Friday, April 29, 2016

ZTE Posts Q1 Revenue of US$3.41 Billion, up 4% YoY

ZTE posted Q1 2016 revenue of RMB21.859 billion (US$3.41 billion), representing a 4.09% increase year on year. Net profit amounted to RMB950 million, representing a 15.97% increase from the same period last year.

ZTE noted that it invested 13.96% of revenue in R&D in Q1.

Verizon Strike Continues, Parties at Odds

The strike by 39,000 Verizon employees continues. Employees represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) walked off the job on April 13.

On April 28, Verizon presented union official with an updated proposal for about 36,000 wireline employees in the company’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. The new proposal offered to increase wages by 7.5 percent over the term of the contract, among other terms.

A day later, Verizon said it is deploying thousands of additional employees and contractors to serve its customers during the strike. The replacement workers include contractors who are currently enrolled or have recently graduated from the company’s technical training classes in Virginia.

In response, the CWA noted that Verizon intends to cut off benefits for 108,000 striking workers and family members effective May 1st, despite the fact that Verizon made $18 billion in profits over the last 18 months and paid its top executives $249 million over the last 5 years. The union also posted materials labeling top Verizon execs as "The Greedy Bunch."

FBI Expands Data Center in Idaho

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is planning a huge data center expansion in Pocatello, Idaho. The 100,000 square foot facility is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the area.

For the past several years, the FBI has been working to consolidate its IT operations into fewer data centers.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

AT&T Integrated Cloud Speaks OpenStack

AT&T took home the "OpenStack Superuser" award from this week's OpenStack Summit in Austin.  The award recognizes companies making their organizations competitive in the current software-defined economy through their contributions to OpenStack.

The AT&T Integrated Cloud is already the biggest OpenStack deployment in the world, according to the company, as it deployed a total of 74 AIC zones (data centers or network centers) in 2015.  The company intends to reach 105 AIC zones in 2016 and to be in hundreds of zones by 2020. This reflects the company's commitment to virtualize 75% of its network by 2020. OpenStack is at the core of the AIC solution and it is already leveraging ten OpenStack projects.  Three more will be added before the end of the year.

One of the innovations the company is working on is the OpenStack Resource Manager, or ORM. This lets AT&T manage AIC as one global cloud platform despite its highly distributed nature, said Sorabh Saxena, SVP, Software Deployment & Engineering, AT&T. The enables AT&T to quickly push out updates to all the AIC zones.

An archived video of AT&T's keynote at the OpenStack Summit is posted here:

FCC Seeks New Rules for Business Data Services

The FCC has found the special access tariffs filed by four incumbent local exchange carriers (AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier) to be unjust and unreasonable, with the effect of decreasing facilities-based competition and inhibiting the transition to new technologies. The FCC is requiring these companies to withdraw the illegal terms of these tariffs and file new tariffs within 60 days of release of the order.

The FCC is also seeking public comment on reforming and modernizing its rules for business data services based on four principles:

  • Competition is best, but where competition does not exist, market conditions must not be allowed to stifle the ability of business customers to innovate and compete
  • Technological neutrality should be at the core of any new regulatory framework 
  • Policies should remove barriers to the transition to new technologies

The FCC said it is seeking to replace outdated rules with a new technology-neutral framework that classifies markets as either non-competitive or as competitive.   Some key points of this Further Notice:

  • Begins by surveying current marketplace conditions, including the location of current infrastructure and the data suggesting in which places and products and for which customers competition is more likely present and for which it is more likely to be not present.  Based on this analysis, the Commission proposes to identify competitive markets as those in which material competitive effects are present;
  • Identifies and seeks comment on a set of de-regulatory measures in competitive markets, maintaining minimal oversight to ensure that the provision of telecommunications services is just and reasonable;
  • Seeks comment on requiring that companies be free from non-disclosure agreements that would prevent them from providing information to the Commission;
  • Identifies and seeks comment on a tailored set of rules to safeguard customers in non-competitive markets, including the use of price regulation and the prohibition of certain tying arrangements that harm competition;
  • Seeks comment on the appropriate treatment under this framework of the three types of contractual terms identified in the Tariff Investigation Order, as well as other contractual terms and conditions that have been subject to public comment;
  • Seeks comment on a proposal that tariffs should not be used in the future as part of the regulation of broadband data service in either competitive or non-competitive markets;
  • Seeks comment on a proposed future periodic data collection of a kind that will allow the Commission to update periodically its identification of competitive and non-competitive markets; and
  • In order that the new regulatory framework be applied in a technology-neutral manner, seeks comment on a proposal to eliminate the current exemption for certain Verizon services from the basic provisions of the Act governing just and reasonable offerings of telecommunications services.

