Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Altice Complete Cablevision Deal, Now No.4 Cable Operator in U.S.

Altice completed its previously announced acquisition of Cablevision Systems, the leading MSO in the NY metro region.

Cablevision together with Suddenlink will form Altice USA, the #4 cable operator in the U.S., which serves more than 4.6 million Optimum and Suddenlink customers across 20 states. The deal was valued at $17.7 billion. BC Partners and CPP Investment Board hold a 30 percent stake, as previously announced.

Altice outlined a number of plans, including to:

  • Significantly increase broadband speeds through extensive investments in network upgrades and improvements;
  • Introduce a low-income broadband offering;
  • Introduce a state-of-the art and fully evolutive, all-in-one home center that integrates the functionality of set top boxes, routers and Wifi modems in one device and provides a more user-friendly experience;
  • Introduce a next-generation customer interface offering a modern, informative and seamless navigation, integrating video on demand, online content, and advanced navigation and recommendation tools to maximize the consumer’s experience;
  • Invest more into and support the WiFi network, which will further extend the reach of broadband offerings;
  • Upgrade existing and invest into new IT systems to optimize processes and better serve customers; and
  • Inspire the next generation of technology leaders through programs that encourage the pursuit of STEM-related career paths.

Patrick Drahi, Founder and Controlling Shareholder of Altice: “The completion of the Cablevision acquisition marks a critical step in the development of the Altice Group. Altice USA is a key pillar of our business and a powerful and dynamic growth platform. We are very excited about our U.S. business and the opportunities we see in this market. We will accelerate network investments and bring innovative products and services to U.S. customers by leveraging our global operational expertise, scale and resources. I wish to also thank the Dolan family for entrusting us with their life’s work at Cablevision, where they have developed under their pioneering stewardship one of America’s pre-eminent cable operations with best-in-class management talent.”

http://www.altice.net

Altice to Enter U.S. Cable Market with Acquisition of Cablevision & Suddenlink

Altice, the second largest communications company in France, confirmed plans to acquire Cablevision, the fifth largest cable operator in the United States. Under the agreement, Altice will pay $34.90 in cash for each Cablevision share, for an enterprise value of approximately $17.7 billion. The transaction is to be financed with $14.5 billion of new and existing debt. Altice has received full financing commitments from JP Morgan, BNP Paribas and Barclays.



Cablevision serves the New York City metropolitan area, passing more than 5 million premises and serving more than 3.1 million residential and business customers.  With approximately 65% of its cable customers subscribing to triple-play services, Cablevision generates industry-leading ARPU and benefits from high customer loyalty. The deal also includes Lightpath, the company’s business services unit, as well as local news operations.

Earlier this year, Altice announced plans to acquire Suddenlink for $9 billion, a cable operator based in St. Louis with 1.4 million subscribers in 17 states. The combination of Cablevision + Suddenlink will make Altice the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S. with 4.6 million customers in 20 states.

“As a family business we are proud to be entrusted by the Dolan family with the ownership of Cablevision and look forward to continuing the pioneering path they have paved for us. The strategy of Altice in the large and highly strategic US market is reinforced with the acquisition of Cablevision. We will be in a stronger position, as in all other markets in which we operate, to deliver the best services, invest in the most advanced technology, and develop innovative products for the benefit of our customers,” stated Patrick Drahi, Founder and President of Altice.


http://www.altice.net/


  • Cablevision was founded in the 1960s by Charles Dolan.
  • In 2014, Altice acquire SFR from Vivendi, combining it with Numericable, which has over 5.2 million fiber homes in France, with more than 10 million homes passed. SFR has 3G/4G mobile networks in France as well as 1.6 million fiber homes.
  • In June 2015, Altice acquired Portugal Telecom.

Hedvig Deliver Software-defined Storage for Containers

Hedvig, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled its end-to-end CloudScale Reference Architectures to provide enterprises with tested infrastructure templates for software-defined storage in containerized environments.

