Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Equinix acquires Metronode data centers in Australia

Equinix completed its previously announced acquisition of Metronode, an Australian data center operator, for A$1.035 billion (US$792 million) in cash.  Metronode was owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan since December 2016.

Metronode operates two data centers in Melbourne, three in greater Sydney (including one in Illawarra), two in Perth, and one in each of Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane. The acquired Metronode sites add approximately 20,000 square meters of gross colocation space to the Equinix footprint. Metronode also brings more than 80,000 square meters of land, 90 percent of which is owned.

In Melbourne and in Sydney, the Metronode data centers will provide a diverse, second campus for Equinix's existing properties. Both of these Metronode campuses are described as "hyperscale ready".

In Perth, Metronode's data center will house the landing station for the new Vocus Australia Singapore Cable. Equinix's existing data center in Sydney also houses the landing station for subsea cables.

Metronode generated approximately A$60 million, or approximately US$46 million, of revenues in the 12 months ending September 30, 2017, with a margin profile accretive to the Equinix Asia-Pacific business.

The Equinix footprint in the Asia-Pacific region now includes 40 data centers and extends the company's global footprint to 200 data centers across 52 markets.

Cloud Foundry comes to Alibaba Cloud

Cloud Foundry will be available on Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group and the largest cloud infrastructure provider in China.

By creating a Cloud Provider Interface (CPI) for Cloud Foundry BOSH, Alibaba Cloud now has access to both Cloud Foundry Application Runtime (CFAR) and Cloud Foundry Container Runtime (CFCR) workloads. CFCR is a Kubernetes and BOSH-based technology housed within the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

Alibaba Cloud provides a suite of cloud computing services that covers elastic computing, object storage, relational database, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence in 43 availability zones around the globe.

“Alibaba is a dominant force in China, and throughout Asia, the availability of Cloud Foundry now on Alibaba Cloud represents an opportunity to expand the availability of Cloud Foundry,” said Abby Kearns, Executive Director, Cloud Foundry Foundation. “Now China-based enterprises can experience the combined benefits of Cloud Foundry and Alibaba Cloud together.”

“Being the first open source PaaS offering, Cloud Foundry is designed for multi-cloud, multi-framework and multi-languages,” said Hong Tang, chief architect of Alibaba Cloud.

NEC and NTT DOCOMO conduct 5G medical test

NEC and NTT DOCOMO participated in field trials of remote medical examinations over a 5G network.

The 5G demonstration was carried out by NTT DOCOMO, the Wakayama Prefectural Government, and Wakayama Medical University and hosted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. NEC provided a 5G base station.

In this experiment, the 5G network enabled the realtime sharing of images taken by a 4K close-up camera, high-definition echocardiographic (echo) video and MRI images using a 4K video conference system between Wakayama Medical University and Kokuho Kawakami Clinic. Participants included doctors from the dermatology, cardiovascular internal medicine and orthopedic surgery departments of Wakayama Medical University and its hospital.

Colombia's InterNexa and Coriant test Open Optical Transport

InterNexa, a leading connectivity infrastructure and ICT solutions provider in Latin America, and Coriant completed an open optical transport field trial featuring disaggregated 100G and 200G transmission over third-party optical infrastructure.

InterNexa operates a ring-based optical backbone infrastructure that supports IP and wholesale transport services throughout South America, with over 49,000 kilometers of optical fiber interconnecting Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

The open optical transport field trial spanned active transmission links on InterNexa’s backbone network using the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform equipped with Coriant CloudWave Optics coherent transport technology. The testing encompassed multiple alien wavelength use cases, including DCI-optimized 200G 16QAM coherent transmission across a direct link between Bogotá and MedellĂ­n at a distance of 364 kilometers and ultra-long haul DWDM 100G QPSK transmission between the same cities using an express route through Cali for a total distance of approximately 1,400 kilometers. The latter ring-based alien wavelength use case was implemented across a third-party, 50 GHz ROADM-based network architecture.


