Thursday, May 3, 2018

Deutsche Telekom begins pilot 5G rollout in Berlin

Deutsche Telekom has activated its first six cells with commercial 5G antennas in the heart of Berlin and thereby achieved the first 5G data connection in a live network in Europe.

The Deutsche Telekom 5G cluster covers an area of up to five kilometers wide in Berlin's Mitte and Schöneberg districts for test operations. The antennas, in three cells located in Leipziger Straße and three in Winterfeldtstraße, are based on the 5G New Radio (5G NR) specs. The antennas are using frequencies in the 3.7 GHz spectrum band under a testing license. The 5G equipment is integrated into the live network infrastructure, meaning it is interacting with Deutsche Telekom's 4G spectrum in Germany.

DT's plan is to install an additional 70 cells by the summer across a total of more than 20 sites.

DT is using commercial 5G equipment from Huawei, as well as software and terminals, based on the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard for 5G New Radio (in the non-standalone version).

"We're continuing on our strong preparation course for the rollout of 5G in 2020," noted Claudia Nemat, Deutsche Telekom Board member for Technology and Innovation. "Today, right in the heart of Berlin, we're taking the next decisive step – with the successful integration of commercial 5G technology into our network. We want to ensure that 5G is going to deliver on its promise of enhanced mobility, high speed and low latency."

"5G New Radio in Berlin is another major step towards 5G for all”, explained Walter Goldenits, Chief Technology Officer at Telekom Deutschland. "This 5G cluster in Berlin will serve as the basis for our future commercial 5G rollout in Germany. The antennas are providing important test results. At the same time, they are real elements of what will be our future 5G network. We are preparing the ground so that our network will be ready when the first 5G-capable smartphones appear on the market."

Deutsche Telekom said it is working in cooperation with its Berlin-based hub:raum start-up incubator, to launch a 5G Prototyping Program. Another relevant program, focused on low latency, is already successfully underway. Both programs are geared towards innovative application developers seeking to exploit the advantages of Edge Computing and 5G network performance. These developers will have the opportunity to verify their ideas on a live environment in the 5G cluster in Berlin.

Telia Carrier Expands into Mexico

Telia Carrier has begun offering to provide wholesale IP Transit, Ethernet, IPX and Cloud Connect for Internet Service Providers (ISPs), content and cloud providers in Mexico. The company is rolling-out its first Point of Presence (PoP) in the city of Queretaro, north of Mexico City, a major industrial growth hub and nexus for content provider data center deployments.

Telia Carrier will enable ISPs and content providers in Mexico to connect to its global IP backbone, AS1299, one of the largest in the world, at the highest speeds available in the region.

The company said it will also build out its fiber infrastructure over time and the telecom reform initiatives in Mexico were opening the door for wholesale and other services.

“We see a huge demand in Mexico for IP Transit, DDoS protection and Cloud Connect services, and we already have many customers there, including mobile operators, local access providers and ISPs amongst others,” said Luis Velasquez, Mexico business manager, Telia Carrier. “ISPs and broadband carriers have had limited options to help them meet the needs of the Mexican market. The Mexican government is taking the initiative by opening the market and creating a competitive landscape, which will ultimately fuel the pace of digitalization in the country. With its formidable backbone, Telia Carrier now has the opportunity to directly serve mid-size ISPs looking for high-bandwidth solutions that will enable them to deliver better services and cloud connectivity to their customers.”

Brazil's Eletronet expands with Ciena packet/optical

Eletronet, which operates a national OPGW-based fiber optic network with more than 16 thousand km, 155 POPs in 18 States of Brazil, has selected Ciena’s converged packet optical solution to launch new wavelength services for wholesale, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and webscale companies.

Eletronet currently ranks as one of the largest providers of connectivity to ISPs in the Brazilian market, supplying high-speed data transport over its national optical ground wire (OPGW) fiber optic network.

Eletronet is using Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to expand capacity and deliver up to 10 GbE as well as 100 GbE wavelengths to transport larger amounts of data across longer distances.

