Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Intel's Data Center Revenues up 5% YoY

Intel reported second-quarter GAAP revenue of $13.5 billion (up 3% YoY), operating income of $1.3 billion, net income of $1.3 billion and EPS of 27 cents.

“Second-quarter revenue matched our outlook and profitability was better than we expected," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "In addition, our restructuring initiative to accelerate Intel’s transformation is solidly on-track. We're gaining momentum heading into the second half. While we remain cautious on the PC market, we’re forecasting growth in 2016 built on strength in data center, the Internet of Things and programmable solutions.”

In a conference call, Krzanich said data center revenue grew 5% year over year, cloud services providers grew 9%, comm service providers grew 10%, and enterprise was down 1%. He said Intel continues to gain share in network infrastructure, including for SDN and NFV.

Q2 Key Business Unit Trends:

  • Client Computing Group revenue of $7.3 billion, down 3 percent sequentially and down 3 percent year-over-year
  • Data Center Group revenue of $4.0 billion, up 1 percent sequentially and up 5 percent year-overyear
  • Internet of Things Group revenue of $572 million, down 12 percent sequentially and up 2 percentyear-over-year
  • Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group revenue of $554 million, down 1 percent sequentially and down 20 percent year-over-year
  • Intel Security Group revenue of $537 million, flat sequentially and up 10 percent year-over-year
  • Programmable Solutions Group revenue of $465 million, up 30 percent sequentially. Note the comparable period did not include $99 million of revenue as a result of acquisition-related adjustments.

Qualcomm Posts Revenues of $6 Billion, up 4% YoY

Qualcomm reported revenue of $6.0 billion for its fiscal third quarter ended June 26, 2016, up 4% YoY and up 9% sequentially. Net income (GAAP) was $1.4 billion, up 22% YoY. EPS came in at $0.97.

“We delivered strong results this quarter, with EPS well ahead of our guidance based on meaningful progress with licensees in China,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Our chipset business is also benefiting from a strong new product ramp across tiers, particularly with fast growing OEMs in China. We are executing well on our strategic priorities, and we remain confident that our focused investments in 5G and other advanced technologies will create a strong foundation for long-term earnings growth.”

Qualcomm reported 201 million MSM device shipments during the quarter, down 11% from a year earlier.

Why did SoftBank offer £24.3 billion (US$32.4 billion) in cash to acquire ARM Holdings? - Part 2

 In part 1 of this article we considered some of the given reasons for the ARM bid and whether the new ownership would be positive, neutral or negative for ARM given Softbank’s record at Sprint.  Here we look at recent M&A activity in semiconductors and consider some salient points concerning SoftBank’s charismatic Chairman Masoyoshi Son.

For comparison - A String of Recent Mergers for Semiconductor Companies

SoftBank's acquisition of ARM also continues the on-going consolidation in the semiconductor business.  Although SoftBank is not a player in semiconductors and in that sense is not contributing to the further consolidation of the industry into just a few houses, investment bankers representing ARM would surely be familiar with current valuations and the desire to match smaller players to larger buyers.  Bigger seems to be better when it comes to silicon companies.

In March 2015, NXP Semiconductor agreed to acquire Freescale in a stock swap value at $16.7 billion (including Freescale's debt).   The deal created the largest supplier of semiconductors for the automotive industry and the No.1 supplier of general microcontrollers (MCUs).

In May 2015, Avago Technologies agreed to acquire Broadcom in a deal valued at $37 billion ($17 billion in cash and $20 billion in Avago shares).  This merger created the third largest global semiconductor company with strong presence in wired infrastructure, wireless infrastructure, enterprise storage, ASICs, PHYs, Ethernet switching silicon and set-top box silicon.  The new company has an annual revenue of approximately $15 billion.

In January 2016, Intel completed its acquisition of Altera, a provider of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology, in a deal that was valued at $16.7 billion when it was first announced six months earlier.  Altera now operate as a new Intel business unit called the Programmable Solutions Group (PSG).  Its portfolio includes its Stratix series FPGAs with embedded memory, digital signal processing (DSP) blocks, high-speed transceivers, and high-speed I/O pins. Altera's Arria system-on-chip solutions integrate an ARM-based hard processor and memory interfaces with the FPGA fabric using a high-bandwidth interconnect. These devices include additional hard logic such as PCI Express Gen2, multiport memory controllers, error correction code (ECC), memory protection and high-speed serial transceivers.