Mignon L. Clyburn to leave the FCC

Mignon L. Clyburn announced her intention to step down as FCC commissioner.

Clyburn has served on the FCC since July 2009 and has become known for her advocacy of Net Neutrality, efforts to close the digital divide, and reform of predatory telecom practices that take advantage of the poor and of prison inmates.  She previously was a member of South Carolina's Public Service Commission.

In 2013, Clyburn took on the role of acting chair of the FCC until Tom Wheeler was confirmed by the Senate for the role. She was the first woman to hold the chair at the FCC.

Western Digital intros 14TB HDDs for data centers

Western Digital introduced its new 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 hard drive -- the highest capacity hard drive based on CMR (conventional magnetic recording) technology.

The new drive, which is based on the company's fifth-generation HelioSeal technology, is designed for public and private cloud data centers where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters for creating the most cost-efficient infrastructure. It is available with either 12Gb/s SAS or 6Gb/s SATA interface.

WD already offers 14TB SMR (shingled magnetic recording) drive.

The company noted that Tencent, a leading global Internet service provider based in China is adopting Western Digital’s HelioSeal-based hard drives for their Tencent Cloud data centers.

AT&T withdraws IPO for DIRECTV Latin America

Citing current market conditions, AT&T withdrew its planned initial public offering of shares of Vrio Corp., a holding company for its Latin American digital entertainment services unit, DIRECTV Latin America.

Registration papers for the planned IPO were filed last month.

Verizon's Oath recruits a former Alibaba Group executive

Oath, the Verizon subsidiary that brings together its media brands (AOL, Yahoo, etc), has hired K. Guru Gowrappan to serve as its President and COO. He will report to CEO Tim Armstrong and will play a pivotal role in leading the company’s operations and global growth strategy, as Oath enters its second year. 

Gowrappan previously served as Global Managing Director at Alibaba Group, where he focused on international expansion for key consumer and enterprise products across ecommerce, entertainment & media, payments and the entire commerce enabling stack.

“Oath serves a billion global consumers and the world’s most important brands in the most disruptive area of the economy and adding Guru as President and COO will accelerate our clear vision into a platform for growth for years to come,” said Tim Armstrong, CEO, Oath. “We have an amazing ecosystem of digital brands and platforms, the backing of the best mobile company in the world - Verizon, and a culture centered around the best external and internal talent we can work with as a company - and those strengths are only going to get stronger by adding Guru to help lead the company into the future.”

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Nokia and KDDI test 4G LTE connected vehicles in Japan

Nokia and KDDI have conducted a series of tests in Japan to assess the use of 4G LTE for low-latency connectivity for vehicles.

For the proof-of-concept trials in Japan, Nokia and KDDI focused on vehicle to network use case and used non-integrated systems in cars interacting with sensors via the Nokia Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) platform, which enables significantly reduced network latency.

The testing included LTE broadcast, implementing the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service standard in two connected car applications, and demonstrating the potential of cellular technology to enable fully automated driving in the future.

Nokia said its evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast service (eMBMS) hotspot solution allowed real-time information to be shared with multiple vehicles to enable awareness and road safety. The companies compared the efficiency of using LTE broadcast to the one-to-one communication enabled by LTE unicast, in two connected car applications:


  • Vehicle-to-network-to-vehicle (V2N2V) - in which cars maintained constant contact with the MEC system, sending real-time location, direction and speed data to roadside sensors. In an emergency situation, the driver can alert the application, with information distributed to other vehicles using eMBMS.
  • Network Real-Time Kinematic (network RTK) -trial of LTE to enhance fully automated in-vehicle navigation. It showed how eMBMS could more cost-efficiently use existing geo-location systems to communicate to many vehicles in real-time and ensure accurate navigation.