“As we thought about what we wanted a 100G network to achieve, it was key to provide both the lowest network latency on the market as well as establish direct routes to customers that would allow for rapid activation of services. By tapping Ciena’s expertise in the converged packet-optical industry, our network has become more agile, enabling us to expand connectivity further throughout Brazil,” stated Anderson Jacopetti, Chief Technology Officer, Eletronet

Arista posts revenue of $472.5 million, up 40%

Arista Networks reported revenue of $472.5 million for its first quarter ended March 31, 2018, an increase of 1.0% compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, and an increase of 40.8% from the first quarter of 2017. The GAAP gross margin was 64.1%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 65.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 63.9% in the first quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net income amounted to $134.1 million, or $1.66 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $71.8 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2017.

"As we kick off 2018, I am pleased with our performance this quarter,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “We continue to experience meaningful relevance and expansion as customers shift to cloud networking.”

Revenue expectations for Q2 are in the between $500 and $514 million, with non-GAAP gross margin between 62% to 64%, and Non-GAAP operating margin of approximately 32% to 34%.

https://www.arista.com/en/company/news/press-release/4578-pr-20180503

Sierra Wireless posts sales of $187M, up 16%

Sierra Wireless reported revenue of $186.9 million for the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 15.9% compared to $161.2 million in the first quarter of 2017. Gross margin was $62.1 million, or 33.2% of revenue, in the first quarter of 2018, compared to $55.5 million, or 34.4% of revenue, in the first quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net earnings were $3.3 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2018, compared to net earnings of $7.8 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2017.

Product revenue was $162.9 million, up 7.8% year-over-year and Services and Other revenue was $24.0 million, up 138.6% compared to the first quarter of 2017. This breaks down as follows:

  • Revenue from OEM Solutions was $135.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 2.1% compared to $132.4 million in the first quarter of 2017
  • Revenue from Enterprise Solutions was $29.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 34.5% compared to $21.7 million in the first quarter of 2017 
  • Revenue from IoT Services was $22.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, up 217.6% compared to $7.1 million in the first quarter of 2017. IoT Services results include the first full quarter of contribution from Numerex.


“In the first quarter of 2018, we delivered strong year-over-year revenue growth in our higher margin Enterprise Solutions and IoT Services lines of business,” said Jason Cohenour, President and CEO. “With the acquisition of Numerex, we have added significant scale to our recurring revenue base and IoT services capabilities. We expect to leverage our stronger IoT Services business platform to expand our leadership position in Device to Cloud solutions for the IoT.”

Zayo considers REIT tax structure

Zayo is continuing to study the possibility of converting its tax structure into a real estate investment trust (REIT). Preliminary investigation has revealed certain advantages. The company is now engaging with the IRS to seek clarification and has begun to execute the organizational changes that are required to operate as a REIT, including the realignment of its business segments to clearly delineate the leasing of network assets from ancillary services, which includes the separation and potential divestiture or deconsolidation of Zayo’s Allstream business segment.

At Zayo, we have a long and successful track record of creating shareholder value,” said Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO at Zayo. “Creating the optionality to convert to a REIT is potentially another avenue of value creation and is a high priority for Zayo, although the timing and probability of conversion remains uncertain.”

Separately, Zayo also disclosed that president and COO Andrew Crouch has resigned from the company, effective immediately.



FCC requests 2019 budget of $333 million

The FCC is requesting a FY 2019 budget of $333,118,000, derived from regulatory fees for regular FCC operations, and an auction spending cap of $112,734,000. 

For comparison, the FCC received an appropriation of $322,035,000 for FY 2018, which was down approximately five percent from the FY 2017 appropriation.

The FCC noted that some of the additional funding will be used for upcoming spectrum auctions, including the nearly $2 billion Connect America Fund Phase II reverse auction this year to expand fixed broadband service to unserved regions The FCC is targeting 2019 for the $4.5 billion Mobility Fund Phase II reverse auction.

Zscaler's COO resigns soon after IPO

William Welch resigned as Zscaler's chief operating officer. No reason was given but the company said there is no impact on its upcoming financial results.

Zscaler provides cloud security services.