Specifically, Hedvig unveiled three enterprise-ready Docker solutions built on Quanta Cloud Technology, ContainerX and ClusterHQ technology.

Quanta CloudScale Reference Architecture for Docker Datacenter: integrates leading Docker open source projects including Docker Swarm, Docker Engine, Docker Trusted Registry and the Docker Universal Control Plane. The company said that by combining the full container stack of Docker Datacenter with Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform software and QuantaGrid D51PH-1ULH hardware, enterprises are provided with an easy to install, datacenter solution for containers that runs on standard x86 datacenter-class servers and starts with as few as four nodes.

ContainerX CloudScale Reference Architecture for Windows and VMware-based container environments: combines ContainerX software-defined compute and networking with Hedvig software-defined storage in a single management interface to deploy containers for stateful and stateless applications that function across bare metal, Windows, and VMware-powered server infrastructure.

ClusterHQ CloudScale Reference Architecture for high availability databases: Hedvig is expanding its ClusterHQ Flocker plugin with a reference architecture designed for highly available (HA) stateful services using Docker Datacenter. It provides a complete recipe for taking advantage of the management capabilities of Docker Datacenter while using the flexible storage environment provided by Hedvig via the Flocker volume plugin for Docker. Hedvig and ClusterHQ are working on expanding the reference architecture to enable Kubernetes and Apache Mesos in addition to Docker Swarm for container lifecycle management.

“Our customers are adopting containers using many different approaches—ranging from wholesale integration of Docker tools to augmenting existing VMware and Windows environments,” said Avinash Lakshman, CEO and founder of Hedvig. “Data becomes a critical consideration in these environments as modern storage must be highly elastic in order to adapt to constantly changing business needs. CloudScale Reference Architectures remove the guesswork and burden of getting these infrastructure stacks right. Our tested partner solutions harness the power of distributed systems to provide enterprise-ready solutions regardless of the container adoption approach.”

http://www.hedviginc.com

Software-defined storage for Containers



Eric Carter provides a quick overview of Hedvig's software-defined storage for containers at #DockerCon.

See video: https://youtu.be/151KSqYPfQM


Juniper's Contrail Adds Docker and Kubernetes Capabilities

Juniper Networks is enhancing its Contrail product line to enable Docker and container networking. New capabities will provide abstraction and automation of network segmentation and security, allowing the creation of the assignment of different groups of Docker containers to different virtual networks.

Juniper said Contrail Networking can now integrate with container orchestration systems, such as Kubernetes, and enables automated network segmentation across Kubernetes ‘pods’ using annotations like ’name’ and ’services'. Virtual Networks are securely isolated closed-user-groups. Contrail Networking infers app intent and creates virtual networks to securely isolate app tiers and permits cross tier communication only as per app deployers' specifications. Read the full article.

http://www.juniper.net



Aqua Adds Autoformation to its Container Security Platform

Aqua (formerly named Scalock)is rolling out enhancements to its Container Security Platform, including:
  • A native Jenkins plug-in -- adds an Aqua Security step to the CI pipeline that enables organizations to automate container image security scanning, report within the CI/CD tool on vulnerabilities found, and allow/disallow the use of images according to policy.
  • Integration with HPE’s next generation application lifecycle management (ALM) solution, Octane, allowing development teams to view how their pipelines have fared in security testing, and to set rules as to what constitutes a “pass” mark.
  • Environment variables encryption -- protects container “secrets” by encrypting environment variables. As images are updated, pushed and pulled from the registry, any sensitive data (such as passwords)  – commonly referred to in developer circles as “secrets” - are automatically encrypted.  

