Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Inphi sees boost from DCI and DSP segments

Citing an increase in demand for its "COLORZ" inter-data center solutions and coherent DSP products from its ClariPhy acquisition, Inphi reported Q3 revenue of $84.5 million (GAAP), up 19% year-over-year, compared with $70.7 million in the third quarter of 2016.

Gross margin from continuing operations under GAAP was 49.8%, compared with 68.1% in the third quarter of 2016. The decrease in gross margin was primarily due to a Q3 impairment charge of acquired intangibles. GAAP operating loss from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2017 was $52.5 million or (62.1%) of revenue from continuing operations, compared to GAAP income from continuing operations in the third quarter of 2016 of $10.2 million or 14.5% of revenue from continuing operations.

“Q3 was a solid quarter of execution for Inphi, in a market still waiting for a rebound in China long haul and metro,” said President and CEO Ford Tamer. “Once again, we had strong growth in the data center market from COLORZ, and we continue to introduce new PAM-based products, like Vega and Polaris that will lead to continued growth in the data center market in 2018 and beyond.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

AT&T launches Microservices Supplier Program

AT&T is launching its microservices supplier program in partnership with IBM.  The idea is to offer a new approach to delivering business functionality for software developers. AT&T said that it is a heavy user of microservices for its internal systems.

Under this partnership, IBM will collaborate with AT&T to design, develop and deploy microservices that will transform AT&T’s business backend processes. IBM’s creation of microservices across sales, ordering, and enterprise data will enhance and modernize AT&T’s mission-critical systems. This enables higher-performing backend processing with minimal downtime while allowing the whole business to adapt quickly to changing market dynamics through the deployment of new fast and easy to access services and capabilities.

“Our software journey has focused on virtualizing our network functions to give more speed and flexibility than the traditional hardware model,” said Melissa Arnoldi, president, AT&T Technology and Operations. “We’re now looking at the 2,200+ apps in our IT system. And we’re starting to break them up into microservices to create agility, speed, and scalability that wasn’t possible before. Microservices are at the very core of our vision for the future of our network.”

Earlier this week, AT&T introduced Acumos, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that makes it easy to build, share and deploy AI applications, built with microservices.

100G Lambda MSA looks for new wavelength spec

A new 100G Lambda Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group is aiming to develop specifications based on 100 Gbps per wavelength optical technology.

Founding members of the group include Alibaba, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Ciena, Cisco, Finisar, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Inphi, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Luxtera, MACOM, MaxLinear, Microsoft, Molex, NeoPhotonics, Nokia, Oclaro, Semtech, Source Photonics, and Sumitomo Electric.

The new interfaces defined by the 100G Lambda MSA double the speed per wavelength for 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps applications.

The group said it aims to complement the 100 Gbps (100GBASE-DR) and 400 Gbps (400GBASE-DR4) 500 m reach interfaces currently being defined by IEEE P802.3.  Its work focuses on reaches of 2 km and 10 km over duplex single-mode fiber.

http://100glambda.com/

Sweden's Norrsken First to Deploy Infinera XTM II and 400G Flexponder

Norrsken, a Sweden-based regional operator, is the first to deploy the Infinera XTM II and the recently released 400G Flexponder. The carrier operates a regional network in Sweden providing Layer 1 wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) services and Layer 2 Ethernet services.

The equipment will be used for new 100 Gb/s services to leading internet service providers and carriers. Infinera said its XTM II platform and 400G Flexponder enable network operators like Norrsken to activate multiple 200 Gb/s wavelengths on a fiber, providing up to an eightfold density increase and a reduction in power per gigabit of 3.5 times over the previous generation of 100 Gb/s technology.

“We are excited to be the first carrier to deploy Infinera’s newly released XTM II platform and the new 400G Flexponder,” said Björn Jonsson, CEO at Norrsken. “This state-of-the-art network upgrade allows us to expand our end-user offerings to include 100 Gb/s services and scale to meet increasing traffic demands from our rapidly growing customer base. This upgrade delivers higher capacity, higher density, ultra-low latency and lower power consumption while keeping our existing chassis and protecting our network investments with this market-leading packet-optical platform.”

“The XTM II platform is the ideal solution for Norrsken’s network upgrade,” said Karl Thedéen
Senior Vice President, Metro Business Group, Infinera. “By delivering the 400G Flexponder as committed to the market and upgrading Norrsken’s network to the XTM II platform as planned, Infinera is helping Norrsken benefit from industry-leading innovation, meet mounting customer demands and win in its market.”