In November 2015, Microsemi Corporation consolidated its offer to acquire PMC Sierra for $9.22 in cash and 0.0771 of a share of Microsemi common stock, representing an enterprise value of $2.5 billion.

In June 2016, Cavium agreed to acquire QLogic for $1.36 billion in stock. QLogic, which is based in Aliso Viejo, California, supplies Fibre Channel Adapters, converged network adapter for the Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) market, Ethernet adapters, iSCSI adapters, and ASICs.  The company has design wins for next generation Ethernet (10/25/50/100Gb) and Fibre Channel (16/32Gb) platforms.

In March 2016, Cisco agreed to acquire Leaba Semiconductor, a venture-backed fabless semiconductor company, for $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards, plus additional retention based incentives. Leaba, which is based in Israel, specializes in networking semiconductors.  The company is in stealth mode and has not announced any products.

Through this string of mergers, we see that enormous consolidation is underway in the semiconductor industry and that given its prominence in the field, we can surmise that ARM must have been the subject of many proposed deals.  It would have been expected to see ARM paired up with developers of switching silicon, RF chips, or fast memory.  The SoftBank acquisition therefore is incongruous.

SoftBank’s Charismatic Chairman

When trying to assess the rationality of this bid it is worth noting that Masayoshi Son has never been easy to characterise. He is certainly a long way from being an investor in the calm mould of Warren Buffett or Bill Gates and does not have a flawless history in the investment business. During the dotcom boom Son bought almost anything that moved and ended the decade with the unenviable reputation of having lost more money than any other entrepreneur in history i.e. about $ 70 billion Son has a risk-aggressive and maverick personality and is inclined towards making massive and unusual bets on trends and companies that usually result in either colossal successes like Ali Baba or huge failures like Vodafone KK --therefore normal financial yardsticks cannot be easily applied to his decisions --since almost by definition he is working on an unique perception that almost no one else shares. As an example of Son's unpredictability, a few weeks ago Nikesh Arora the ex-Google executive most people thought was certain to succeed Son left his job abruptly after Son changed his mind and decided he was too young to retire which indeed at under sixty years he certainly is.
Masayoshi Son's abiding interest in humanoid robotics should be also noted.

In February 2015, SoftBank acquired 95% stake in Aldebaran Robotics SAS, a decade-old robotics developer based in Paris that, in collaboration with SoftBank Mobile, created Pepper, a humanoid robot with four microphones, two HD cameras, a 3-D depth sensor, a gyroscope in the torso, touch sensors (head and hands) six lasers, and a touch-screen display.  The big advancement with Pepper is its attempt to understand its physical environment and interact with humans on an emotional level. Following the buyout, Bruno Maisonnier, founder and CEO of Alderaban, stepped down and was replaced by Fumihide Tomizawa.

Several thousand early versions of Pepper were shipped in late 2015.  Full commercial release of Pepper is expected shortly in Japan. An active third-party develop program is underway.

Earlier this year, various company activities in this sector were consolidated under SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp, based in Tokyo and with offices in France (formerly Alderaban Robotics), U.S., and China.

In March 2016, SoftBank and Microsoft announced a partnership to create a next-generation cloud-enabled robot using “Pepper” — SoftBank Robotics' humanoid robot — and Microsoft's cloud-based Azure IoT Suite. The idea is to build a humanoid robot for the retail industry to serve customers in person.  This version of Pepper will use Microsoft's Surface Hub large-screen collaboration device, its Surface 2-in-1 devices, and data repositories in the Azure cloud, such as inventory systems, AI assistance from Cortana, and the Microsoft Translator application.

In January 2016, SoftBank announced plans to offer a version of the Pepper humanoid robot to the enterprise market that would integrate cognitive capabilities of IBM's Watson.   The Watson-powered Pepper would try to make sense of a range of social media, video, image and text inputs. IBM said it will give clients access to Watson APIs and various pre-packaged applications.  The hospitality industry is target for the partners.

