to the right weapons. Who will win and who will lose may not be fully determined in 2016, but big guns and long tails are things to watch.

About the Author

Michael Murphy is CTO for North America, Nokia Networks. Prior to joining Nokia, Mike was the former head of WCDMA development for Nortel Networks. He has a master’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He has lived in Turkey, China, Korea, France, Canada, Japan, Thailand, and is now based in Irving, Texas.

Got an idea for a Blueprint column?  We welcome your ideas on next gen network architecture.
See our guidelines.

Ericsson to Acquire FYI Television for Content Metadata

Ericsson agreed to acquire FYI Television, which provides entertainment metadata and rich media content to broadcasters. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FYI Television, which is based in Grand Prairie, Texas, accumulates and distributes TV entertainment content and linear scheduling data from over 9,000 TV networks daily, aggregating the information into customized formats for various digital, media, content, analytics and print clients for use on their connected devices such as tablets, phones, desktops, internet portals and gaming consoles. FYI's databases contains more than 2.8 million cast and crew related entities, 1.5 million images directly relating to specific program titles, celebrities and stations, including logos, seasonal key art, movie posters and iconic stills.

FYI Television's employees will join Business Line Broadcast & Media Services, part of Ericsson's Business Unit Global Services, with the acquisition expected to close in Q1 2016.

"As the TV industry evolves and viewing behavior changes, we believe that high-quality, rich metadata will be a key component for a personalized TV experience. Combined with our capabilities in TV platforms and content discovery, we will be able to help our customers to improve the video experience and identify new revenue opportunities. FYI Television's expertise and customer base in the US is a great complementary fit for Ericsson and will be an integral part of our growth strategy. It will strengthen our position as one of the leading providers of media services in the world," stated Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services at Ericsson.

Ericsson noted that it is already the largest provider of content discovery services in Europe, delivering metadata, images, search and recommendations on more than 3,000 TV channels in over 30 languages. Every year, Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services distributes more than 2.7 million hours of programming in more than 90 languages for more than 500 TV channels worldwide. In addition, we provide more than 200,000 hours of captioning each year - 80,000 hours of which is live.

  • Ericsson recently established a US broadcast and media services hub based in Atlanta, Georgia. The company currently provides closed captioning services to broadcasters around the world from this hub, with plans to roll out video description services over the coming months.

Telstra Tests Infinera's Advanced Coherent Toolkit on 9,000km Cable

Telstra has validated Infinera's Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT) for super-channels.

This new technology will cover the Telstra Endeavour subsea cable stretching 9,000 kilometers between Sydney, Australia and Oahu, Hawaii and extract the maximum capacity from subsea and long haul terrestrial cable systems carrying super-channels -- whether for new large area fibers or existing cables.

In trials on a range of next-generation super-channel coherent modulation technologies conducted late last year, two unique super-channel based capabilities were successfully demonstrated in the trial -- Nyquist subcarriers and Soft Decision Forward Error Correction (SD-FEC) gain sharing.

Infinera said the trial validated the benefit of Nyquist subcarriers that have been shown in other studies to offer around a 20 percent increase in reach compared to single carrier transmission. In addition, the trial validated SD-FEC gain sharing in which carriers with the highest performance can be paired with carriers with lower Optical Signal to Noise Ratio (OSNR) to improve performance.

Other capabilities demonstrated as part of this trial include a new Matrix Enhanced Phase Shift Keying (ME-PSK) modulation technique that handily surpasses Binary Phase Shift Key (BPSK) reach performance; and the new, high-gain SD-FEC algorithm.

"The comprehensive modulation and compensation techniques in our Advanced Coherent Toolkit enable individual carriers and subcarriers in the super-channel to maximize the overall reach and capacity of the customer's fiber," said Scott Jackson, VP of Infinera's Subsea Business Group. "For example, leveraging these techniques allows cables that previously could only support BPSK to move to higher modulation formats in the future, or support a mix of formats across carriers and subcarriers, for increased fiber capacity and a better return on the asset. This next generation of coherent technology has the potential to dramatically extend the useful life for existing cable systems while also improving the performance of new cables."