Infinera Intros XTM II for Cloud Scale Metro Packet-Optical

In June, Infinera introduced its next generation packet-optical platform for metro networks. The XTM II, which delivers Layer 0, Layer 1 and Layer 2 services, is optimized for bandwidth-intensive cloud scale applications at the metro edge, such as Remote PHY, 5G transport and data center interconnect (DCI). The new platform builds on Infinera's XTM Series, but now adds 200 gigabits per second (200G) per wavelength capabilities, with an eightfold density increase and a reduction in power per gigabit of 3.5 times. Power consumption is believed to be the lowest in the industry for 100/200G transport. It also features Infinera Instant Bandwidth, which is the company's open grid line system with SDN control. This gives network operators a highly flexible, open and software-programmable packet-optical solution for Layer 0, Layer 1 and Layer 2 services.

A key component of the XTM II platform is the new range of 200G per wavelength traffic units, featuring:
  • The 400G Flexponder: A dual, 200G muxponder that uses 16QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) for high-capacity transport, or a dual 100G transponder that uses quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK) for longer reach operation. This device provides 400G of line and client capacity per slot, giving an eightfold density increase over the previous generation. Including optics, the device operates at as low as 20 watts per 100G service, which the company believes is the lowest power consumption per 100G available in the industry on any wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM)-based platform.
  • The 200G Muxponder: A 200G Layer 1 muxponder that supports a broad range of client signals, including 10G/40G/100G Ethernet and Optical Transport Network (OTN) as well as 8/16/32G Fibre Channel. The device can also be paired to create an OTN add-drop multiplexer (ADM).
  • The EMXP440 Packet-Optical Transport Switch: A high-capacity addition to the existing range of EMXP devices that provides Layer 2 packet-optical switching with dual 100/200G ports and 12 or 24 10G ports. The EMXP440 supports Carrier Ethernet (CE) and MPLS-TP, packet transport with sub-50 milliseconds protection, Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) CE 2.0 service creation and quality of service-aware traffic aggregation. In addition, the EMXP440 has feature-harmonization with the EMXP/IIe range and PT-Fabric.
Additional enhancements to the XTM Series include:


  • A new portfolio of XTM II upgraded chassis for improved power management and cooling and increased density to support nodes that require large volumes of new traffic units. 

  • Instant Bandwidth capability, enabling the on-demand licensing of 100G bandwidth increments to align capital expense spend with service revenue and to reduce operational expenses through automated software activation of new capacity.
  • New 400G+ per wavelength-ready flexible grid 4x and 9x ROADM modules and optimized hybrid erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA)/Raman optical amplifiers to support sophisticated modulation formats and higher baud rates required above 100G. In addition, the new XTM II open flexible grid line system supports fiber capacity up to 24 terabits per second.
  • A unified solution providing end-to-end software control from core to access. The XTM Series, including the XTM II, is supported by Infinera’s Xceed Software Suite and DNA network management system. This new range of packet-optical platforms provides network operators with leading low power and high density at Layer 0, Layer 1 and Layer 2, and supports full interworking with the large installed base of XTM Series and the DTN-X platforms.
https://www.infinera.com/xtm-ii-cloud-scale-metro-packet-optical-applications/




Ixia intros Network Visibility OS for open networking

Ixia introduced its new Network Visibility Operating System (NVOS) solution, a software version of Ixia’s network packet broker (NPB) product that allows Ixia’s NPB’s capabilities to run on open networking switches, such as those from Edgecore Networks.

Ixias said its NVOS embraces the movement of disaggregating software and hardware in software defined data center (SDDC) networks.

Network packet brokers aggregate, filter, and load-balance network packet data and then deliver it to security, forensics, and performance management tools. The new NVOS software transforms open switches into NPBs, providing rack and data center level visibility. It offers complete access to network packets to facilitate real-time visibility, insight, and security for high density hyperscale, microscale, and SDDC networks, even as they expand.

“IT management will appreciate the flexibility of Ixia’s NVOS,” says Recep Ozdag, Vice President of Product Management at Ixia. “Customers can build a data-center of any size by leveraging existing hardware or the hardware solution of their choice, which is ideal for creating an efficient and cost-effective IT operation.”

Frontier sees stabilization in Q3 as it trims losses

Frontier Communications reported Q3 revenue of $2.25 billion, down from $2.30 billion in the preceding quarter. Net loss for the quarter was $38 million.

“Our third quarter results highlight the ongoing stabilization across our business as we focus on executing our strategy,” said Dan McCarthy, President and CEO. “During the quarter, we were pleased with the continued improvement in subscriber trends and churn in our California, Texas and Florida (CTF) markets, ongoing stabilization in our commercial business, and continued operating efficiencies.