The departure comes less than two months after the company completed its IPO.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Open Disaggregated Transport Network project gets underway

A new, operator-led Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project is underway at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

The goal of ODTN is to build optical transport networks using disaggregated optical equipment, open and common standards, and open source software.

The project will deliver an open source platform for running multi-vendor optical transport networks. It will leverage the ONF’s ONOS SDN Controller, automatically and transparently discovers the disaggregated components and will control the entire transport network as a unified whole, thus enabling multi-vendor choice.

The organizers of the project say that just as the SDN movement has disaggregated the data center and operator edge networks, ODTN will bring similar benefits to the optical transport network including best-of-breed choice, elimination of vendor lock-in, cost containment and accelerated innovation.

Backers of the project include China Unicom, Comcast, NTT Communications, Telefonica and TIM.

Each of the five founding operators has committed to performing lab integration and evaluation of the platform for future transport applications. Additional support is coming from leading vendors in the optical equipment space, with NEC, NOKIA, Oplink, ZTE contributing to the software platform and building full solutions, CTTC contributing from academia, and ADVA, Ciena, Coriant, CoAdna, Infinera and Lumentum participating in lab and field trials.

Relationship to Other Projects

ODTN is the only open source solution in the optical transport space, but is leveraging other ongoing work which has focused on standardizing various interfaces and components.

ODTN will leverage and expose TAPI as its northbound interface, leveraging the work coming out of the ONF’s Open Transport Configuration and Control (OTCC) project. Likewise, OpenConfig is the base southbound model and API for communicating to optical equipment.

The OpenROADM MSA defines interoperability specifications and data models for optical devices, networks and services.  ODTN benefits from this effort and, over time, it helps the industry achieve transponder compatibility.  This will eliminate the need to deploy transponders in matched pairs, further disaggregating the solution and enabling even greater deployment flexibility.

TIP’s Open Optical & Packet Transport project is producing open DWDM architectures, models and APIs, covering transponders, open line systems, and routers. In time, the ODTN project hopes to benefit from the availability of open optical hardware coming from the TIP work.  And visa versa, the TIP project can leverage the open source work coming out of ODTN on TIP white box hardware building blocks (such as Voyager).

“It is one of the most innovative technical challenges to deploy open SDN / Disaggregation technologies into transport networks. We expect that it will dramatically shorten the service development term and reduce costs,” said Dai Kashiwa, Director of NTT Communications and an ONF board member representative of the NTT Group. “The reference design and implementation for ODTN will accelerate this challenge, and provide common usefulness among many service providers. So, we are so excited that many service providers and vendors have aligned with the ODTN concept, and started collaboration on specifying common requirements and test/deployment plans. We aim to build and nurture an ecosystem that allows us to deploy and operate ODTN-based production networks.”

Coriant announces CEO change

Coriant named Pat DiPietro as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing CEO and Chairman Shaygan Kheradpir, who has stepped down from his role to pursue other opportunities.

DiPietro will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Board, a role he has held since the founding of Coriant in 2013. DiPietro previously held senior leadership roles at Nortel and Bell Northern Research. He also previously served as Managing Partner at Canada’s VG Partners, overseeing the company’s Technology Fund. As a venture capitalist, he managed large portfolios and teams and sat on numerous Boards, including Sandvine, SiGe, Continuous Computing, BTI Systems and BelAir Networks.

Coriant also announced that Reza Ghaffari has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), a new position within Coriant. Ghaffari will continue to lead Coriant’s global service and support organization, while assuming responsibility for the company’s global IT, human resources, and facilities functions. Between 2000 and 2005, Ghaffari also worked at Verizon where he was responsible for innovation, product development, and strategic partnership programs. Dur

“On behalf of the Board and the management team, we wish to thank Shaygan for his commitment and many contributions to Coriant over the past three years,” said DiPietro. “I’m thrilled to take the helm of Coriant as it transforms to drive new value for its global customers with cost-disruptive innovations in open, software-driven, and revenue-enhancing products and technologies.”

CyrusOne hits year-over-year revenue growth of 32%

CyrusOne, a data center REIT, posted Q1 2018 revenue of $196.6 million, up 32% over the same period last year. The increase in revenue was driven primarily by a 29% increase in occupied CSF, lease termination fees totaling $5.0 million, and additional interconnection services.