The trials were conducted by Nokia and KDDI at a rural location on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

A10 ratchets up DDoS protection

A10 Networks is planning machine learning based software enhancements to its high-performance appliances to enable stronger defense against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks for Service Providers.

A10 Networks' One-DDoS Protection aims to automate the challenges of protected service discovery, peacetime traffic learning, detection threshold setting and fast mitigation response. The enhancements provide a reactive DDoS defense topology with flow-based detection at the edge of the network and enable-high resolution packet-based detection closer to the targeted critical services and applications. The company says this proximity allows context to be applied to thwart sophisticated network or application assaults against their critical applications and services. This is because tactics for DDoS attacks are moving beyond just using request floods designed to bombard and overwhelm infrastructure to include low-bandwidth attacks that target the network or application layer of service provider services and their subscribers.

“The DDoS landscape has changed and continues to evolve in potency and sophistication,” said Raj Jalan, CTO, A10 Networks. “The A10 Networks One-DDoS Protection enables service providers to defend against a full range of attacks with an integrated fabric of protection to help deny attackers the ability to disrupt or penetrate networks.”

A10 One-DDoS Protection is available on A10 Thunder ADC (Application Delivery Controller), CGN (Carrier Grade Networking) and CFW (Converged Firewall) product lines with orchestrated attack scrubbing on Thunder TPS (Threat Protection System), providing a layered approach for full-spectrum volumetric, network and application DDoS protection.  A10 Networks One-DDoS Protection is available Q3, 2018.

IBM posts flat Q1 revenues, annual cloud sales at $17.7 billion pace

IBM reported Q1 2018 revenue of $19.1 billion, up 5 percent (flat adjusting for currency). GAAP EPS from continuing operations was $1.81 and operating (non-GAAP) EPS was $2.45, up 4 percent.

"In the first quarter we maintained momentum in our business, with reported revenue growth in total and across our major segments," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. "These results reinforce that our clients value our innovative technologies, our industry expertise and our commitment and actions for the responsible stewardship of their privacy and data. This is also reflected in our leadership positions in enterprise cloud, AI and security."

Some highlights:

  • Strategic imperatives revenue over the last 12 months was $37.7 billion, up 12 percent (up 10 percent adjusting for currency). 
  • Total cloud revenue over the last 12 months was $17.7 billion, up 22 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency). 
  • The annual exit run rate for as-a-service revenue increased to $10.7 billion, up 25 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency). 
  • In the first quarter of 2018, revenues from analytics increased 9 percent (up 4 percent adjusting for currency); revenues from mobile increased 19 percent (up 14 percent adjusting for currency); and revenues from security increased 65 percent (up 60 percent adjusting for currency).

Segment Results for First Quarter

  • Cognitive Solutions (includes solutions software and transaction processing software) -- revenues of $4.3 billion, up 6 percent (up 2 percent adjusting for currency), driven by solutions software, including security, analytics, and industry platforms; and transaction processing software.
  • Global Business Services (includes consulting, global process services and application management) -- revenues of $4.2 billion, up 4 percent (down 1 percent adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 12 percent led by the cloud consulting practice, with double-digit growth in analytics and mobile.
  • Technology Services & Cloud Platforms (includes infrastructure services, technical support services and integration software) -- revenues of $8.6 billion, up 5 percent (down 1 percent adjusting for currency). Strategic imperatives revenue grew 24 percent, driven by hybrid cloud services, security and mobile.
  • Systems (includes systems hardware and operating systems software) -- revenues of $1.5 billion, up 8 percent (up 4 percent adjusting for currency) driven by growth in IBM Z and Power.
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) -- revenues of $405 million, flat year to year (down 4 percent adjusting for currency).