On June 21st 2016, SoftBank reached a deal to sell its 84% stake in Supercell Oy, a developer of mobile games based in Helsinki, Finland, to Tencent Holdings for approximately US$10.2 billion. SoftBank owned the controlling stake in Supercell since 2013, but let the business operate as an independent company with its own unique culture and independent team of developers. The proceeds from the sale will be used for the ARM acquisition.

Verizon Lands GSA Networx Contract Extensions

The U.S. General Services Administration awarded extensions to Verizon for contracts held by the company under the agency’s Networx program, which U.S. federal agencies can use to procure network and communications services from Verizon until the government transitions to a new, comprehensive solution-based contract, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, or EIS.

The Networx contract extensions feature a one-year base period and two one-year options. Following are the contracts held by Verizon that the U.S. General Services Administration recently extended.

  • Networx Universal: Extended to March 2020, Verizon’s Networx Universal contract was set to expire in March 2017.The contract was originally awarded in March 2007.
  • Networx Enterprise: Extended to May 2020, Verizon’s Networx Enterprise contract was set to expire in May 2017. The contract was originally awarded in May 2007.

“The technology landscape is shifting dramatically and federal agencies require access to advanced communications, IT and security solutions to enable their digital government initiatives to streamline operations, boost employee productivity, and enhance the delivery of citizen services,” said Michael Maiorana, senior vice president of public sector markets, Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “We are appreciative of the long-standing collaborative relationship we have forged with the GSA and our newly extended Networx program contracts will help ensure that we continue working together to enable federal agencies to deliver on their mission commitments in the U.S. and around the globe via reliable and secure network services for years to come.”

Etisalat Deploys Affirmed for Mobile Core

Etisalat has successfully on-boarded its first virtualised telecom function using Affirmed Networks' virtualised Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solution.

UAE-based Etisalat made its first live LTE data and voice calls on its NFV telco cloud platform in April this year.

The vEPC will be used to deliver broadband and voice services for both mobile and fixed users, in addition to providing advanced connected car and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services.

F5 hits Revenue of $497 Million, up 3%

F5 Networks reported revenue of $496.5 million, up 3 percent from $483.7 million in the prior quarter and 3 percent from $483.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2015.

“During the third quarter, F5 delivered solid revenue growth and strong earnings despite a relatively challenging spending environment,” said John McAdam, F5 President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Americas and Asia Pacific both contributed strong sequential revenue growth, while EMEA revenues were down from the prior quarter against the backdrop of the UK's referendum to withdraw from the European Union.

“Reflecting steadily increasing deployment of our products in public and private cloud environments, software sales continued to grow as a percentage of overall product revenue. Our expanding footprint in public and private clouds also contributed to sequential growth in sales of our security products during the quarter.”

F5 Names Ben Gibson as Chief Marketing Officer

F5 Networks named Ben Gibson as its new Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, reporting to the CEO.

Gibson most recently was Chief Marketing Officer at Veritas, where he led a global team of marketing professionals and spearheaded that company’s rebranding efforts following a spin-off from Symantec. Prior to Veritas, Gibson spent five years as Chief Marketing Officer at Aruba Networks. Before joining Aruba, Gibson spent five years at Cisco Systems, most recently as Vice President of Data Center/Virtualization Marketing.

Riverbed Expands R&D in Bangalore

Riverbed Technology opened a new global Research and Development facility in Bangalore, India. The new center will be the largest Riverbed R&D facility outside the U.S..

The company said it intends to expand its engineering team in the region three-fold over the next several years.

The Riverbed India R&D Center will be led by Kartik Subbanna, Vice President of Engineering, reporting to US-based Vineet Abraham, Riverbed’s Senior Vice President of Engineering.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Arbor Networks: Largest DDoS Attack Hits 579 Gbps

The largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack data during the first six months of 2016, as measured by Arbor Networks, reached 579 Gbps -- up 75% over the largest DDoS attack seen by the same research in 2015.  The data from the Arbor study shows a continuing escalation in both the size and frequency of attacks.