PCCW Global Signs Onto Aqua Comm's Transatlantic Cable

PCCW Global, the international operating division of Hong Kong's HKT, plans to deliver transatlantic capacity on Aqua Comms’ America Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea fiber optic cable system, which will enable PCCW Global to obtain additional route diversity.

With more than 52 Tbps of available capacity, the AEConnect system utilizes innovative optical technologies, including the latest technology of 130 x 100 Gbps per fiber pair.

Mr. Greg Varisco, Chief Operations Officer of Aqua Comms, said, “Aqua Comms is pleased that Aqua Comms_final logo_RGBPCCW Global has selected AEConnect, our next-generation fiber optic cable system, to provide low latency and high capacity connectivity for its transatlantic backbone network between its New York and London Points of Presence. Offering diversity between two of its major international hubs, this highly secure and technologically advanced transatlantic system is also future-proofed against increased capacity requirements, a demand that only AEConnect, and not legacy systems, could satisfy.”

AlohaNAP Offers Private Connections to Big Cloud Providers

The AlohaNAP data center in Kapolei, Hawaii is now offering Level 3 IP and Fiber Services as well as their Cloud Connect service to securely connect their data center infrastructure to over 30 global cloud services, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, with faster speeds and greater reliability.

"Level 3 Cloud Connect Platform allows AlohaNAP to provide our enterprise customers a secure private connection to the leading cloud providers in the world," states Robert DeVita, Chief Sales Officer at AlohaNAP. "Whether organizations are connecting to a public cloud based in the mainland United States or extending a hybrid cloud to servers hosted at AlohaNAP, Cloud Connect ensures critical data and applications are always online."

The state of the art AlohaNAP data center in Kapolei opened in early 2015. The facility offers carrier-neutral connections to both global and local fiber providers, and satellite connectivity to over 40 different satellites.

Qualcomm Seeks Server Partner in China's Guizhou Province

Qualcomm signed a strategic cooperation agreement with officials from the People’s Government of Guizhou Province and unveiled a joint venture –  the Guizhou Huaxintong Semi-Conductor Technology Co., which will focus on the design, development and sale of advanced server chipset technology in China.

The joint venture, with initial registered capital of RMB 1.85 billion (approx. $280 million USD), will be 55 percent owned by the Guizhou provincial government’s investment arm and 45 percent owned by a subsidiary of Qualcomm.

In addition, Qualcomm also will establish an investment company in Guizhou that will serve as a vehicle for future investments in China. The overarching agreement establishes a long-term commitment between the two parties to work closely together to identify and pursue business opportunities in the province.

“This server technology joint venture is a win-win scenario for Qualcomm and our Guizhou partner and will yield mutual benefits for both sides as we together pursue a very large data center opportunity in China,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager, Qualcomm Datacenter Group, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

First Day of Combined Nokia + ALU

On January 15, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent marked their first day of combined operations.

"Nokia has gone through a fundamental transformation," said Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors. "Over 99% of our more than 100 000 employees did not carry a Nokia badge just three short years ago. Our earnings, market cap and growth opportunities have multiplied. We have a powerful guiding vision of the Programmable World, an extremely capable management team and a strong ambition to innovate and lead. We move forward with excitement, confidence and an ability to continue to challenge the status quo."

Nokia President and CEO, Rajeev Suri, continued: "Today's pace of technological change, driven by the transition to 5G, the Internet of Things and the cloud, is demanding extraordinary new capabilities from the network. Combining with Alcatel-Lucent comes at just the right time: we can align our product and technology roadmaps for the next generation of network technology at the outset, allowing us to take full advantage of the coming opportunities and better serve customers including communication service providers, governments, internet players and large enterprises. Nokia has the global scale, innovation muscle and end-to-end portfolio to lead this change, and ultimately expand the human possibilities of the connected world."