Avi Integrates with Docker Swarm

Avi Networks announced full integration with Docker Swarm, the native container clustering orchestration solution for Docker.  AVI said its integration with Docker Swarm enables a dynamic service fabric for micro-segmentation, service discovery, graphical application maps, load balancing, and autoscaling capabilities across thousands of Docker nodes. The Avi Vantage Platform leverages native cluster management for Docker to help developers deploy and scale microservices applications across thousands of nodes in the cluster.

https://avinetworks.com/container-services-fabric-for-microservices-apps

Avi Launches Container Service Fabric for Mesosphere, Docker


Avi Networks and Mesosphere introduced an integrated solution to help enterprises build and deploy microservices applications at scale using Docker Containers. The Avi Vantage Platform works with the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS) and Docker containers to provide a dynamic service fabric for micro-segmentation, service discovery, graphical application maps, load balancing, and autoscaling capabilities deployed across thousands of...


Splunk Delivers Analytics for Docker Environments

Splunk is adding support for Docker environments to its Operational Intelligence platform.

Splunk will now be able to provide insight into metrics and events on Docker containers, as well insight into administrative changes by consuming and analyzing data from Docker Universal Control Plane.

http://www.splunk.com/containers

CloudMunch Offers Analytics for Docker/Kubernetes

CloudMunch released its next-gen Continuous Insights platform for cloud native applications.

Continuous Insights covers the entire delivery pipeline, giving contextual actionable insights by correlating data from across multiple tools in the pipeline. The platform is available for Docker and Kubernetes ecosystems. It also supports Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

http://www.cloudmunch.com/

Western Digital Launches All-flash VMware Virtual SAN with HPE

Western Digital introduced a software-defined, all-flash storage solution featuring HPE ProLiant DL Rack Servers and VMware Virtual SAN™ running SQL Server 2016 workloads.

The virtualized storage and server infrastructure solution uses SanDisk’s enterprise-grade flash storage products and has demonstrated online transaction processing (OLTP) performance results of 2.4 million New Orders Per Minute (NOPM).

“We are excited to raise the bar in the industry with a compelling hyper-converged infrastructure solution that runs the new Microsoft SQL Server 2016 software -- the most virtualized database in the industry,” said Anand Jayapalan, vice president of SanDisk client and enterprise compute solutions marketing at Western Digital. “Our collaboration with HPE and VMware enabled us to deliver optimal certified Virtual SAN all-flash options from our broad portfolio of products. ”

https://www.sandisk.com/business/datacenter/products

Pentaho Labs Announces Docker Utilities

Pentaho, a Hitachi Group Company, has released Docker open source utilities to help simplify and speed big data analytics. The Pentaho Server now works with the containerized open source platform to build, ship, and run big data analytics at scale. Pentaho’s Docker utilities are currently available in GitHub.

“The open source foundation of Pentaho allows quick innovation with emerging technologies, so that we may remain autonomous and provide flexibility to developers when it comes to adapting Pentaho solutions into their development and test environments,” said Ken Wood, Vice President of Pentaho Labs, Pentaho, a Hitachi Group Company. “Developers can leverage a scalable testing and development environment to push boundaries in the areas such as IoT, machine learning and predictive analytics.”

http://www.pentaho.com

Monday, June 20, 2016

Docker Brings Built-in Container Orchestration

Docker is adding built-in orchestration capabilities to it Docker Engine, thereby enabling developers and IT organization to form a self-organizing, self-healing pool of machines on which to run multi-container distributed applications – both traditional apps and microservices – at scale in production. Specifically, Docker 1.12 will offer an optional “Swarm mode” feature that users can select to “turn on” built-in orchestration, or they can also elect to use either their own custom tooling or third-party orchestrators that run on Docker Engine.

“Orchestration is at the same stage today as containerization was before Docker. You either need an army of experts to build it, or you lock yourself to a monolithic platform which will drastically reduce your choice of suppliers,” said Solomon Hykes, founder and CTO at Docker. “Three years ago we brought containerization into the mainstream by making it usable for non-experts, without lock-in. We think it’s time to do the same for orchestration. This is a necessary step for the industry to move forward, and as the leaders of the containerization market it’s our responsibility to lead this change.”