Arbor’s data is gathered through the Active Threat Level Analysis System (ATLAS), a collaborative partnership with more than 330 service provider customers who share anonymous traffic data with Arbor in order to deliver a comprehensive, aggregated view of global traffic and threats.

ATLAS has recorded:

An average of 124,000 events per week over the last 18 months.
A 73% increase in peak attack size over 2015, to 579Gbps.
274 attacks over 100Gbps monitored in 1H 2016, versus 223 in all of 2015.
46 attacks over 200Gbps monitored in 1H 2016, versus 16 in all of 2015.
USA, France and Great Britain are the top targets for attacks over 10Gbps.

Here are some highlights released by the company:

LizardStresser, an IoT botnet was used to launch attacks as large as 400Gbps targeting gaming sites worldwide, Brazilian financial institutions, Internet service providers (ISPs) and government institutions.
Average attack size in 1H 2016 was 986Mbps, a 30% increase over 2015.
Average attack size is projected to be 1.15Gbps by end of 2016.
DNS is the most prevalent protocol used in 2016, taking over from NTP and SSDP in 2015.
Average size of DNS reflection amplification attacks is growing strongly.
Peak monitored reflection amplification attack size in 1H 2016 was 480Gbps (DNS).

Cedexis Measures Latencies of Major U.S. Public Clouds

Cedexis, which specializes in Internet performance monitoring and optimization, released data measuring the performance of major clouds in the U.S. during March/April 2016.

The data includes Real End User Measurements for:

  • AWS
  • Azure
  • SoftLayer
  • Rackspace
  • Google

The report specifically includes findings on the following:

  • Worst to First: Latency of 17 US based Clouds (in Milliseconds)
  • Regional comparison of US based Clouds - US Latency in Milliseconds
  • Regional comparison - 8 best clouds with regard to US Latency, March/April 2016
  • Regional Comparison of top 4 Clouds with regard to Latency
  • US Availability of Clouds – Regional Breakout
  • Southwest latency over a 48 hour period – abnormal diurnal congestion
  • Southwest Availability over same 48 hour period – Google wins!

Cedexis noted that there are significant diurnal patterns that indicate congestion of major peering points, and that this congestion effects the different clouds to varying degrees.

Video: A10 Networks at a Glance

You may not have heard of A10 Networks since it is one of the best kept secrets in the industry, but the company is a major supplier of networking equipment to the video gaming industry, the financial industry, and even for some of the largest casinos in Las Vegas.

Gunter Reiss, VP of Strategic Alliances, A10 Networks, provides a two-minute overview of the 12-year old, Silicon Valley-based company, which has grown to roughly 5,000 customers worldwide. A10 Networks is known for its feature-rich, high-scalable, high-performance, application delivery controller that can be used for carrier-grade NAT, DDoS mitigation, SSL decryption visibility and as a converged firewall.

See video:

Zayo Introduces Encryption as a Service

Zayo Group Holdings announced an Encryption-as-a-Service offering over its fiber network.

Zayo’s Encryption as a Service, which leverages Ciena’s WaveLogic Encryption solution, provides managed wavelength services configured with 10G wire speed encryption at Layer 1, with additional higher speed options in progress.

Zayo’s initial customers include a leading global bank using the service to encrypt credit card transaction data, enabling them to maintain compliance with international security standards.

“Data security continues to be one of the top concerns for global industries, an issue that’s been intensified by recent high-profile attacks in healthcare, retail, banks, hospitality and entertainment,” said Dennis Kyle, senior vice president of Strategic Marketing and Alliances at Zayo. “Our encryption solution is quick and easy to provision and provides high levels of protection without sacrificing network performance. It’s another way we are providing a critical layer of security to protect our customers.”

LinkedIn's Open19 Project Aims for New Rack/Server Spec

LinkedIn is launching a new Open19 project that aims to establish a new open standard for servers based on a common form factor.

LinkedIn believes a new spec could lead to lower cost per rack, lower cost per server, and optimized power utilization in its hyperscale, cloud data centers. The project is open and industry participation is welcomed.

