Thursday, December 14, 2017

Oracle cites overall cloud revenue growth of 44%

Oracle reported total revenues of $9.6 billion for Q2 of its fiscal 2018, up 6% compared to Q2 last year.

The company posted GAAP operating income of $3.1 billion, up 1% yoy, and GAAP operating margin of 32%. Non-GAAP operating income was up 10% to $4.2 billion and non-GAAP operating margin was 44%.

"Overall cloud revenue growth of 44% drove our quarterly revenue and earnings higher," said Oracle CEO, Safra Catz. "With non-GAAP Cloud SaaS Applications growth of 49% leading the way, Oracle delivered 14% non-GAAP earnings per share growth and 6% overall revenue growth. Our success in the quarter was based on the increasing scale and the gathering momentum in our cloud business. I expect the business to continue to grow and strengthen over the coming quarters."


  • Cloud plus On-Premise Software Revenues were up 9% to $7.8 billion. 
  • Cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) revenues were up 55% to $1.1 billion. 
  • Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS) plus Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) revenues were up 21% to $396 million. 
  • Total Cloud Revenues were up 44% to $1.5 billion.


In addition, Oracle's Board of Directors increased the authorization for share repurchases by $12 billion. The Board of Directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 per share of outstanding common stock.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Apple to invest $390 million in Finisar for VCSELs

Apple will invest $390 million in Finisar to support the high-volume production of Finisar's vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are used power Apple’s TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.  The iPhone X's TrueDepth camera enables Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfie capabilities.

The $390 million investment comes from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund supporting innovation and job creation by American manufacturers.

Finisar plans to reopen its 700,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas. Volume production should be underway in the second half of 2018. The companies estimate this will create more than 500 jobs at the facility. Finisar operates another plant in nearby Allen, Texas. With both plants in full operation, Finisar's payroll in northern Texas is expected to be $65 million.


Bell Canada deploys open source ONAP

Bell, Canada’s largest communications company, is deploying the open source version of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) in its production network -- the first carrier to do so. The installation is part of the Bell's Network 3.0 transformation initiative.

The open source ONAP platform initially is being used by Bell to automate its data center tenant network provisioning. There are plans to use ONAP as a common platform across Bell’s networks on its journey towards a multi-partner DevOps model.

“Bell has been engaged in the ONAP journey from day one and committed to get it to production to demonstrate its value,” said Tamer Shenouda, Director of Network Transformation for Bell. “This demonstration will encourage other partners to take a similar incremental approach in delivery and operations of the platform, and we look forward to other telecoms launching ONAP to production.”

“We’re very proud to be the first member of the ONAP Project to demonstrate the viability of the platform live on our network,” said Petri Lyytikainen, Bell’s Vice President, Network Strategy, Services and Management. “The evolution of our advanced software-defined networks will enable us to respond even faster to the unique needs of our customers.”

Bell is a founding Platinum Member of ONAP. Platinum members include: Amdocs, AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, Cisco, Cloudify, Ericsson, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Jio, Nokia, Orange, Tech Mahindra, Türk Telekom, Vmware, Vodafone, and ZTE.




What is ONAP?

The Open Network Automation Platform is a project hosted by The Linux Foundation that aims to automate the entire network.

Facebook plans big expansion of Oregon data center

Facebook announced plans to add 900,000 square feet to its data center campus in Prineville, Oregon.

The expansion comes in the form of two new buildings expected to enter service in 2020 and 2021.

The Prineville site is where Facebook opened its first owned data center eight years ago. Since then, the site has expanded to three buildings encompassing 1.25 million square feet of space.

Google opens AI Research Center in Beijing

Google is opening an AI China Center to focus on basic research. Ms. Fei-Gei Li, who is Chief Scientist AI/ML at Google, notes that many of the world's top experts in AI are Chinese.

Google also has AI research groups located in New York, Toronto, London and Zurich.

China Mobile to enter UK as MVNO

China Mobile is entering the UK telephony market as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with leased capacity on the EE network.