Full-Year 2018 Expectatio

ADTRAN posts Q1 sales of $121 million, net loss

ADTRAN reported Q1 2018 sales of $120.8 million compared to $170.3 million for the first quarter of 2017. Net loss was $9.1 million compared to net income of $6.7 million for the first quarter of 2017. Earnings per share, assuming dilution, were a loss of $0.19 compared to income of $0.14 for the first quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP earnings per share were a loss of $0.29 compared to income of $0.18 for the first quarter of 2017. GAAP earnings per share include the benefit of an acquisition-related bargain purchase gain, as well as the expense of a restructuring program. The reconciliation between GAAP earnings per share, diluted, and non-GAAP earnings per share, diluted, is in the table provided.

ADTRAN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “As we expected, our performance this quarter continued to be impacted by a merger-related review and slowdown in the spending at a domestic Tier 1 customer. While our international Tier 1 revenue exceeded expectations, lower overall product volumes resulting from the domestic slowdown, coupled with restructuring expenses and lower international gross margins, negatively affected our profit margins for the quarter and further hampered our results. Looking ahead, we expect continued strength in our European business in the second quarter and a rebound in our North American business in the second half. Our level of engagement with domestic and international Tier 1 customers remains at all-time highs, and our recent acquisition of the market leadership in EPON for the North American cable/MSO market positions us for further growth moving forward.”

Scality raises $60 million for multicloud software-defined storage

Scality, a start-up based in San Francisco, raised an additional $60 million in venture funding for its multi-cloud Scality RING Software-Defined Storage platform.

The financing was arranged by Silverpeak, a leading Europe-based technology-focused independent investment bank. This round brings the company’s total funding to date to $152 million.

“Scality has a history of industry firsts: first to offer an S3 interface in 2010; first with native scale-out file system interfaces in 2013; first to adopt Docker in 2015; and first to introduce multi-cloud data control with Zenko in 2017,” said Jerome Lecat, CEO of Scality. “We are very proud that our customers are delighted by the reliability, performance and cost-effectiveness of our solutions, and at the same time, they praise us for our forward thinking. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a real force, challenging every company in its business model, and challenging every IT department. We help our customers be ready. Technology is not the goal; innovation is what allows us to deliver what seemed impossible: freedom and control at the same time. Thanks to Scality, enterprises and service providers can avoid hardware lock-in and cloud lock-in;  while accommodating massive amounts of data growth and extract value from data.”

Stream Data Centers plans new Dallas campus

Stream Data Centers announced plans for new Dallas-area campus development in Garland, Texas on a 23 acre site.

The new facility will offer an expandable 140,000 square foot data center with redundant 40 MW utility feeds from an on-site substation provided by Oncor.

"Stream's DFW VII data center will follow a successful formula from our previous Dallas-area developments and benefit from the best practices and improvements we've made along the way," states Paul Moser, Co-Managing Partner of Stream Data Centers.

Monday, April 16, 2018

U.S. Commerce Dept. bans exports to ZTE

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has imposed a denial of export privileges against Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE) of China.

The ban prohibits companies or individuals from participating in any way in an export transaction with ZTE. The order prohibits "Carrying on negotiations concerning, or ordering, buying, receiving, using, selling, delivering, storing, disposing of, forwarding, transporting, financing, or otherwise servicing in any way, any transaction involving any item exported or to be exported from the United States that is subject to the Regulations."

“ZTE made false statements to the U.S. Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation...  Instead of reprimanding ZTE staff and senior management, ZTE rewarded them.  This egregious behavior cannot be ignored,” said Secretary of Commerce Ross.

In a press statement, ZTE said it is aware of the denial order activated by the United States Department of Commerce and that it is currently assessing the full range of potential implications.

https://www.commerce.gov/sites/commerce.gov/files/zte_denial_order.pdf

U.S. Dept. of Commerce Ruling Hits ZTE and Suppliers

The U.S. Department of Commerce has added ZTE to the list of entities involved in "activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States."

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) listing, which limits the availability of most license exceptions on U.S. technology sales to ZTE, was driven by a finding that ZTE willingly resold restricted U.S. technology products to Iran during the period of economic sanctions,

The move could block U.S. semiconductor companies from selling to ZTE, potentially impacting a wide range of networking gear and mobile devices.