The company said it leased approximately 29 MW of power and 226,000 CSF in the first quarter, representing $3.4 million in monthly recurring rent, inclusive of the monthly impact of installation charges, or approximately $40.4 million in annualized GAAP revenue5, excluding estimates for pass-through power.

In the Northern Virginia data center market, CyrusOne is leasing space as fast as it can add it.


Lumentum posts revenue of $298.8 million

Lumentum reported net revenue for the fiscal third quarter of 2018 of $298.8 million, with GAAP net income of $2.7 million, or $0.04 per diluted share.

Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal third quarter of 2018 was $50.6 million, or $0.78 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for fiscal second quarter of 2018 was $107.8 million, or $1.67 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal third quarter of 2017 was $30.8 million, or $0.49 per diluted share.


"Our strategy of investing in differentiated products and technologies, focusing on close relationships with market leading customers, and leveraging our technologies across multiple growing end markets, is working.  Driven by strong customer demand and execution on capacity expansion, in the third quarter we achieved new record Lasers revenues, which increased 18% sequentially, and grew Telecom revenues by more than 11% sequentially, with notable strength in ROADMs, which were up 27% sequentially," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "Though seasonally down, we made good progress on new 3D sensing customer programs and are well positioned for new customer product introductions during FY19. During the third quarter, we announced reaching an agreement to acquire Oclaro and we continue to work with Oclaro on this pending transaction."


Lumentum to acquire Oclaro for $1.8 billion

Lumentum agreed to acquire Oclaro for approximately $1.8 billion in cash and stock.

Under the deal, Oclaro stockholders will be entitled to receive $5.60 in cash and 0.0636 of a share of Lumentum common stock for each share of Oclaro stock, representing a premium of 27% to Oclaro's closing price on March 9, 2018 and a premium of 40% to Oclaro's 30 day average closing price.  Oclaro stockholders are expected to own approximately 16% of the combined company at closing.

The combined company is expected to have annual revenue of $1.733 billion and an operating margin of 19%, prior to synergies from the combination.

Lumentum, which is based in Milpitas, California, supplies a range of optical components and subsystems for telecom, enterprise, and data center networking equipment. The company was created in 2015 as a split off from JDSU.

Oclaro supplies optical components and modules for the long-haul, metro and data center markets. The company is based in San Jose, California.

Equinix revenues up 28% yoy

Equinix's quarterly revenues increased 28% year-over-year to $1.216 billion; a 10% year-over-year increase on a normalized and constant currency basis.

Peter Van Camp, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO and President, Equinix, stated: "As Equinix approaches its 20th anniversary, we are excited to post our 61st quarter of consecutive revenue growth, which is reflective of the critical role we serve in helping businesses interconnect their IT infrastructure to succeed in the digital economy. Equinix currently serves nearly half of the Fortune 500 and our recent acquisitions, combined with our currently announced organic expansions, have positioned Equinix to capture an even greater share of the market opportunity."

Orange Business Services names CEO

Orange Business Services named Dr. Helmut Reisinger as its new chief executive officer, replacing Thierry Bonhomme, who becomes special advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Orange before retirement later this year. Helmut will report to Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, and will be a member of the Group’s Executive Committee.

Most recently Helmut was executive vice president, International at Orange Business Services, in charge of all international enterprise business activities, excluding France. Before joining Orange Business Services in 2007, Helmut held management positions across Europe at Avaya Inc, NextiraOne Germany and Alcatel Austria.

"I am honored and excited to lead Orange Business Services on its ambition to be at the forefront of the data-driven economy. I believe our global talent, expertise and assets position us to deliver an unmatched experience for our enterprise customers worldwide. With a relentless customer focus  – combined with people empowerment and commitment to innovation – I am confident that we will achieve continued success and growth for both our customers and Orange,” said Dr. Helmut Reisinger, chief executive officer, Orange Business Services.