The upcoming Docker 1.12 release simplifies the process of creating groups of Docker Engines, also known as swarms, which are now backed by automated service discovery and a built-in distributed datastore. The company said that unlike other systems, the swarm itself has no single point of failure. The state of all services is replicated in real time across a group of managers so containers can be rescheduled after any node failure. Docker orchestration includes a unique in-memory caching layer that maintains state of the entire swarm, providing a non-blocking architecture which assures scheduling performance even during peak times. Additionally, the system has a built-in routing mesh technology that addresses the challenge of how to provide container-aware load balancing. The routing mesh ensures that requests are made to the right containers regardless of where they have been scheduled within the swarm.

For security, each Engine is automatically assigned a cryptographic identity which ensures that only validated Engines can be accepted into a swarm. Moreover, Docker Engine comes with mutually authenticated TLS, providing authentication, authorization and end-to-end encrypted communications among every node participating in the swarm, without the operator having to take any steps to enable it.

http://www.docker.com

Weaveworks Debuts Microservices Console

Weaveworks, a start-up that offers networking and monitoring software for containers and microservices, today announced the public beta of Weave Cloud, a microservices console allowing developers and operations to quickly connect, visualize and monitor containers and microservices, regardless of the orchestrator. The console can be used to connect and manage containers and microservices, bridging the gap between the orchestration platform and the application. The product integrates SaaS versions of the full Weave stack, including Weave Net and Weave Scope.

Weaveworks is also introducing Weave Net 1.6, part of Weave Cloud, which adds native Docker container network integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Specifically, Weave Net orchestrates Docker and AWS VPC so that containers become “first class citizens” on the VPC network, using IP addresses from the VPC and gaining direct access to all of the rich networking capabilities of VPC.

https://www.weave.works/

Datadog Sees Docker Deployments Increasing

Docker market share has grown 30% in one year with larger enterprise companies leading adoption, according to a recent survey by Datadog, which offers a monitoring service for dynamic cloud infrastructure.

Datadog’s Docker Adoption Research was based on a sample of 10,000 companies and tracks real usage, making it the largest and most accurate review of Docker adoption published to date. Datadog found that two-thirds of companies that try Docker adopt it within one month and quintuple their usage within nine months. These statistics demonstrate that containerization is solving real, immediate problems for companies at scale.


Datadog also introduced its Automated Service Discovery, a service that enables teams to seamlessly monitor Dockerized infrastructure without interruption as it expands, contracts, and shifts across hosts by continuously listening to Docker events. Whenever a container is created or started, the Datadog Agent identifies which service is running then starts collecting and reporting metrics. Whenever a container is stopped or destroyed, the Agent recognizes that as well.

“Datadog has been adopted by thousands of leading enterprise companies transitioning away from legacy IT,” said Olivier Pomel, Co-Founder and CEO of Datadog. “This gives us unique insight into where the industry is heading, what innovative technologies are being adopted, and allows us to better service these customers.”

http://www.datadog.com

Dell Launches New High Performance Computing Portfolio

Dell launched a new a family of high-performance computing (HPC) systems tuned for specific science, manufacturing and analytics workloads with fully tested and validated building block systems, backed by a single point of hardware support and additional service options across the solution lifecycle. Dell's new HPC Systems feature an Intel Scalable System Framework configuration with the latest Xeon processors, support for Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA) fabric, and software in the Dell HPC Lustre Storage and Dell HPC NFS Storage solutions.

Dell has instituted a customer early access program for early development and testing in preparation for Dell’s next server offering in the HPC solutions portfolio, the Dell PowerEdge C6320p server, which will be available in the second half of 2016, with the Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor (formerly code-named Knights Landing).

http://www.dell.com

Aviatrix's Project Skyhook Aims to Manage Distributed Container Clusters

Aviatrix Systems,a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced Project Skyhook to securely connect container groups and enforce policies across distributed hybrid and public clouds.

The project builds on Aviatrix’s cloud native networking software which provides centralized network connectivity, management, and security of applications running on virtual machines.