Some highlights:


  • Consumer revenue was $1.1 billion, a sequential decline of $22 million versus the $40 million sequential decline in the second quarter.
  • Customer churn improved to 2.08% (1.92% for Frontier Legacy and 2.33% for CTF operations) compared to 2.24% for the second quarter of 2017 (1.95% for Frontier Legacy and 2.69% for CTF operations), with CTF FiOS being the primary driver of the overall improvement. 
  • Combined Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC) of $80.91 ($63.99 for Frontier Legacy and $107.33 for CTF operations). Excluding the positive one-time impact of the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight in the quarter, each of these measures of ARPC was stable sequentially.
  • The hurricanes in Texas and Florida led to $12 million in losses, including operating expenses of $9 million and capital expenditures of $3 million.
  • CAPEX for Q3 was $268 million, up from $263 million in Q2.

Netscout releases packet flow switch management software

Netscout released new packet flow switch management software that aims to simplify the challenge of visibility networks.

The Fabric Manager software, which supports Netscout's nGenius 5000 and nGenius 6000 series of packet flow switches,
simplifies the creation of packet flow topologies for large-scale networks by providing intuitive workflows and lifecycle orchestration. The software adopts a lifecycle-based management approach, focusing on configuration, deployment, and monitoring. This allows easier scaling of packet broker deployments.

Nutanix appoints Conway and Bostrom to board

Nutanix has added Craig Conway and Sue Bostrom to its board of directors. , effective Friday, October 27, 2017.

Conway served as President and CEO of PeopleSoft, Inc., an enterprise application software company from 1999 to 2004. Prior to PeopleSoft, he served as President and CEO of One Touch Systems, a high bandwidth network communications provider, and TGV Software, a TCP/IP protocol and applications company.

Bostrom served as Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and Worldwide Government Affairs of Cisco Systems, Inc., a networking equipment provider, from 2006 to 2011. From 1997 to 2011, she held various leadership positions at Cisco, including Senior Vice President of the Internet Business Solutions Group, which shared Internet best practices with global Fortune 500 companies and governments

Orbital's Minotaur C Rocket Carries 10 Satellites to Orbit

Orbital ATK successfully launched 10 commercial spacecraft into orbit aboard its commercial Minotaur C rocket.

The miniature satellites belong to Planet, a San Francisco based company that is rapidly becoming a major provide of satellite imagery services. Planet now has a constellation of 275 "Dove" satellites in orbit.  It also now has a constellation of 13 "SkySat" satellites, making it he world’s largest commercial, sub-meter fleet of high-res satellites operating in space.

Orbital's Minotaur C rocket was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

SpaceX launches Koreasat-5A

SpaceX successfully delivered the Koreasat-5A satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Falcon 9’s first stage successfully landed on the company's droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Koreasat-5A satellite is owned by KT SAT, South Korea’s sole satellite service provider and it will provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) broadcast, broadband, and backhaul services with its Ku-Band capacity. The spacecraft was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and is equipped with 12 Ku-band transponders of 36MHz, and 24 Ku-band transponders of 54MHz.

Monday, October 30, 2017

AT&T moves Acumos into open source as an AI-enabling platform

AT&T, in collaboration with Tech Mahindra, is backing an open source artificial intelligence (AI) platform called Acumos that can be used to build smart applications.

Acumos, which will be hosted by The Linux Foundation, makes it easy to build, share and deploy AI applications. More specifically, it provides the capability to edit, integrate, compose, package, train and deploy AI microservices. Acumos will provide a marketplace for accessing, using and enhancing those applications.

“Our goal with open sourcing the Acumos platform is to make building and deploying AI applications as easy as creating a website,” said Mazin Gilbert, vice president of Advanced Technology at AT&T Labs. “We’re collaborating with Tech Mahindra to establish an industry standard for AI in the networking space. We invite others to join us to create a global harmonization in AI and set the stage for all future AI network applications and services.”

“We’re opening up AI. We’re focusing on the telecommunication, media and technology spaces, starting with the network. The platform will be available to anyone and the more users who adopt it, the better it will get,” added Gilbert.

AT&T said the Acumos platform is built on open source technologies and can be powered by AT&T Indigo, its next-generation platform for delivering a seamless network experience.

Earlier this year, AT&T moved its ECOMP into the open source curation of The Linux Foundation under the newly launched ONAP project. With Acumos, AT&T said it was acting to place the initial framework into open source as quickly as possible.