Nokia is an innovation powerhouse with some 40 000 R&D professionals, a combined pro forma R&D spend in 2014 of EUR 4.2 billion and a world-leading intellectual property portfolio. Nokia is combining its own proud R&D heritage with the unrivalled history of Bell Labs, which has been awarded 8 Nobel prizes over its lifetime, together creating around 31 000 patent families. The combined company also has a strong financial base from which to grow and invest. On a 2014 pro forma basis, the combined company would have had net sales of EUR 24.7 billion and a non-IFRS operating profit of EUR 2.3 billion; as of June 30, 2015, pro forma combined net cash stood at EUR 8.1 billion.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Equinix Adds 40+ Data Centers in Europe viaTelecity Acquisition

Equinix completed its acquisition of TelecityGroup plc, more than doubling its data center capacity in Europe and fortifying its position as the largest retail colocation provider in the region. The deal was valued at approximately $3.8 billion (compromised of $1.7 billion in cash and the issuance of approximately 6.8 million shares of Equinix common stock valued at approximately $2.1 billion).

Equinix said the TelecityGroup acquisition adds 40+ data centers in key European markets, while also adding critical network and cloud density to better serve enterprise customers who see interconnection as a core IT design principle and are increasingly moving to highly interconnected, global data centers for accelerated business performance and innovation.  Specifically,  Equinix will add data center facilities in Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Sweden and Turkey.  Telecity also brings more than 1,000 net new customers to Equinix, including more than 200 network and mobility companies and more than 300 cloud and IT services companies.

"Today is a very important day for Equinix as we close the acquisition of Telecity, which is a significant milestone in our 17-year history. By increasing the scale of the Equinix interconnection platform in key markets throughout Europe, we are able to better serve global enterprises while creating meaningful shareholder value," stated Steve Smith, president and CEO, Equinix.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Taoglas Opens Antenna & RF Design Center in San Diego

Taoglas has opened a fully-equipped, design and test center in San Diego for companies building wirelessly-connected M2M and IoT applications.

The new Taoglas IoTx Center offers two CTIA-calibrated anechoic chambers, and includes a custom antenna and RF cable assembly facility, expanded development and office space as well as a well-equipped, sound-proofed customer lounge area. Taoglas said it plans to increase its San Diego staff by 50% this year and expects to double that in the next three years.

“This kind of open-door policy is rare in the antenna and wireless device testing business,” explained Dermot O'Shea, president of Taoglas USA. “We have expanded our engineering team, added more test equipment and now have two chambers here to increase design and test capacity. As well as being able to prototype antennas and PCB’s etc we can test the antenna and devices in operation on site to ensure they work reliably in the real world. We have also now added an antenna and cable assembly operation so we can quickly produce antenna and custom RF cable orders here in San Diego. Quite often customers require products in a few days rather than weeks and we have now facilitated that demand with this new move.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Blueprint: What’s in Store for the Database in 2016?

by Roger Levy, VP of Product at MariaDB

In 2015, CIOs focused on DevOps and similar technologies such as containers as a way to improve time to value. During 2016, greater attention will be focused on data analytics and data management as a way to improve the timeliness and quality of business decisions. How best to store and manage data is on the minds of most CIOs as they kick off the New Year. It’s exciting to see that databases, which underlie every app and enterprise on the planet, are now back in the spotlight. Here’s what organizations anticipate for next year.

Securing your data at multiple layers
2015 saw every type of organization, from global retailers to the Catholic Church, experience financial losses and reputation damage from data breaches. Security has long been a concern of CIOs, but the growing frequency of high-profile attacks and new regulations make data protection a critical 2016 priority for businesses, governments, and non-profit organizations.

Organizations can no longer rely on just a firewall to protect your data. Amidst a myriad of threats, a robust security regimen requires multiple levels of protection including network access, firewalls, disk-level encryption, identity management, anti-phishing education, and so forth. Ultimately, hackers want access to the contents of an enterprise's database, so securing the database itself must be a core component of every organization’s IT strategy.