The new service -- called CMLink -- will provide mobile voice and data services for Chinese immigrants, students and professionals living in and traveling to the UK. The company estimates the size of the Chinese community in the UK at 433,000. A further 82,000 Chinese nationals are studying in the UK on student visas. During the first half of 2017, there were 115,000 Chinese tourists visiting the UK, up 47% over last year.

Two key features of the service:

  • CMLink promises no extra fees on data, minutes and texts across the UK, selected destinations in the EU, mainland China and Hong Kong SAR.
  • CMLink subscribers can  make free calls to 880 million China Mobile users in China.

“China Mobile’s ‘Big Connectivity’ strategy affirms its vision of becoming a leading global operator with innovative digital services.” said Dr. Li Feng, Chairman and CEO at CMI. “While China Mobile serves 880 million domestic mobile subscribers, CMI – its operating subsidiary responsible for international business – is breaking new ground in overseas markets. With the growing business and cultural exchanges between China and the UK, the launch of CMI’s CMLink MVNO, enables Chinese communities to stay connected with family, friends and business partners anytime, anywhere. We expect the UK launch to be a new chapter in CMI delivering compelling digital services that break down barriers of communication for global consumers while fostering open exchange between Belt and Road companies.”

T-Mobile US to enter pay TV business

T-Mobile US' CEO John Legere announced the company's entrance into the pay-TV business.

T-Mobile has agreed to acquire Layer3 TV, a provider of IP-based video service that was founded in 2013 by cable veterans Dave Fellows and Jeff Binder. Layer3 TV, which is based in Denver, streams its service to a custom set-top box with 4K decoders and 1 TB of local storage.

T-Mobile has stated that is LTE network is at the heart of its mobile video strategy. It's unclear if the upcoming T-Mobile home video service will be delivered wirelessly or streamed over any wireline broadband connection that is also ready in the home.

AT&T cites progress with Project AirGig

AT&T has launched more field trials of its Project AirGig, which aims to deploy low-cost plastic antennas along medium-voltage power lines as a means of propagating millimeter wave (mmWave) signals that can be used for 4G LTE and 5G multi-gigabit mobile and fixed deployments.

One of the new field trials is in the U.S. with Georgia Power, while the second trial is with an electricity provider located overseas.

AT&T says AirGig could one day deliver internet speeds well over 1 gigabit per second via a mmWave signal guided by power lines.

Project AirGig is part of our ongoing effort to accelerate internet connections to a gig or more through both wired and wireless solutions,” said Andre Fuetsch, president, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer. “But it also stands alone as a radically innovative solution to bridge the global digital divide. If these trials and our continued research and development turn out the way we intend, we’ll take a big step toward bringing hyper-fast connectivity to people everywhere.”

Rivada offers $25M for Los Angeles' public safety LTE assets

Rivada Networks is bidding $25 million to acquire the LTE assets of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS)

The company said its bid is more than double the $12 million offered by AT&T.

“Yet again, AT&T is shortchanging public safety with a low-ball offer for LA-RICS’s assets,” Chairman and CEO Declan Ganley said. “Rivada’s bid to build a truly statewide public-safety broadband network for all of California went in last week, and it included a far more generous offer for the LA-RICS network.” Rivada will ask the LA-RICS board to consider the two offers side-by-side, rather than rush to accept a low-ball bid without competition. This $12 million offer to LA-RICS is just the latest demonstration that without competition, public safety gets taken to the cleaners,” Ganley said. “Los Angeles deserves better, and California deserves better.”

Tintri posts quarterly revenue drop for its enterprise cloud platform

Tintri, which offers an enterprise cloud platform and which completed its IPO on 30-June-2017, reported quarterly revenue of $31.8 million, down 6% year-over-year There was a quarterly net loss per share of ($1.21) per share GAAP, and ($0.79) per share non-GAAP.