The Open19 platform is based on standard building blocks with the following specifications:

  • Standard 19-inch 4 post rack;
  • Brick cage;
  • Brick (B), Double Brick (DB), Double High Brick (DHB);
  • Power shelf—12 volt distribution, OTS power modules;
  • Optional Battery Backup Unit (BBU);
  • Optional Networking switch (ToR);
  • Snap-on power cables/PCB—200-250 watts per brick;
  • Snap-on data cables—up to 100G per brick;
  • Provides linear growth on power and bandwidth based on brick size.

LinkedIn Acquisition Brings More Cloud Services and Traffic

Microsoft agreed to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in cash, giving it the world’s largest social network for professional contacts. LinkedIn highlights: 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views 101 percent...

LinkedIn Develops its Own Data Center Switch

LinkedIn's engineering team has developed its own data center switch to keep up with the rapidly growing traffic demands of its professional, social network. The new switch, dubbed "Pigeon", is a 3.2 Tbps switching platform that can be used as a leaf or spine switch. It uses Broadcom's latest Tomahawk silicon (32X100G) and switch software developed in house. In a blog post, Zaid Ali Kahn describes why the company decided to take on the difficult...

Why did SoftBank offer £24.3 billion (US$32.4 billion) in cash to acquire ARM Holdings? - Part 1

To make this purchase, SoftBank will need to part with cash-on-hand and take out an additional loan from Mizuho Bank of Japan, adding to its mountainous pile of debt?

ARM is the leading developer of RISC processor designs that are widely licensed for use in smartphones and tablets.  The company, which is based in Cambridge, England, posted 2015 revenue of £968.3 million. A total of 14.8 billion ARM-powered SoCs shipped in 2015, up from just over 12 billion in 2014.

SoftBank is mostly a telco, mobile operator and ISP business in Japan. It also owns the majority stake in Sprint, the fourth largest mobile operator in the U.S., as well as a substantial stake in Alibaba, China's leading cloud and B2B business.

Executives at both firms pointed to IoT as their common future.  Most analysts agree that there will be many years of tremendous growth ahead as the world goes about connecting every machine. ARM processors are already well positioned for this opportunity.  SoftBank's investments in Alibaba and Sprint should also get a boost as more connected devices take off.  But it is not apparent that SoftBank's ownership of ARM could boost its number of IoT design wins.  Nor should we expect ARM-based devices to generate any additional traffic or value just because they are on SoftBank infrastructure.

For ARM executives and shareholders, a 43% jump is valuation is certainly good news.  It more money to grow the business, and more money in the retirement account.

For SoftBank, what other reasons could be driving its decision to take on more corporate debt, especially in the highly-volatile semiconductor business, where it has now prior experience? 

Some considerations:

•   ARM Holdings is a profitable business and holds a 95% share of the market for processors used in smartphones.

•   SoftBank can borrow large amounts of cash at negative interest rates in Japan. The negative interest rates in Japan tend to force spare cash overseas.  Japanese lenders would rather put their money into a fast growing concern like ARM than see it languish at home.

•   The British pound has depreciated significantly versus the yen.  Today's rate is approximately 140 yen for 1 British pound, verses 190 yen for 1 British pound about a year ago.

•   ARM's RISC processors could play a key role in robotics, which is an area of intense interest for SoftBank and its chairman in particular. SoftBank owns the "Pepper" humanoid robots that have made quite a splash of late in Japan.

•   SoftBank may be forecasting a positive entry for ARM into the processor market for servers used in hyperscale data centres, such as those owned by Alibaba.  A strong entry in to this market could significantly weaken Intel.

It has also been revealed that the deal came together in great haste -- just two weeks.  Masayoshi Son denied that the timing was influenced by Brexit or the decline in the value of the pound, instead stating that he has admired ARM for many years. He decided to approach the company with his offer two weeks ago (that would be around June 30th). The SoftBank offer was so compelling that the ARM board decided to approve it rapidly (apparently without shopping around for any other alternative suitors) and to recommend it to shareholders.  ARM's financial advisors were Goldman Sachs and Lazard & Co.

The companies are expecting a straight-forward approval process because they have no areas of competitive overlap. Completion is expected by November 2016.