Amazon Web Services Q1 Revenue Hits $2.57 billion, up 64% YoY

In its Q1 financial statement, Amazon noted that its Amazon Web Services unit generated revenue of $2.57 billion, up 64% year-over-year. AWS is also the most profitable business at Amazon, with operating income for the quarter coming in at $604 million.

Overall, Amazon's net sales increased 28% to $29.1 billion in the first quarter, compared with $22.7 billion in first quarter 2015. Excluding the $210 million unfavorable impact from year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates throughout the quarter, net sales increased 29% compared to first quarter 2015. Net income was $513 million in the first quarter, or $1.07 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $57 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, in first quarter 2015.

Cypress to Acquire Broadcom's Wireless IoT Unit for $550M

Cypress Semiconductor agreed to acquire Broadcom's Wireless Internet of Things (IoT) business and related assets for $550 million in cash. The deal includes Broadcom's Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee IoT product lines and intellectual property, along with its WICED brand and developer ecosystem.

Broadcom's IoT business unit, which employs approximately 430 people worldwide, generated $189 million in revenue during the last twelve months. The acquisition strengthens Cypress's position in key embedded systems markets, such as automotive and industrial, and establishes it as a leader in the high-growth consumer IoT market, a segment that includes wearable electronics and home automation solutions.

Broadcom said it plans to focus on its wireless connectivity solutions for the access and mobility segments that are not IoT related, including serving set-top box, wireless access, smartphone, laptop and notebook customers. Cypress will capitalize on the rapidly growing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity (17% per year1) markets in consumer, industrial and automotive IoT segments.

"Cypress is a significant player in the IoT today because of our ultra-low-power PSoC programmable system-on-chip technology, but we've only been able to pair it with generic radios so far. Now we have the highly regarded Broadcom IoT business—state-of-the-art Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Zigbee RF technologies—that will transform us into a force in IoT and provide us with new market opportunities as well," Cypress President and CEO T.J. Rodgers said. "What we bring to the party is over 30,000 customers worldwide who need advanced, ultra-low-power wireless communication but only can absorb it in the form of an easy-to-use programmable embedded system solution."

Juniper Posts Q1 Revenue of $1.01 Billion, up 3% YoY

Juniper Networks reported net revenues for the first quarter of 2016 of $1,097.9 million, an increase of 3% year-over-year and a decrease of 17% sequentially. GAAP operating margin for the first quarter of 2016 was 13.5%, an increase from 12.3% in the first quarter of 2015, and a decrease from 21.2% in the fourth quarter of 2015. GAAP net income was $91.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2016, an increase of 14% year-over-year and a decrease of 54% sequentially.

"We are taking a conservative and prudent approach to managing our business, while at the same time targeting areas that represent growth opportunities for the Company," said Ken Miller, chief financial officer at Juniper Networks. "We remain fully committed to shareholder value creation via a focus on introducing innovative products and services, operational excellence, and consistent capital returns."

Infinera Posts Q1 Revenue of $245 Million

Infinera reported GAAP revenue for the first quarter of 2016 of $244.8 million compared to $260.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 and $186.9 million in the first quarter of 2015. GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 47.5% compared to 44.5% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 47.2% in the first quarter of 2015. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was 6.1% compared to 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 8.1% in the first quarter of 2015.

GAAP net income for the quarter was $12.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to $12.6 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2015, and $12.4 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2015.

"We continued to execute well in the first quarter, winning deals across our product portfolio and delivering strong financial results," said Tom Fallon, Infinera's Chief Executive Officer.