Start-up profile: TidalScale, building an inverse hypervisor for scale-up servers

TidalScale, a start-up based in Campbell, California, is on a mission to build the world's largest virtual servers based on Intel x86 commodity hardware.

The company's "inverse" hypervisor combines multiple physical servers (including their associated CPUs, memory storage and network) into one or more large software-defined virtual servers. This is the inverse equivalent of VMware because a rack of physical servers are virtualized as though it were one. The concept is to scale-up a virtual server instance to handle Big Data workloads without making changes to applications or operating systems.

Why use another hypervisor to create a bigger server? Doesn’t Moore’s Law already deliver more powerful processors over time? And why not just provision a large number of individual servers from a Cloud IaaS vendor? The answers here would be (1) very large in-memory datasets (2) Moore’s law is not keeping pace with rising workloads demands (3) too costly and too limiting, especially since public cloud operators tend to limit the memory size of bare metal servers to 2TB and because in load balancing a workload there is a tendency to provision to more resources than necessary.

The TidalScale story

TidalScale was founded in 2012 by Dr. Ike Nassi, an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, who has been involved in many tech developments including as Chief Scientist at SAP when the category of in-memory databases was established. He also was involved in 3 previous start-ups: Encore Computer, a pioneer in symmetric multiprocessors; InfoGear Technology, which developed Internet appliances and services; and Firetide, a wireless mesh networking company.

The technical team also includes Dr. David Reed as Chief Scientist, who holds many patents along with four degrees from MIT in EE and CS including his PhD. Reed's contributions to the networking field include work on the original Internet protocol design team. His architectural contributions included the UDP protocol design, the “slash” in TCP/IP, and formulation of the End-to-End Argument as its primary protocol design principle. Later, he went on to become  Chief Scientist at Lotus Development Corporation, an HO Fellow, and an SVP at SAO Reseach.

On the management side, TidalScale is headed by Gary Smerdon, who previously was the EVP & Chief Strategy Officer of Fusion-io, the devel.oper of flash-based PCIe hardware and software solutions that was ultimately acquired by SanDisk in 2014 for $1.3 billion. Before that, Smerdon was SVP and GM of the Accelerated Solutions Division at LSI, an internal startup that he founded. Smerdon also held executive positions at Greenfield Networks (acquired by Cisco), Tarari (acquired by LSI), Marvell, and AMD.

TidalScale, which first began shipping in 2016, aggregates all the resources (memory, cores, storage and bandwidth) of low-cost, high-performance, 2-socket Intel x86 servers into one or more Software Defined Servers. This accomplished by running a TidalScale HyperKernel on the physical server and a "WaveRunner" control plane and management console to orchestrate the spinning up or spinning down of virtualized servers. The HyperKernal instance on each physical server communicates with other HyperKernal over the Ethernet network, which essentially functions as a combined memory and I/O bus. Thus memory performance will be determined by the latency and throughput of the Ethernet connection. Still, for applications such as very large in-memory databases, a TidalScale software-defined server consisting of five physical nodes each with 128GB of DRAM, will be better than a single server with 128GB of DRAM if the memory required exceeds 128GB and a secondary SSD must also be employed. This is because DRAM performance is roughly 1000X that of flash memory.

Software-Defined Servers can be configured with dozens or even hundreds of processor cores, tens of terabytes of memory, and as much storage and networking I/O as needed. The configuration of servers can be automatically right-sized to the workload. TidalScale allows Docker containers and container management platforms (Kubernetes) to run on top. For instance, TidalScale could be used to deploy a single Linux instance with 15TB of DRAM and up to 400 cores by leveraging dozens of servers in a cloud data centre.

As mentioned above, TidalScale's paradigm scale-up paradigm on commodity servers should be especially relevant to in-memory databases, such as SAP HANA. The company says it can configure up to 64TB of in-memory performance on 2-socket Intel x86 servers. Currently, cloud customers can TidalScale to on standard servers available on IBM BlueMix, OrionVM’s Wholesale Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, with virtual systems ranging from dozens to hundreds of cores and featuring up to 30TB or more of memory. Natural allies then would include any company in that database ecosystem. Because TidalScale was exhibiting at the Open Compute Project Summit, it reasonable to assume that it sees the hyperscale cloud companies also as potential customers.