Specifically, Project Skyhook aims to provide the missing connectivity and adaptive policy management for companies with distributed clusters of containers that are deployed either on-premises or in the public cloud. Aviatrix said its software is not a network overlay. Rather, Aviatrix sits directly in the data path, taking advantage of the richness of Docker’s native VXLAN overlay drivers and APIs, just as it harnesses the AWS, Azure and Google APIs to offer cloud native networking.

“There have been over 30 years of development and increasing sophistication around segmentation and security of on-premises networks for servers and virtual machines. The cloud, containers, and microservices need all this too,” said Steven Mih, Aviatrix CEO. “In tomorrow’s distributed environments, containers will be first class citizens, able to deploy across logical and geographic borders, wherever it makes sense. Thanks to Project Skyhook, Aviatrix will make sure they travel safely.”

http://www.aviatrix.com

Aviatrix Builds Cloud Native Networking for Scaling Virtual Private Clouds

Aviatrix, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled a "Cloud Native Networking" solution that combines a software-defined network controller and software gateways to enable businesses to scale out virtual private clouds (VPCs) with VLAN-like segmentation of cloud instances and policy-based security. The idea is to make it easier to provision and manage VPCs that span public, private and hybrid clouds. The Aviatrix software provisions, orchestrates and connects secure tunnels across regions, eliminating manual configuration and reducing administrative complexity of cloud-to-cloud, user-to-cloud and site-to-cloud connectivity.

The upcoming Aviatrix 2.0 software, which will be generally available in June, enables virtual cloud provisioning for AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.  Aviatrix could be used to link and manage resources in multiple clouds. The company said it has already established close partnerships with the big three cloud providers.

The solution consists of the Aviatrix web-portal-based controller, and one or more Aviatrix gateways deployed on the cloud or on-premises. The controller is the central point of configuration, orchestration, and monitoring for all functions and cloud services, while the gateway manages each VPC and performs encryption/decryption, packet forwarding, policy enforcements and logging capabilities. VLAN-like segmentation helps maximize application security by ensuring that each application is fully isolated and protected

Platform9 Managed Kubernetes Supports Docker

Plarform9 announced support for Docker containers with its enterprises-ready, container management and orchestration platform, which is based on Kubernetes.

Platform9 said Kubernetes is the leader among a new class of container management frameworks because it provides features such as service discovery, load balancing and application lifecycle management.

Platform9 adds features such as single sign on (SSO), role-based access control (RBAC) and multi-tenancy for policy and governance, as well as persistent storage, isolated networking, and image management. Further, uptime and stability of the deployment are critical.

"For forward-looking organizations that are taking a containerized approach to applications for greater agility and efficiency, Kubernetes provides a powerful orchestration framework for DevOps workflows," said Madhura Maskasky, co-founder and vice president of product at Platform9. "Platform9 Managed Kubernetes simplifies and supercharges orchestration with operational capabilities and service-level guarantees that make it quick, easy and affordable for enterprises to deploy and run containers at scale in production."

The new product is in beta release.

http://www.platform9.com

Platform9 Enables OpenStack Private Clouds

Platform9, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced general availability of its a SaaS solution that transforms an organization's existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud.  A version of Platform9 Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere environments is now available.  A version for KVM environments has been in production since January 2015. Support for Docker is in development; a beta will be announced later this year.

The company said its Platform9 Managed OpenStack’s unique SaaS delivery model not only makes it easy for IT to quickly deploy an OpenStack private cloud but also provides ongoing operational support by including monitoring, troubleshooting and updates for OpenStack.

With today’s announcement, Platform9 now fully supports VMware vSphere environments: a new VMware specific Virtual Appliance is now available to integrate the OpenStack controller services with vSphere resources. The Virtual Appliance works using vSphere APIs and is 100% interoperable with VMware vSphere, so operations can be performed either via the OpenStack control plane or via vSphere directly. The result is that for the first time, VMware customers have an easy to manage, fully interoperable solution to orchestrate their resources as an OpenStack-based private cloud.