Masoyoshi Son said the deal is a mark of confidence in the UK, noting that some other Japanese companies he knew were considering whether they should move their European headquarters out of the UK. He said he strongly believes that now is the time to invest in the UK.

On the merger conference call, as well as in previous financial calls, Son reminds investors that SoftBank has the highest EBITDA operating margins and greatest free cash flow of any major carrier at 54%, ahead of Verizon, AT&T or China Mobile. ARM also enjoys nice margins.

Balanced against these reasons in favour of the giant SoftBank + ARM merger are several immediate concerns.  First, did SoftBank offer too high a price?  With a 43% premium over how the LSE valued the ARM business, SoftBank is certainly seeing positive prospects. We know that ARM devices are inside nearly every smartphone, that nearly everyone on the planet own or aspires to own a smartphone, and that these devices need to be replaced on a regular basis.

 Good for the UK?

Then there is a nationalist concern. ARM is currently at the top of its game and it has many bright prospects ahead in mobile phones, tablets, embedded devices, automotive, IoT devices, network infrastructure, and cloud servers.  It one of the few remaining British technology firms with a global impact. Selling out to a Japanese firm, raises the possibility that the UK's influence in the IT sector could be diminished by this transfer of ownership.  ARM and SoftBank addressed this issue at the top of their press event, stating that the ARM organisation would remain intact with its current senior management team, and that it would continue to be based in Cambridge.  The companies are also assuring that employee headcount in the UK will roughly double over the next five years, representing the addition of 1,500 or so high-paying jobs.

SoftBank has successfully kept its word with its other big properties. Following the acquisition of Sprint in 2013, there has not been any changed public perception of the company.  In other words, the U.S. consumer market accepts Sprint as a top four American mobile operator -- not as a Japanese carrier doing business in the U.S. (the same can be said of T-Mobile USA, which is also widely seen as a local player and not a German company).  In China, there is the potentially sensitive issue of a Japanese firm owning major shares of the country's leading cloud and B2B firm.  Whereas other Japanese companies have struggled through several recent episodes of public anger regarding China's political relationship with Japan, SoftBank has brilliantly navigated these waters largely thanks to Masoyoshi Son's charisma and personal friendship with Alibaba's Jack Ma.  As a Japanese citizen of Korean ancestry, Son has long been the outsider willing to take chances and disrupt the established order. His bold investments and entrepreneurial spirit have helped him open doors, whether in Tokyo, Silicon Valley, Hangzhou or Beijing.  Foreign takeovers are never easy, but Son's chances of adapting to Cambridge are probably better than others (just consider if ARM were to be bought by Huawei or Samsung).

ARM's business model as a licensor of intellectual property would also remain unchanged.  ARM is an intellectual property firm. Unlike Intel, which designs and fabricates its own silicon, ARM does not own or control the manufacturing process.  Building fabs is an extremely capital intensive business, especially as the lithography moved under the 90nm threshold a decade ago.  Each new fab is a multi-billion project that takes years of planning but with a short time window in which to recoup the investment.  ARM licensees build their own devices, largely in the fabs of TSMC, UMC, and Global Foundries. This type of manufacturing has long left the UK.  While the idea of a fab-less semiconductor company seemed radical in the early 1990s, the virtual enterprise is all the rage these days.  Investors much prefer a smaller company with very high margins to a behemoth with high levels of production but low productivity. As long as ARM can continue to improve its architecture so that its customers can continue the unending technology update cycle, the company will continue to prosper, as ARM has demonstrated since its founding in 1991.

Ericsson's Q2 Sales Declined 11% YoY, Further Cuts Announced

Ericsson's Q2 sales decreased by 11% YoY, or down 7% YoY when adjusted for comparable units and currency, as mobile broadband sales continued to decline particularly in markets impacted by a weak macro-economic environment, such as Brazil, Russia and the Middle East.