ZTE said it is working expeditiously towards resolution of this issue and that it is fully committed to compliance with the laws and regulations of the jurisdictions in which it operates.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-05104.pdf


FBI Opens Criminal Investigation into ZTE Shipments to Iran

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into whether ZTE shipped U.S.-made networking components and surveillance equipment to Iran.  According to various news sources, including Reuters, The Washington Post and The Smoking Gun, various documents have emerged, including a shipping manifest, related to a $130 million sales contract between ZTE and the Telecommunications Company of Iran.  Equipment reportedly includes systems from Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Juniper, Microsoft, Oracle and Symantec.

A10 Networks cites deployment of its DNS solution by tier-1 Cloud Service Provider

A10 Networks announced a global tier-1 Cloud Service Provider has selected and deployed its Thunder TPS (Threat Protection System) with its Non-stop DNS solution across multiple data centers to ensure resilience from escalating cyber-attacks, and scale its mission critical DNS services.

A10 said it worked with the Cloud Service Provider to create an innovative Non-stop DNS solution to prevent anticipated DNS meltdowns due to DDoS attacks on their DNS infrastructure. The solution, utilizing Thunder TPS, was first deployed in 2017 to provide Non-stop DNS services for the Cloud Service Provider. At the heart of the new solution is a ground-breaking authoritative DNS cache from A10 that achieves unprecedented levels of scale and performance while protecting the backend DNS servers.

Key benefits of A10 Thunder TPS Non-stop DNS:


  • Highly scalable authoritative DNS cache server to eliminate the impact of DNS DDoS attacks
  • 150x DNS performance vs a typical DNS server
  • Up to 35M queries per second (QPS)
  • Impedes attacker reconnaissance by responding in a manner that is indistinguishable from the backend authoritative DNS servers
  • Absorbs massive attacks while limiting the volume of queries to the backend DNS servers
  • Enhances the experience of legitimate users by reducing DNS response time especially when placed at the network edge in global service provider networks
  • Ease of integration with detection and management systems via OpenAPI (aXAPI) to automate tasks

“High profile outages caused by attacks on critical infrastructure have demanded the creation of new solutions,” said Raj Jalan, CTO, A10 Networks. “The A10 Networks Non-stop DNS solution enables any service provider to avoid costly downtime by keeping DNS infrastructure operational despite the largest targeted attacks.”

Microsoft announces security tools

Microsoft announced several new intelligent security tools to help enterprises more easily secure their data and networks against today's biggest threats and emerging threats aimed at IoT and edge devices.  The rollout includes:
  • Azure Sphere -- microcontroller unit (MCU) for connected devices. Microsoft describes Azure Sphere as "a holistic platform for creating highly secured, connected MCU devices on the intelligent edge." Azure Sphere will boast more than five times the power of legacy MCUs, an OS custom built for IoT security, and a turnkey cloud security service that guards every Azure Sphere device. 
  • New intelligent security features for the Microsoft 365 commercial cloud offering. 
  • Microsoft Secure Score and Attack Simulator -- makes it easier for organizations to determine which controls to enable to help protect users, data and devices by quickly assessing readiness and providing an overall security benchmark score. I
  • Attack Simulator -- a part of Office 365 Threat Intelligence, lets security teams run simulated attacks — including mock ransomware and phishing campaigns — to event-test their employees' responses and tune configurations accordingly.
  • Windows 10 update -- now in preview, Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) works across other parts of Microsoft 365 to include threat protection and remediation spanning Office 365, Windows and Azure. Also in the upcoming Windows 10 update, are new automated investigation and remediation capabilities in Windows Defender ATP, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to quickly detect and respond to threats on endpoints, within seconds, at scale.
  • Conditional Access -  provides real-time risk assessments to help ensure that access to sensitive data is appropriately controlled, without getting in the way of users' productivity. Microsoft 365 is now adding the device risk level set by Windows Defender ATP to Conditional Access in preview to help ensure that compromised devices can't access sensitive business data.
  • A new security API for connecting Microsoft Intelligent Security Graph-enabled products as well as intelligence from solutions built by customers and technology partners to greatly enhance the fidelity of intelligence.
  • A new Microsoft Intelligent Security Association for security technology partners - Palo Alto Networks and Anomali join PwC and other existing partners as founding members of the new association.