A10 Posts Q1 Sales of $53.8 million, up 22% YoY

A10 Networks reported Q1 revenue of $53.8 million, up 22 percent year-over-year. There was a GAAP net loss for the first quarter 2016 of $9.5 million, or $0.15 per share, compared with a net loss of $13.7 million, or $0.22 per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

“The first quarter was a strong start to the year as we continued to build on our solid momentum,” said Lee Chen, president and chief executive officer of A10 Networks. “Our high-end security product portfolio and cloud-based solutions continue to gain traction with customers and partners and this is contributing to our success in growing the business. Additionally, with our continued topline growth and disciplined approach to managing costs, we improved our bottom line by 55% year-over-year and generated strong cash flow from operations. We are pleased with our execution and strong first quarter results and are encouraged by our progress as we enter the second quarter.”

Some highlights:

  • Record enterprise revenue of $32.2 million, increased 29 percent year-over-year
  • Strong product revenue of $36.4 million, up 19 percent year-over-year
  • Record total deferred revenue of $74.8 million, increased 25% year-over-year
  • Cash and marketable securities increased to $107.5 million, up from $85.6 million at March 31, 2015

NeoPhotonics Posts 22% YoY Growth, Strength in 100G

NeoPhotonics reported Q1 revenue of $99.1 million, up $17.8 million, or 21.8%, from the first quarter of 2015, and up $10.0 million, or 11.2%, from the prior quarter. GAAP Gross margin was 31.4%, up from 29.6% in the first quarter of 2015, and up from 28.2% in the prior quarter. GAAP net income was $2.3 million, up from $0.1 million in the first quarter of 2015, and up from $0.4 million in the prior quarter.

“In our first quarter NeoPhotonics delivered excellent results, as we achieved record revenue, record revenue growth and record EBITDA. Our revenue for 100G products was up 24% sequentially, accounting for 65% of our first quarter revenue,” said Tim Jenks, CEO of NeoPhotonics. “Maintaining our leadership in 100G and beyond solutions we introduced a number of exciting new products and technologies during the quarter. We see the overall environment for 100G products globally as very robust and given the acceleration in our organic demand, we are bringing additional capacity on line over the next quarters. As a result, we anticipate revenue growth to be in the range of 20-25% for the year,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

Xtera HD - an Animation

Innovium Raises $15M, Settles Broadcom Litigation

Innovium, a pre-launch start-up targeting infrastructure solutions, announced the settlement of all litigation with Broadcom.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Innovium also announced $15 million in Series A funding from Capricorn, Walden Riverwood and other venture capital investors.

The company, which is based in San Jose, California, was founded by Rajiv Khemani (previously Cavium), Puneet Agarwal (previously Broadcom), and Mohammad Issa (previously Broadcom).

Levyx Raises $5.4 Million for Big Data Store

Levyx, a start-up based in Irvine, California, announced $5.4 million in Series-A funding for its high-performance processing technology for reducing infrastructure costs associated with big-data applications.

The funding was led by Chicago-based OCA Ventures. Additional investors include Amino Capital (a.k.a. zPark Capital) and Sumavision USA Corporation, as well as individual investors.

Levyx said its "Helium" data engine is built for the modern "open-platform" commodity-hardware datacenter.  "Helium is an ultra-low latency datastore that can process tens of millions of queries per second on a single computing node. By leveraging Helium and its core expertise system software and SSD/NVM technology, Levyx enables its customers to achieve in-memory computing performance at a fraction of the normal cost by using Flash-SSDs (versus much more expensive DRAM) and running on commodity hardware. Levyx’s patent-pending Input/Output software and indexing algorithms take advantage of multicore architectures and flash memory and is also designed to optimize emerging NVM technologies."

“We have seen a huge amount of innovation in the software and storage hardware associated with big-data applications, but there are big inefficiencies because the two sides have been walled off from one another,” CEO and Founder Reza Sadri said. “By fixing this disconnect with a fundamentally new software stack, we pave the way for real-time processing of big-data workloads for the masses. The support and guidance of investors like OCA Ventures, Amino Capital and Sumavision will help us in our quest to make big-data applications dramatically more affordable for everyone.”

Intel Promotes Diane Bryant to Executive VP

Intel announced the promotion of Diane Bryant to executive vice president. Bryant has been leading Intel’s Data Center Group (DCG) as general manager and senior vice president since 2012. Previously, she was an Intel vice president and chief information officer of Intel.