“Platform9’s mission is to make private clouds easy to deploy and manage for the enterprise. By fully supporting VMware vSphere, we are enabling every VMware customer to instantly derive greater value and infrastructure agility from existing virtualized infrastructure,” said Sirish Raghuram, co-founder and CEO of Platform9. “Customers no longer need to choose between the world’s leading private cloud platform (OpenStack) and the world’s leading virtualization platform (VMware vSphere): Platform9 Managed OpenStack is 100% interoperable with VMware vSphere, allowing customers to integrate OpenStack and vSphere seamlessly. Developers can have self-service provisioning using OpenStack while at the same time, IT Operations manages the underlying infrastructure using vSphere.”

Platform9 also announced $10 million in Series B funding, bringing the funding total to $14.5 million. Menlo Ventures led the round, and previous investor Redpoint Ventures also participated. The company plans to use the money to accelerate its product roadmap for its growing customer base.

http://www.platform9.com


  • Platform9 was founded by early VMware engineers Sirish Raghuram (CEO), Madhura Maskasky (VP Product), Roopak Parikh (VP Engineering) and Bich Le (Chief Architect)/ 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Ericsson's 5G Software Plug-ins Extend LTE

Ericsson announced a number of 5G Plug-Ins, software-driven innovations that bring essential 5G technology concepts to existing LTE networks. Ericsson said LTE will continue to expand and evolve, addressing both an increased number of subscribers and their growing demands for extreme app coverage for data and video, as well as new low power wide area (LPWA) applications for the Internet of Things (IoT).  These include:

  • Massive MIMO Plug-In: Massive MIMO is the combination of Single-User MIMO (SU-MIMO) and beamforming supported by advanced antennas with a large number of steerable ports. Massive MIMO improves both the user experience and the capacity and coverage of the network. 
  • Multi-User MIMO Plug-In: building on Massive MIMO, Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) transmits data to multiple user devices using the same time and frequency resources and coordinates beamforming. MU-MIMO provides a better user experience, enhances network capacity and coverage, and reduces interference.
  • RAN Virtualization Plug-In: RAN Virtualization improves network efficiency and performance by enabling Virtual Network Functions (VNF) to be centralized on a common platform supporting both 4G and 5G.
  • Intelligent Connectivity Plug-In: where 5G and 4G coverage areas overlap, Intelligent Connectivity enables the network to robustly anchor and intelligently route data based on application requirements and network resource availability, increasing the combined data throughput of 4G and 5G resources.
  • Latency Reduction Plug-In: this Plug-In shortens access procedures and modifies the frame structure to enable instant network access and more frequent transmissions. This in turn reduces time-to-content while enabling real-time communications for key 5G applications such as smart vehicles.

"5G will be driven by new use cases requiring higher performance - from connected cars with perfect driving records, to immersive augmented reality for remote surgery, to multi-K movies on mobile devices. 5G will unlock new consumer and industrial applications, and with our 5G field trial plans already well underway, we are now introducing Ericsson 5G Plug-Ins, which enable the evolutionary steps that operators need to take as they develop networks to secure their 5G future," stated Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson.

http://www.ericsson.com


Bluetooth 5 Promises 4X Range, 2X Speed

The next update to Bluetooth, which should arrive in late 2016 to early 2017, promises significantly increased range, speed, and broadcast messaging capacity.

Bluetooth 5 will quadruples range, doubles speed, and increases data broadcasting capacity by 800%, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest group. The increased data broadcast capacity will drive the adoption of Bluetooth-enabled beacons and location-based services in the home automation, enterprise, and industrial markets.

“Bluetooth 5 will transform the way people experience the IoT by making it something that happens simply and seamlessly around them,” said Mark Powell, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Increasing operation range will enable connections to IoT devices that extend far beyond the walls of a typical home, while increasing speed supports faster data transfers and software updates for devices. And now with the ability to broadcast a much richer set of information, Bluetooth 5 will make beacons, location awareness, and other connectionless services an even more relevant part of an effortless and seamless IoT experience”

See also