"As last year's devastating cyberattacks demonstrated, security threats are evolving and becoming even more serious," said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft. "The tech sector's innovations need to accelerate to outpace security threats. Today's steps bring important security advances not just to the cloud, but to the billions of new devices that are working on the edge of the world's computer networks."

ADTRAN launches cloud-managed residential Wi-Fi

ADTRAN introduced a new cloud-managed whole home mesh Wi-Fi solution enabling Service Providers to deliver ubiquitous coverage, automated Wi-Fi performance enhancements and improved security.

The ADTRAN SDX 810-RG and 810-AP enhance ADTRAN’s SD-Access portfolio enabling Enterprise-Class Wi-Fi functionality in the home. Highlights include:

  • Zero-touch deployment
  • Platform for machine learning to maximize performance & adapt to the environment
  • Dynamic Steering matches consumer with best available signal
  • Air Time Fairness ensures a fast lane for newer devices
  • Leverages Mosaic Suite tools to automatically provide security updates and parental controls

“Consumers will see a dramatic improvement in how their Wi-Fi performs throughout their home—Wi-Fi that just works,” ADTRAN Wi-Fi Technology and Strategy Manager Ken Fernandes said. “We’re bringing ADTRAN’s proven enterprise-class technology to resolve new challenges in the home around coverage, interference and capacity.”

Zayo to open first data center in the London metro area

Zayo announced plans to open its first data center in the London metro area, will add 30,000 total square feet and 3.6 megawatts (MW) of critical power.

The new data center, which will be located in Feltham, UK, is driven by a commitment from a major anchor tenant. It will add 30,000 total square feet and 3.6 megawatts (MW) of critical power.

“This new data center strengthens our commitment to the UK, providing customers with an excellent option for colocation and high-capacity fiber connectivity,” said TJ Karklins, senior vice president of Zayo's zColo business segment. “This facility will offer low-latency connectivity to Slough, city center, and even around central London for connection directly to France and the rest of Europe. We look forward to delivering high-compliance, network-neutral solutions from our growing European platform.”

Netronome adds eBPF/XDP offload tp SmartNICs

Netronome introduced a new eBPF/XDP offload capability for its Agilio SmartNICs, providing a foundation for building high-performance, kernel-compliant firewalls, DDoS protection and load balancing products that complement and build on the momentum in the Linux community.

The new high-performance offload provides an interface to any technology stack that utilizes the underlying flexibility and scalability of eBPF with the performance of XDP.

XDP allows users to eliminate kernel bypass through the provision of performance at the base of the kernel stack, eliminating the need for users to have to choose between scalability and performance.

Netronome said its upstreamed, kernel-based offload and just-in-time (JIT) compiler, combined with the existing low power Agilio CX 10/25/40GbE SmartNICs, Agilio CX 25/50GbE OCP v2.0 SmartNICs and the new Agilio FX 10/25GbE SmartNICs, allow operators building infrastructures for data center core and enterprise edge applications to marry the benefits of the eBPF framework with transparent hardware acceleration.

“The extremely important shift to eBPF/XDP for securing valuable user data is happening now at large data centers,” said Niel Viljoen, CEO and founder of Netronome. “As one of the top networking companies contributing to the Linux community in this vital space, we are proud to be in the forefront bringing true software-defined security with hardware acceleration to the industry as it braces for the tsunami of data growth from new applications and devices.”