“The data center has become a primary growth engine for Intel, and under Diane’s leadership, it reported record revenue of $16 billion in 2015,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “This elevated role reflects the significance of the cloud to Intel’s strategy as we transform the business, and Diane’s proven ability to extend our value proposition to accelerate public, private and hybrid cloud adoption.”

LeEco Opens Autonomous Driving R&D Center in San Jose

LeEco, a leading Chinese Internet company, inaugurated its new, 80,000 square foot North American headquarters in San Jose, California. The headquarters will also be the future home of LeEco’s autonomous driving research center, the LeFuture AI Institute.

In recent weeks, LeEco announced second-generation smartphones, an all-new 4th-generation SuperTV, the LeEco VR headset and its autonomous LeSEE electric vehicle concept car.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Verizon Deploys OpenStack NFV in 5 Data Centers

Verizon has completed a Network Function Virtualization OpenStack cloud deployment across five of its U.S. data centers.

Verizon said its NFV project, which began in 2015, created a production design based on a core and pod architecture that provides hyperscale capabilities. The project is based on OpenStack with Red Hat Ceph Storage and a spine-leaf fabric for each pod controlled through a Neutron plugin to Red Hat OpenStack Platform. The multi-vendor deployment leverages Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric for SDN controller software managing Dell switches, which are orchestrated by Red Hat OpenStack Platform.

Verizon said the OpenStack pod-based design that went from concept to deployment of more than 50 racks in five production data centers in less than nine months. Rollouts are currently in progress in additional domestic data center and aggregation sites, with international locations to be deployed over the next several months. The design also will be adopted in edge network sites by the end of the year.

Architecturally, the large scale NFV deployment had five key needs, which were identified early in the project:
  • Resiliency at Scale - The design followed a hyperscale-inspired “core and pod” approach with a 12-rack pod design replicated at data centers across the United States.
  • No Bandwidth Bottlenecks - A modern leaf-spine Clos design, using centralized SDN control designed to take the network from spine to leaf to vSwitch and avoid bandwidth bottlenecks.
  • Logical Network Design Flexibility - The pod design accommodates unique NFV workloads with unique logical network requirements that share the same physical leaf/spine fabric and vSwitches.
  • Reduced Operational Complexity - Operational complexity is reduced through a simplified lifecycle management of the network control systems relative to the OpenStack control systems.
  • Integrated Security and Visibility - The NFV Pod is designed to be compliant and secure against intrusions and other threats, monitoring fabric was used to monitor intra-pod traffic and inline traffic.

“Building on our history of innovation, this NFV project is another step in building Verizon’s next-generation network -- with implications for the industry. New and emerging applications are highlighting the need for collaborative research and development in technologies like NFV. We consider this achievement to be foundational for building the Verizon cloud that serves our customers’ needs anywhere, anytime, any app.”  Adam Koeppe, vice president, network technology planning, Verizon

A 35 minute presentation from this week's OpenStack Summit in Austin is posted here:

Verizon Reports 57 Incidents of Sabotage in 2 Weeks

Verizon reported a more than 100 percent increase in the number of suspected incidents of sabotage that have cut off thousands of Verizon customers from critical wireline services, since April 13.  The incidents include:

  • In Delaware, three separate incidents occurred this week in Hockessin at fiber hub locations; fiber cables were severed in multiple locations.
  • In New Jersey, there have been 17 incidents of suspected sabotage since April 13, primarily in the northern part of the state.
  • In New York, the second most impacted state, 15 incidents are under investigation.
  • In Pennsylvania, 10 incidents are under investigation, including suspected arson involving a fire-damaged terminal in Drexel Hill.
  • In Virginia, cables have been severed, or equipment stolen, in eight separate incidents.
  • In Maryland, fiber cables were ripped from a hub in Brandywine on April 22.

“These are criminal activities, affecting people’s safety and putting lives at risk. We are investigating all reports and pursuing all avenues to assist law enforcement in finding and convicting the perpetrators of these acts,” said Michael Mason, Verizon’s chief security officer.

Verizon said it normally experiences about a half dozen dangerous and reckless acts of destructive vandalism each year.

  • On April 13, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Maine to Virginia, represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), went on strike as of Wednesday morning at 6am. The parties have been unable to resolve differences since the last contract expired on August 1st, 2015.

See also