TidalScale has received a number of awards, including being named a Gartner Cool Vendor, an IDC Innovator for 2017, a Red Herring Top 100 North America recipient for 2017. Another milestone occured in November 2016 when Infosys made an equity investment in TidalScale. Financial terms were not disclosed. Crunchbase says TidalScale has gone through several rounds of venture funding, raising at least $11.8 million, probably more.

In the broader context of software-defined data centres, the need for scale-up servers will certainly be just as important as scale-up storage. Many start-ups have pursued the JBOF (just a bunch of flash) storage array opportunity, and some of these companies were acquired at nice premiums and other completed IPOs. The software-defined server space likely won't have as many start-up entrants, giving this company a better chance at driving its inverse hypervisor paradigm forward.

Nokia sells Digital Health business

Nokia will sell its Digital Health business to Éric Carreel, co-founder and former chairman of Withings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Digital Health's business portfolio includes consumer and enterprise products, and it manufactures and sells an ecosystem of hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices to consumers and enterprise partners.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

OPNFV's Fraser platform release brings cloud-native capabilities

The OPNFV Project announced its sixth OPNFV platform release: OPNFV Fraser, advancing the state of NFV around cloud native applications and new upstream project integration while continuing end user support as they deploy and test virtualized networks.

OPNFV provides the platform and tooling required by developers to validate, integrate, onboard, and test NFVI, VIM, VNFs, and network services.

Key updates in OPNFV Fraser include:

  • Advancing the support for cloud-native NFV. Fraser expanded cloud native NFV capabilities in nine different projects, more than doubled the number of supported Kubernetes-based scenarios, deployed two containerized VNFs, and integrated additional cloud native technologies from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) relating to service mesh (Istio/Envoy), logging (fluentd), tracing (opentracing with Jaeger), monitoring (Prometheus), and package management (gRPC). These updates move the cloud native capabilities from basic container orchestration to include operational needs for cloud native applications. Additionally, the FastDataStacks project takes advantage of FD.io work to incorporate the VPP dataplane into Kubernetes networking capabilities to enable cloud native network-centric services.
  • More mature testing. OPNFV continues to focus on the real-world deployment needs of service providers by expanding test case coverage and scope. Testing projects in Fraser see a robust increase in test cases. Functest, the OPNFV functional testing project, now permits use of its framework with other open source projects such as ONAP. This avoids duplication, reduces VM size, and accelerates the creation of additional test cases. Functest also added test cases to cover Kubernetes and Clover and made it easier and faster to run functional tests. Also in support of real-world needs, performance test projects extended the Day 0 performance testing to long-running performance testing as Day N operational issues become more real for service providers.
  • Continuous Integration (CI) updates enable increased community hardware utilization, which in turns speeds up the testing process. Fraser includes the latest versions of upstream projects and advanced dynamic CI with the introduction of metadata descriptor specifications for Scenarios, PODs, and installers that will make hardware allocation for scenarios dynamic and automated. The XCI cross-community project made additional cloud-native strides by initiating CI/CD integration work with the CNCF Cloud CI project.
  • New carrier-grade features are added, specifically in the areas of monitoring, service assurance, networking, and dataplane acceleration. Specific new features include:
  • The Doctor project, in conjunction with OpenStack, whose collaboration was instrumental in achieving this milestone, introduced an infrastructure maintenance use case for zero VNF downtime. Similarly, Barometer continued to expand the monitored items list and plugin support. The Calipso project added support for Kubernetes and physical/physical-virtual switch connections across heterogeneous environments.
  • The SFC, SDNVPN, FastDataStack, and Parser projects added new features around networking and dataplane acceleration.
  • The IPv6 project now supports clustering, simplifying network configuration, and is exploring IPv6 container networking.


“Since inception, OPNFV has been the place for industry collaboration with upstream communities, which has grown even more with the Fraser release,” said Heather Kirksey, VP, Community and Ecosystem Development, The Linux Foundation. “With more mature cloud native integration and expanded testing and collaboration, OPNFV delivers the tools needed for end users to validate and test new network services.”