"We made progress in the quarter by expanding our differentiated technology portfolio with two new all-flash product lines and software that integrates our products with leading public cloud storage solutions. These innovations helped us to increase our footprint with existing customers. However, we are disappointed with Q3 revenue. The company was impacted by delayed and reduced purchases by some accounts, but some of the delayed transactions closed in November,” said Ken Klein, Chairman and CEO at Tintri.

The company also disclosed that it is exploring strategic options "to deliver value to our stockholders, including retaining investment bank advisors."

Warburg Pincus buys 20% stake in Bhartin Telemedia

Warburg Pincus will acquire a 20% equity stake in Bharti Telemedia, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel that offers Direct To Home (DTH) satellite service under the Airtel TV brand, for US$350 million. The business unit has approximately 14 million subscribers according to financial filings.

Viraj Sawhney, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus India, is expected to join the Board of Bharti Telemedia.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

AWS partners with Ningxia Western Cloud Data for 2nd data center region in China

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has formed a strategic partnership with Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology Co. Ltd. (NWCD).

AWS will use data centers and cloud infrastructure operated by NWCD to launch AWS China (Ningxia) Region, its second cloud region in China. NWCD operates and provides services from the AWS China (Ningxia) Region in full compliance with Chinese regulations.

The AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD, offers two Availability Zones at launch. AWS Regions are comprised of Availability Zones, which refer to technology infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting availability, yet near enough for business continuity applications that require rapid failover. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security, and is connected to national backbone networks via local telecom carriers’ high-speed fiber-optic networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can architect their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones or across both AWS China Regions to achieve even higher fault-tolerance.

AWS China (Beijing) Region is already in service and operated by Sinnet. The company said it already has thousands of active customers using its cloud services in Beijing.

The expansion to NingXia marks the seventh AWS region in Asia Pacific (Beijing, Mumbai, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo). AWS now provides 46 Availability Zones across 17 technology infrastructure regions globally, with announced plans for another 15 Availability Zones across five AWS Regions in Bahrain, France, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden, and the US.

“Together with our partner NWCD, and with deep appreciation of the support we’ve received from the Zhongwei municipal government and Ningxia government, we’re excited to announce the launch of the AWS China (Ningxia) Region, operated by NWCD. The second AWS Region in China is part of AWS’s ongoing commitment to offer best-in-class cloud technologies to Chinese customers,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS. “For years, AWS and our partners have had an enthusiastic base of customers in China, a country with one of the world’s largest and most dynamic cloud ecosystems. Our customers build their businesses on AWS because in addition to being the world’s largest cloud, it has more functionality than any other cloud platform, an extensive partner community, and unmatched maturity, security, and performance.”

Iron Mountain to acquire IO Data Centers U.S. for $1.3B

Iron Mountain agreed to acquire the U.S. operations of IO Data Centers LLC, a colocation data center services provider based in Phoenix, Arizona, for $1.315 billion plus up to $60 million based on future performance.

The deal includes the land and buildings associated with four state-of-the-art data centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Edison, New Jersey; and Columbus, Ohio. The existing data center space in the four owned facilities totals 728,000 square feet, providing 62 megawatts (MW) of capacity with expansion potential of an additional 77 MW in Arizona and New Jersey. 

IO Phoenix Campus
Leading interconnected campus with significant expansion potential
Current data center capacity: 38 MW (approximately 95% utilization)
Weighted average remaining lease term of 2.9 years
Expansion capability: 2 - 3 MW through an expansion of the existing shell, plus an additional 60 MW on adjacent 9-acre owned and entitled parcel

IO Scottsdale
Raised floor with dedicated metro optical network to IO Phoenix campus
Current data center capacity: 7 MW (approximately 88% utilization)
Weighted average remaining lease term of 2.2 years

IO New Jersey Campus
830,000 square foot building, including approximately 400,000 square feet of warehouse space for subleasing; former New York Times printing building, partially fitted with data centers, offers proximity to Wall Street and healthcare firms
Current data center capacity: 15 MW (approximately 79% utilization)
Weighted average remaining lease term of 4.3 years
Expansion capability: 15 MW

IO Ohio
Highly efficient data center
Current data center capacity: 2 MW (approximately 98% utilization)
Weighted average remaining lease term of 4.0 years

This agreement follows the acquisition of FORTRUST data center on September 1, 2017, and the announcement of Iron Mountain's international data center expansion through the planned acquisition of two Credit Suisse data centers in the London and Singapore markets.