Prudent software development teams will use database technology with native encryption to protect data as it resides in the database, and SSL encryption to protect data as it moves between applications. They also will control access to the database with stronger password validation and a variety of access authorization levels based on a user’s role. Of course organizations can’t kick back and rely on software alone; they still have to hold themselves accountable via regular audits and testing.

Migrating to the cloud 
With the recent revenue announcements by public cloud providers such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, it is clear that adoption of public cloud services is becoming mainstream. But they may never fully replace on-premise data storage. While the cloud offers greater scalability and flexibility, better business continuity, disaster recovery, and capital cost savings, for economic and security reasons companies continue to optimize a mix of public and private cloud and traditional on-premise data management solutions.

Managing data across multiple environments also presents challenges. Navigating the myriad of data privacy regulations across the globe, integrating applications and data across private and public infrastructures, and managing latency issues are a few of the challenges organizations face in their migration to the cloud. Enter the hybrid cloud where IT organizations are achieving the best of today’s cloud solutions – traditional data storage, private cloud and public cloud benefits.

In 2016, we’ll likely see hybrid clouds experiencing a surge in popularity as an alternative to either a public or a private cloud solution. Greater focus will be applied to developing solutions that improve migration to hybrid cloud infrastructures for overall security and efficiency, as well as instances such as cloud bursting when bandwidth demand spikes or disaster recovery by replicating databases in the cloud as backups.

Multi-model databases 
The variety, velocity and volume of data is exploding.  Every minute we send over 200 million emails and over 300 thousand tweets. Already by 2013, 90% of the world's data had been created in two years. But size is not everything. Not only have the volume and velocity of data increased, there is also an increasing variety of formats of data that organizations are collecting, storing and processing.

While different data models have different needs in terms of insert and read rates, query rates and data set size, companies are getting tired of the complexity of juggling different databases. Next year will kick off an increased trend toward data platforms which offer “polyglot persistence” – the ability to handle multiple data models within a single database. The demand for multi-model databases is exploding as Structured Query Language (SQL) relational data from existing applications and connected devices must be processed along-side JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) documents, unstructured data, graph data, geospatial and other forms of data generated in social media, customer interactions, and machine to machine communications.

Growth in applying machine learning
With the rapid growth in the type and volume of data being created and collected comes the opportunity for enterprises to mine that data for valuable information and insights into their business and their customers. As IT recruiters know well, more and more companies are employing specialist “data scientists” to introduce and implement machine learning technologies. But the number of experts in this field simply isn’t growing fast enough, and this rarity makes hiring a data scientist cost-prohibitive for most companies. In fact, the US alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data, according to McKinsey & Company. In response, organizations are turning to machine learning tools that enable all of their employees to derive insights without needing to rely on specialists. Just as crucial as collecting data is the need to understand what lies in a company’s database and how it can be turned into valuable insights.

Recently the major public cloud vendors have introduced a variety of offerings to provide machine learning services. These include offers such as Azure ML Studio from Microsoft, the Google Prediction API, Amazon Machine Learning and IBM’s Watson Analytics. We can expect that 2016 will be a year when additional solutions appear and mature, and are recognized as a critical, possibly required, piece of enterprise IT operations. The growth of machine learning will place new demands on databases which store and manage the data “fuel” for such applications.  In 2016, look for a focus on database capabilities that facilitate real-time analytical processing of large data sets.

What can IT personnel do?
With the recent rise of the Chief Data Officer, the widespread adoption of new database technologies, and the acute need for better IT security, the database is back in the spotlight. A CIO’s best bet for staying on top of these new trends in 2016 will be the same strategy as in years past, laying down clear policies for who can access data and what it gets used for, all the while staying on top of new technologies and new threats targeting the integrity of a company’s data.