AT&T expands business cloud networking with AWS

AT&T announced an expansion of its alliance with Amazon Web Services (AWS) by expanding its business cloud networking solutions and focusing on security and IoT.

Highlights:

  • FlexWare: AT&T is expanding the reach of how AWS customers can access the cloud more securely. AT&T FlexWareSM is now cloud-ready, and can directly—and more securely—connect to AWS. This will help businesses be more agile with edge computing. 
  • Private Mobile Connect: With AT&T Private Mobile Connect, AWS customers can more securely access AWS from a mobile device.  Workloads are moved from the mobile device, via the public network or through NetBond for Cloud, to AWS for all customers. 
  • Cybersecurity: AT&T Threat Manager will allow AWS customers to proactively identify data patterns and threat activity that could affect their network and cloud environment. AT&T analyzes the traffic in near real-time coming in and out of a device, connection or application. AT&T can then identify abnormalities to help prevent, detect and respond to vulnerabilities. 
  • Internet of Things: Earlier this year AT&T introduced a dedicated IoT Starter kit, powered by AWS. The kit lets developers build their own solutions using AT&T IoT and AWS IoT. Developers can also use AT&T’s highly secure network and get application-level security. The companies are currently exploring options to bring AWS Greengrass to the AT&T FlexWare platform, which would enable edge computing to open up new IoT opportunities for businesses.

AT&T also offers Cloud Transformation Consulting services.

FCC approves CenturyLink + Level 3 merger

After a year-long review, the FCC voted to approve the CenturyLink + Level Communications merger. The FCC ruled that the public interest would not be harmed by the transfer of necessary licenses to secure the merger and that any potential harms to competition are mitigated by the conditions set forth in the DOJ consent decree.

  • On October 3rd, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice cleared CenturyLink's pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications with certain conditions, including the divestiture of certain Level 3 metro network assets and certain dark fiber assets.

    Specifically, the combined company is required to divest Level 3 metro network assets in Albuquerque, N.M.; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Arizona. In addition, the combined company is required to divest 24 strands of dark fiber connecting 30 specified city-pairs across the country in the form of an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU). CenturyLink said that because these fibers are not currently in commercial use, this divestiture will not affect any current customers or services.


CenturyLink to Acquire Level 3 for $34 Billion

CenturyLink agreed to acquire Level 3 Communications in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion, including the assumption of debt.

The deal combines CenturyLink's larger enterprise customer base with Level 3's global network footprint. The companies said this scale will enable further investment in the reach and speeds of its broadband infrastructure for small businesses and consumers. After close, CenturyLink's Glen Post will continue to serve as Chief Executive Officer and President of the combined company.  Sunit Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Level 3, will serve as Chief Financial Officer of the combined company. The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana and will maintain a significant presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.

Under terms of the agreement, Level 3 shareholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own, which implies a purchase price of $66.50 per Level 3 share (based on a CenturyLink $28.00 per share reference price) and a premium of approximately 42 percent based on Level 3's unaffected closing share price of $46.92 on October 26, 2016. Upon the closing  CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 percent and Level 3 shareholders will own approximately 49 percent of the combined company.

JUPITER transpacific cable to carry 400G wavelengths

JUPITER, a new large-capacity, low-latency subsea cable between Japan and the United States has received the backing of SoftBank, Facebook, Amazon, PLDT and PCCW Global.

The JUPITER cable system. which will have a total length of 14,000 km, will have two landing points in Japan — the Shima Landing Station in Mie Prefecture and the Maruyama Landing Station in Chiba Prefecture — as well as a U.S. landing station in Los Angeles, California, as well as a landing station at Daet in the Philippines.

JUPITER will feature a state-of-the-art submersible ROADM employing WSS (wavelength selective switch) for a gridless and flexible bandwidth configuration. The cable system will also be designed to support 400 Gbps wavelengths. The initial design capacity is 60 Tbps.

NTT Com said its Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE), Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) and Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) cables will connect with JUPITER to provide a redundant three-route structure linking major cities in Asia, Japan and United States. NTT Com is also planning direct connections from the cable landing stations in Japan to data centers in Tokyo and Osaka.

JUPITER is expected to come online in early 2020.

CyrusOne sees strong demand in Q3 for data center services

CyrusOne reported strong demand in Q3 for its collocation data centers. Revenue in Q3 was $175 million, up 22% over a year earlier. There was a net loss of $55 million, primarily due to $54 million impairment charge for a facility in Connecticut.