"The negative industry trends from the first quarter have intensified impacting demand for mobile broadband, especially in markets with a weak macro-economic environment. We are delivering on ongoing cost reduction activities. However, in light of market development, management has, with the support of the Board of Directors, initiated significant actions to further reduce cost," stated Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

In addition to its ongoing cost and efficiency program targeting savings of SEK 9 b. during 2017, Ericsson said it now plans to reduce R&D investments in IP and capture efficiency gains from the new company structure. Together, these activities are expected to reduce the annual run rate of operating expenses, excluding restructuring charges, to SEK 53 b. in the second half of 2017. This is to be compared with SEK 63 b. for full-year 2014 and equates to double the previously targeted savings in operating expenses.

Some highlights:

  • In Europe, completion of mobile broadband projects in 2015 continued to have a negative effect on sales growth YoY. 4G sales in Mainland China were stable YoY as the fast pace of deployments continued.
  • Network sales in North America were stable YoY driven by continued mobile broadband capacity investments. Global Services sales declined in North America as activities in Professional Services were lower.
  • The transition from 3G to 4G continued primarily in parts of Asia, contributing to solid sales growth in region South East Asia and Oceania.
  • Sales in the targeted growth areas were 20% of total sales and grew by 5% in the quarter in constant currencies.

Broadcom Samples NVMe over Fibre Channel

Broadcom announced sampling of its Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) over Fibre Channel solution on its Emulex Gen 6 Host Bus Adapters- a first for the industry.

The NVMe over Fibre Channel solution delivers 55% lower latency when used with NVMe drives compared to SCSI drives and a 28% performance advantage versus Ethernet solutions.

Broadcom said its NVMe over Fibre Channel builds on the performance improvements delivered by Emulex Gen 6 HBAs, which cuts latency in half versus the previous generation.  The combination of Emulex Gen 6 with NVMe over Fibre Channel delivers an even greater reduction of 75% in latency versus legacy 8Gb Fibre Channel storage networks.

“NVMe over Fabrics is going to fundamentally change datacenter architectures over the next few years,” said Jeff Hoogenboom, vice president and general manager, Emulex Connectivity Division, Broadcom Limited. “Fibre Channel will play a pivotal role in NVMe deployments because it delivers a superior connectivity solution by providing better performance, lossless and reliable networking with no dropped packets, and it’s incredibly easy to deploy.”

Skycure Raises $16.5 Million for Mobile Threat Defense

Skycure, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced $16.5 million in series B funding for its mobile threat defense.

Skycure helps enterprises secure employee mobile devices when adopting BYOD to increase productivity.

The new funding was led by Foundation Capital and included the participation of all of the company’s previous investors, including Shasta Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital, Skycure customer New York Life, and private investors Peter McKay, and Michael Weider. This round brings Skycure’s total funding to $27.5 million.  The company also added Lane Bess, industry veteran and former CEO of Palo Alto Networks, as a private investor in this series.
“The more devices we carry to streamline business, the larger the attack surface to the organizations grows,” said Yair Amit, CTO and co-founder of Skycure. “IT departments just can’t deal with the massive assault on their mobile devices every day from vulnerability exploits, malware, and network threats. Skycure’s predictive technology uses a multi-layered approach that leverages our crowd-sourced threat intelligence, plus device- and server-based analysis, to proactively protect mobile devices from all of these threats. Solutions using a single approach are just not effective. With our new funding we can focus more on research and invest more in development, further enhancing our security innovation and expanding our product leadership in the market.”

NETSCOUT Announces nGenius for Flows

NETSCOUT SYSTEMS announced its "nGenius for Flows" solution for extending its Adaptive Service Intelligence analysis to flow-based data sources

Specifically, nGenius for Flows, which is an integrated extension to nGeniusONE, adds NetFlow and other flow data to the core packet flow. The data sources all are converted to proprietary Adaptive Service Intelligence® (ASI) data for business assurance analytics.

“The digital transformation pace today requires enterprises to have real-time visibility into the health and dependencies of their key digital initiatives and into the infrastructure supporting them so that they can accelerate time to deployment and reduce risk to service continuity and quality,” explained Michael Szabados, chief operating officer at NETSCOUT. “With the introduction of nGenius for Flows, NETSCOUT offers the most extensive and most scalable service monitoring capability and enables the largest global enterprises and government agencies to deploy major new initiatives with confidence.

See also