About the Author

Roger Levy brings extensive international, engineering and business leadership experience to his role as VP, Products, at MariaDB. He has a proven track record of growing businesses, transforming organizations and fostering innovation in the areas of data networking, security, enterprise software, cloud computing and mobile communications solutions, resulting in on-time, high-quality and cost-effective products and services. Previous roles include VP and GM of HP Public Cloud at Hewlett-Packard, SVP of Products at Engine Yard, as well as founding R.P. Levy Consulting LLC.

Got an idea for a Blueprint column?  We welcome your ideas on next gen network architecture.
See our guidelines.

US$300M SUPERNAP Thailand Aims to be First Tier IV Gold Data Center In Asia

Construction is underway of a new US$300 million (11 billion THB) SUPERNAP data center in in Thailand’s eastern province Chonburi.

The new SUPERNAP Thailand data center, which is in the Hemmaraj Industrial Estate, will cover an area of nearly 75 rai or 12 hectares and will be strategically built outside the flood zone, 110-meters above sea level and only 27 kilometers away from an international submarine cable landing station.  The facility, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017, will have capacity for more than 6,000 data server racks.

SUPERNAP Thailand will be the first Uptime Institute rated Tier IV Gold data center in Asia, as well as the largest data center in the Kingdom.

“The SUPERNAP Thailand data center is a mirror of Switch SUPERNAP U.S. facilities, which are the first Tier IV Gold carrier-neutral colocation data centers on the planet. This cutting-edge data center will meet the global demand for innovation in Asia Pacific,” said CEO of SUPERNAP International Khaled Bichara. “With the emergence of the AEC and with Thailand’s focus on digital growth, this data center will set a new precedent for quality, security and innovation in Asia Pacific. We look forward to working with Thailand to attract more investment and more growth to the Thai digital economy.”

SUPERNAP International is developing the project in partnership with a group of leading Thai organizations, including CPB Equity, Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and True IDC. Executives from Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank say the development of the SUPERNAP Thailand data center will enhance the banks’ use of technology to better serve their customers and provide a homegrown solution for Thai companies that seek to expand their IT capabilities.

VeloCloud Raises $27 Million for SD-WAN, Including Cisco Investment

VeloCloud Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, closed $27 million in Series C financing for its cloud SD-WAN solution.

VeloCloud enable enterprises to rapidly, seamlessly and economically expand their wide area networks to support application growth, network agility and simplified branch implementations, while delivering optimized access to cloud datacenters and applications. The company reports rapid adoption of its SD-WAN solution in 2015, fueled, in part, by a significantly expanded partner ecosystem which now includes BroadSoft, Cisco, Equinix, HP, IIx Console, Intel, VMware, Websense and Zscaler.

The new funding was led by March Capital Partners and two additional strategic investors, including Cisco Investments. Existing investors, including New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Venrock, also participated in the round. The funding will be used to expand business operations as the company accelerates new product development and customer rollouts, and ramps up sales and marketing in expanded theaters to meet growing global demand. Today’s funding brings the company’s total funding to $49 million.

“We are seeing exploding growth in global demand for VeloCloud’s Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN solutions,” said VeloCloud CEO and Co-founder Sanjay Uppal. “This new financing validates our unique cloud-delivered direction and success, and will accelerate growth in our core business of providing simplified branch WAN networking, improved performance and service delivery to mid to large enterprises and service providers.”

Shaw Sells Media Assets for C$2.65 Billion to Fund Wind Mobile Acquisition

Shaw Communications agreed to sell its wholly owned broadcasting subsidiary, Shaw Media, to Corus Entertainment for C$2.65 billion.  The deal includes Shaw Media's conventional television network, Global Television, and 19 specialty channels, including HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, History Television and Showcase.

“This transaction represents a significant milestone for Shaw, firmly positioning the company as a leading pure-play connectivity provider with an attractive growth profile while allowing Shaw to participate in the significant upside potential resulting from the combination of Shaw Media and Corus,” said Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw. “With the previously announced acquisition of WIND and sale of Shaw Media, Shaw will be focused on delivering consumer and small business broadband communications supported by its best-in-class wireline, WiFi and wireless infrastructure. In combination, these transactions will also enhance Shaw’s growth profile, with approximately 25% of total revenue derived from growth services1.”