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Leased 15 megawatts (MW) and 151,000 colocation square feet (CSF) in the third quarter, totaling $27 million in annualized GAAP revenue
  • Backlog of $37 million in annualized GAAP revenue as of the end of the third quarter, representing more than $290 million in total contract value
  • Added five Fortune 1000 companies as new customers in the third quarter, increasing the total number of Fortune 1000 customers to 195 as of the end of the quarter
  • Company record construction with completion of eight projects totaling 555,000 CSF and 76 MW to add inventory across key markets, including Phoenix, Northern Virginia, Chicago, Dallas and San Antonio
  • Closed the previously announced acquisition of 66 acres of land in Allen, Texas, with an option to acquire an additional 24 acres of adjacent land, to support growth in the Dallas market
  • Subsequent to the end of the quarter, signed a commercial agreement with and made $100 million investment in GDS Holdings Limited (“GDS”), a leading data center provider in China, creating cross-selling opportunities and expanding our global presence.

“We had an outstanding quarter in virtually all aspects of our business, including high growth rates across our key financial metrics, continued strong bookings, and a record level of capacity brought online, which positions us well to meet the demand in our late-stage sales funnel across our top markets,” said Gary Wojtaszek, president and chief executive officer of CyrusOne.

PacketFabric extends Network-as-a-Service with AEConnect transatlantic cable

PacketFabric, which offers a highly scalable, SDN-powered network-as-a-service platform, will use the America-Europe Connect (“AEConnect”) subsea cable system to provision secure, low-latency transatlantic capacity and extend its reach to Europe.

PacketFabric enables dynamic, real-time connectivity services between major carrier-neutral colocation facilities at terabit-scale.

Aqua Comms’ AEConnect submarine cable system links New York to Ireland with diverse backhaul fibre to additional Points of Presence (PoPs) in the U.S., Ireland and U.K.

As part of the strategic partnership, Aqua Comms also utilizes the PacketFabric platform to extend the reach of its service footprint across the U.S.  PacketFabric’s scalable network facilitates coast-to-coast connectivity between more than 150 premier colocation facilities across 17 U.S. markets.


Orange sees another quarter of growth in France

Citing its second consecutive quarter of growth in France, Orange reported Q3 revenue of 10.274 billion euros, up 0.9% on a comparable basis compared to last year and in line with the first half (+1.1%). Adjusted EBITDA for the Group grew 2.1% in the third quarter of 2017 on a comparable basis, in line with the first half (+2.2%).

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of the Orange Group, commented: “This quarter demonstrates very good momentum at Orange, supported more than ever by investment in customer experience and our networks. We attracted nearly half a million mobile contract customers and 321,000 fibre customers in France and the Europe segment in the past three months. Despite new roaming regulation in Europe, we delivered revenue growth for the ninth consecutive quarter and adjusted EBITDA growth of 2.1%. Excluding regulatory changes, adjusted EBITDA rose 4.4%. "

Highlights for Q3 2017:

  • Orange France had a particularly strong third quarter in mobile, with 320,000 net additions – its best performance since 2008. 
  • Orange France is continuing to grow in fibre broadband and now reaches more than 1.8 million customers. 
  • Interconnection revenue with operators in other European countries (visitor roaming) grew but was offset by the end of roaming charges for customers traveling in Europe. 
  • Orange Europe continued to record sustained growth, driven by Spain and Central European countries. 
  • Revenue in the Africa & Middle East segment confirmed a return to solid growth, 
  • Revenue in the Enterprise segment fell 0.5% on a comparable basis. In the first nine months of 2017, revenues were 30.550 billion euros, up 1.0% (+317 million euros) on a comparable basis.
  • The Group’s capital expenditure for the first nine months of the year was 4.873 billion euros, in line with the 2017 forecast of 7.2 billion euros. 
  • CAPEX increased by 2.8% compared to the first nine months of 2016 on a comparable basis. 
  • CAPEX from telecom activities (4.836 billion euros) rose 2.0% and the ratio of CAPEX from telecom activities to revenues was 15.8%. 
  • Investments in fibre and in very high-speed mobile (4G and 4G+) rose 14.2% compared with the first nine months of 2016.

T-Mobile connects with Project Loon in Puerto Rico

T-Mobile has recovered more than 80% of its original pre-storm outdoor signal in Puerto Rico. In a blog post, Neville Ray, T-Mobile's CTO, said the carrier has done everything possible to restore service following Hurricane Maria. Damage was extensive to the backhaul network, the cell sites and of course to the electrical grid, which still remains out for much of the island.

T-Mobile in Puerto Rico is now serving a live signal via the experimental Project Loon balloon, which enables LTE access with limited data and texting to customers in hard to reach areas.


See also