When the Credit Suisse and IO transactions are consummated in early 2018, Iron Mountain's data center portfolio will total more than 90 MW of existing capacity, with an additional 26 MW of capacity currently under construction and planned and future expansion potential of another 135 MW.



FirstNet adds "Ruthless Preemption" feature

FirstNet, which in partnership with AT&T is building the nationwide public safety broadband network, announced the release of "ruthless preemption" for first responder subscribers across the country.

Preemption is a mission-critical feature that enables first responders on FirstNet to communicate and coordinate during emergencies, large events or other situations where commercial networks can become congested.

The feature is now available to first responders in states and territories that have opted in to the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T plan.

"As a first responder on 9/11, I experienced the communications challenges that can happen in large emergencies as networks become congested and overwhelmed," said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Chief Richard Bowers. "Now, with the launch of preemption on FirstNet, for the first time, public safety is ensured a 'fast lane' to connect. FirstNet will provide reliability, confidence and ability for first responders to be able to communicate during emergency operations. Virginia was first in to opt in, and we're all in to ensure emergency communications are seamless for first responders."

Zayo to provide European Dark Fiber to Global Webscale Company

Zayo announced a major contract to provide a global webscale company (not named) with significant amounts of dark fiber in Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The solution consists of more than 835 miles (1,350 kilometers) of long-haul dark fiber located on multiple strategic routes in the UK and France. The solution utilizes Zayo’s significant European assets acquired from Geo, Viatel, and AboveNet.


Tencent deploys Mellanox RDMA and Intelligent Interconnect Acceleration Engines

Tencent Cloud has adopted Mellanox interconnect solutions for its high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) public cloud offering.

Specifically, the Tencent Cloud infrastructure leverages Mellanox Ethernet and InfiniBand adapters, switches and cables to deliver advanced public cloud services. Tencent also employs Mellanox RDMA, in-network computing and other interconnect acceleration engines.

“Tencent Cloud is utilizing Mellanox interconnect and applications acceleration technology to help companies develop their next generation products and offer new and intelligent services,” said Wang Huixing, vice president of Tencent Cloud. “We are excited to work with Mellanox to integrate its world-leading interconnect technologies into our public cloud offerings, and plan to continue to scale our infrastructure product lines to meet the growing needs of our customers.”

Verizon opens 5G incubator in NYC’s Silicon Alley

Verizon opened a 5G-enabled Open Innovation lab in New York’s Silicon Alley.  The facility, which was created in partnership with Alley, a co-working community that collocates startups, accelerators, and entrepreneurs, aims to work with startups and academics to unlock new use cases and experiences through trials and prototypes using Verizon’s pre-commercial 5G technology.

“5G brings an entirely new and unique array of benefits and possibilities compared to previous wireless technologies,” says Verizon SVP of Strategy, Innovation and Product Development, Toby Redshaw. “One of the best ways to unleash the true possibilities of 5G is by getting it into the hands of innovators and visionaries. We see Alley as a logical first place to do just that.”

Fiber Broadband Association elects Kevin Morgan as Chair

Kevin Morgan has been elected to the position of Chairman-Elect for the Fiber Broadband Association (formerly the Fiber to the Home Council Americas), which is an industry that promotes all-fiber-optic network infrastructure to the home, to the business, and everywhere.

Morgan will serve one year as Chairman-Elect then move to the position of Chairman of the Board in 2019.  He also serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Clearfield.