Shape Security Gets $25 Million for Botwall Service

Shape Security, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced $25 million in Series D funding to accelerate deployments of its Shape Botwall Service.

The Shape Botwall Service, available in the cloud or on­-premises, stops automated web and mobile application attacks, like credential stuffing, content scraping, and application-­layer DDoS, that bypass existing defenses. The company says its ShapeShifter botwall technology disables the attack capability of malware, botnets, and scripts.

The new funding was led by Baseline Ventures, Northern Light and Epic Ventures, joining existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Venrock, Norwest Venture Partners, Google Ventures, Eric Schmidt’s Tomorrow Ventures and others.

"We have grown tremendously in the last year, adding customers in new industries, and demonstrating that a platform for comprehensive protection against automated attacks is the most important missing piece of security for the world's largest companies," said Derek Smith, CEO of Shape Security. "Attackers are constantly evolving, but we are able to stay ahead of them successfully. Our new funding will allow us to take our proven approach and scale it to other major markets around the world."

Source Photonics Hits Milestone for 100G: 10,000 Single Mode QSFP28 Modules Shipped

Source Photonics announced a big milestone: the shipment of its 10,000th single mode 100G QSFP28 module.

Source Photonics began production shipments of 10km QSFP28 LR4 and 2km QSFP28 LR4-Lite modules in Q1 2015 after a successful introduction and sampling program with several leading customer-partners throughout 2014. The company said major applications include cloud scale and Web 2.0 data centers worldwide.

“Potential market opportunity for 100G optics in mega data centers has been making headlines over the last 3 years, attracting many new suppliers and technologies” – commented Vladimir Kozlov, CEO and founder of LightCounting Market Research. “The early shipments data from Source Photonics clearly shows that this opportunity is real. We expect that shipments of these products will exceed 100,000 units in the first 6-9 months of 2016.”

Valve Upgrades to 100G for its Online Gaming Service

Valve, an online gaming company, selected Level 3 Communications to upgrade its network infrastructure to include 100 Gbps ports.

The upgrade is in response to the substantial rise in popularity of digital services and online games provided by Steam, Valve's social entertainment and gaming platform. The new ports will give Valve the bandwidth necessary to continue providing an optimal experience as Steam's audience size and usage expands. Valve's Steam gaming platform has over 100 million users, averaging more than 10 million concurrent players and over two billion minutes played logged per day. Traffic levels to Steam's servers are growing approximately 75 percent year-over-year.

Intel Posts Growth in Data Center, IoT and Non-Volatile Memory

Intel posted Q4 revenue of $14.9 billion, operating income of $4.3 billion, net income of $3.6 billion and EPS of 74 cents.

Some highlights for full-Year 2015:
• Client Computing Group revenue of $32.2 billion, down 8 percent from 2014.
• Data Center Group revenue of $16.0 billion, up 11 percent from 2014.
• Internet of Things Group revenue of $2.3 billion, up 7 percent from 2014.
• Software and services operating segments revenue of $2.2 billion, down 2 percent from 2014.
• Non-Volatile Memory Solution Group revenue up 21 percent from 2014.

“Our results for the fourth quarter marked a strong finish to the year and were consistent with expectations,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Our 2015 results demonstrate that Intel is evolving and our strategy is working. This year, we’ll continue to drive growth by powering the infrastructure for an increasingly smart and connected world.”

Ericsson and Huawei Extend Global Patent Deal

Ericsson and Huawei agreed on extending their global patent license agreement.  The deal includes a cross license that covers patents relating to both companies' wireless standard-essential patents (including the GSM, UMTS and LTE cellular standards). Under the agreement, both companies are able to access and implement the other company's standard essential patents and technologies globally.

As part of the renewed agreement, Huawei will make on-going royalty payment based upon actual sales to Ericsson from 2016 and onwards. Financial terms were not disclosed.