Cisco divests its Service Provider Video Software business

Cisco agreed to sell its Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) business to a company backed by the Permira Funds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Permira Funds will create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video solutions for the Pay-TV industry. The new company's portfolio includes Cisco's Infinite Video Platform, cloud digital video recording, video processing, video security, video middleware, and services groups. Dr. Abe Peled, former Chairman and CEO of NDS and adviser to the Permira Funds, will serve as Chairman of the new company.

Cisco will retain the video and media technology related to its core business in networking, multi-cloud, security, data, and collaboration.

"This is a unique opportunity to lead and shape the video industry during its transition with the flexibility as a private company," said Dr. Peled. "The new company will have the scale, technology innovation, and world-class team to deliver outstanding go-to-market execution, customer engagement, and new end-user experiences.  Cisco has built a profitable business in the video space with innovations to capitalize on IP distribution and cloud-based services. These combined assets provide a significant new opportunity for the new company."

Cisco's 'Videoscape Unity' TV Platform -- Streaming Under the Cloud

Cisco introduced its "Videoscape Unity" TV Platform featuring a multiscreen cloud digital video recorder (DVR), which enables consumers to restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.

Videoscape Unity, which is designed for service providers and media companies, is an open software platform that was created by combining the assets of NDS (which Cisco acquired last year ) with its own Videoscape portfolio.  The new platform comprises a set of cloud, network and client based components, connected by open interfaces.  Some pre-integrated components include:
  • Multiscreen Cloud DVR: Offers cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.
  • Video Everywhere: Broadens the TV Everywhere proposition with unified search, discovery, and viewing functions to allow consumers to watch premium live and on-demand content on any (service provider managed or unmanaged) connected device regardless of location.
  • Connected Video to Any Device in the Home: Cisco's Connected Video Gateway serves as a single entertainment hub, with back-end management of IP and QAM video, for distributing video content and metadata to any IP-connected device in the home, while providing a unified user experience. 
  • IP Video over Cable: Gives consumers expanded choice of content and IP video services, with faster delivery of on-demand and interactive offerings, across a wider range of service provider managed devices - with the flexibility to add unmanaged devices.

Cisco said a key advantage of Videoscape Unity is that the cloud can now be used "to power personalized video services and enable multiple screens to be synchronized to create a single unified experience for the subscriber, so things look and feel the same no matter what device they use."

Significantly, Cisco is offering Videoscape "as a service," allowing operators to have Cisco build, monitor, operate and even host their video infrastructures.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns1043/networking_solutions_market_segment_solution.html


  • In March 2012, Cisco agreed to acquire NDS Group in a deal valued at approximately $5 billion. NDS, which was owned by News Corp.(49%) and Permira private equity (51%), developed video software and content security for media companies, cable & satellite TV operators and IPTV service providers. Key products included its MediaHighway Set-top Box middleware software, its "XTV" Digital Video Recorder software, its "Snowflake" electronic program guide (EPG), and its "VideoGuard CA" and "VideoGuard Connect" digital rights management system.  NDS customers include some of the largest cable, satellite and broadband pay-TV operators, including Astro, Bharti, BSkyB, Canal Plus, China Central Television ("CCTV"), Cox, DIRECTV, Kabel Deutschland, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, TataSky, UPC and Vodafone. The company notes that a significant portion of its business is recurring, with long-term contracts, typically with an average duration of approximately five years. NDS, which is based in the U.K., has approximately 5,000 employees with facilities in Israel, France, India and China.

  • In January 2011, Cisco's John Chambers outlined a new "Videoscape" portfolio of five major product families aimed at "transforming the TV experience." From the outset, the goal was to work with Service Providers to allow any device over any network to access any content to which they are entitled. Cisco Videoscape would enable service providers to monetize activities outside their own network or traditional device footprints.  A key facet of Videoscape is about delivering a consistent interface across multiple devices, while providing a universal guide and search capabilities across all content sources. This requires building capabilities into the service provider's video back-office using APIs extending across content management systems and virtualized storage. The capabilities would be social network-aware and open to advertising opportunities.