Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Equinix xScale data center program for hyperscalers

Equinix provided details on its $3 billion xScale data center program, including projects currently under development in Brazil, France, Japan and other markets. 

Equinix xScale data centers serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world's largest cloud service providers. With xScale data centers, hyperscale companies can add core deployments to their existing access point footprints at Equinix, enabling their growth on a single platform that can immediately span 63 global metros and offer direct interconnection—within a vibrant set of ecosystems—to their customers and strategic business partners.


"Equinix xScale facilities offer hyperscale companies the unique value of Platform Equinix, including access to business ecosystems, interconnection services and local market knowledge around the world," said Krupal Raval, Managing Director, xScale, Equinix. "Our xScale data centers are engineered to meet the technical, operational, and pricing requirements of hyperscale companies that require large amounts of space and power to support massive scaling across thousands of servers for cloud, big data analytics or storage tasks, with 10, 20, or even 50 megawatts of power, all while meeting Equinix's sustainability commitments."

Regional Highlights/Key Facts:

Asia-Pacific

  • Opening of TY12x in Tokyo. On March 1, Equinix opened its first xScale data center in Tokyo, TY12x. Equinix has had early success with TY12x, securing an anchor tenant committed to the full phase one capacity and a significant portion of phase two capacity.  TY12x is Equinix's first xScale data center in Asia. It will provide more than 186,000 square feet (about 17,300 square meters) of colocation space and will support 54 megawatts of power to hyperscale customers all phases are complete. TY12x operates in close proximity to 11 International Business Exchange IBX data centers in Tokyo.
  • In addition to TY12x, the OS2x xScale data center in Osaka is currently under development and is expected to open in Q4 2021. Equinix also anticipates developing one additional xScale data center in Japan in the future. The three xScale data centers in Japan are expected to collectively deliver approximately 138 megawatts of power to hyperscale customers in Japan.
  • Equinix and GIC complete Joint Venture Agreement in Asia-Pacific. In Q4 2020, Equinix completed the formation of the greater than US$1.0 billion initial joint venture in the form of a limited liability partnership with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate xScale data centers in Japan. TY12x, OS2x and a planned future xScale data center in Japan are included in this initial joint venture.

EMEA

  • Opening of PA9x in Paris. In February 2021, Equinix opened its second xScale data center in Paris named PA9x, which is currently fully leased by a single hyperscale tenant. PA9x is Equinix's second xScale data center in Paris and will provide more than 29,600 square feet (about 2,750 square meters) of colocation space and support 10 megawatts of power to hyperscale customers when complete. PA9x operates as part of a campus with PA2 and PA3 in Saint-Denis, France.

Additional xScale Data Centers in Europe

  • Six xScale facilities are currently operating or are under development in Europe. Collectively, these sites will have the capacity to deliver approximately 106 megawatts of power to hyperscale customers in Europe once all are operational. These sites include:
  • Paris:  PA8x which opened in Q1 2019 and PA9x which opened in February 2021
  • London:  LD11x which opened in February 2021, and LD13x which opened in Q4 2019
  • Frankfurt: FR9x which is expected to open in Q4 2021, and FR11x which is expected to open in Q2 2022
  • Equinix and GIC Joint Venture Agreement in Europe
  • In Q4 2019, Equinix completed the formation of the greater than US$1.0 billion initial joint venture in the form of a limited liability partnership with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate xScale data centers in Europe. 

Latin America

  • SP5x in São Paulo
  • In Q3 2021, Equinix plans to open its first xScale data center in Latin America. SP5x is located in São Paulo, Brazil, and is in close proximity to the Equinix SP4 IBX data center. It will be connected by optical fiber to the existing four Equinix São Paulo IBX data centers and will support five megawatts of power to hyperscale customers in its first phase.

AT&T Cybersecurity launches Managed SASE with Fortinet

AT&T launched managed Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) powered by Fortinet.

AT&T SASE with Fortinet is a global managed SASE solution at scale that unifies software-defined wide-area network (SD-WAN) with essential network security functions of the SASE framework and 24x7 management. 

As the largest SD-WAN Managed Service Provider in North America, and one of the world’s largest Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs), AT&T said it has a unique understanding of what businesses need as they modernize and transform their networks, including the importance of security being a critical component of any business initiative. The inclusion of around-the-clock management helps relieve the burden of deployment and day-to-day support, with Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts acting as an extension to a business’ network and security teams.

AT&T SASE with Fortinet integrates with AT&T Alien Labs Threat Intelligence platform, enabling and unlocking multiple response actions, which provide SOC analysts visibility into network security, allowing them to respond to alarms effectively and efficiently.

“With the convergence of networking and security, organizations are struggling with managing and protecting applications and data accessing the network. AT&T’s heritage in providing integrated business solutions with managed services, and our best-in-class fiber and 5G connectivity solutions, uniquely position us to deliver on the promise of SASE. The solution will provide visibility and management for a more resilient network, making it safer for businesses to adapt and innovate,” states Rupesh Chokshi, VP, AT&T Cybersecurity.

AWS adds lower cost storage classes

Amazon Web Services introduced new Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) One Zone storage classes that reduce storage costs by 47% compared to existing Amazon EFS storage classes, while delivering the same features and benefits. 

One Zone storage classes redundantly store data within a single Availability Zone (AZ) and are ideal for customers who want cost-optimized file storage options for workloads and applications that do not require the level of availability and durability offered by regional Amazon EFS storage classes that redundantly store data across multiple geographically separated AZs. 

AWS said its One Zone storage classes allow customers to achieve a blended storage price of $0.043/GB-month, while also offering higher availability and durability than self-managed file systems. One Zone storage classes provide these lower costs while delivering the same elasticity and scalability benefits of Amazon EFS Standard and EFS Standard-Infrequent Access, as well as features like lifecycle management, and integration with AWS compute services, including Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda. 

All Amazon EFS storage classes are designed for 99.999999999% (11 9’s) durability. Amazon EFS regional storage classes are designed to provide 99.99% (4 9’s) availability, while One Zone for Amazon EFS is designed to provide 99.9% (3 9’s) availability. For added data protection, Amazon EFS file systems in One Zone storage classes are automatically backed up using AWS Backup, and can be restored to any AZ within a Region, or copied to a different Region. Amazon EFS One Zone storage classes are available in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Hong Kong), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (Milan), Europe (Stockholm), South America (Sao Paulo), Africa (Cape Town), Middle East (Bahrain), and all AWS GovCloud (US) regions, with more regions coming soon.

http://aws.amazon.com/efs


Dell'Oro: Campus switch sales dipped in Q4

The worldwide Campus Switch revenue declined in 4Q 2020, following a short recovery in the prior quarter, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The year-over-year revenue decline was broad-based across all regions, except China which continued to grow for the third consecutive quarter.


“Government stimulus around the world, which propelled market recovery in 3Q 2020, continued in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “However, 4Q 2020 did not benefit from pent-up demand from large enterprises as much as the prior quarter did. On a more positive note, we started to see some sign of recovery in the mid-market,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2020 Ethernet Switch – Campus Report:

  • Despite the market decline, verticals that performed well during the quarter are government and public sector, lower education, financial sector, and manufacturing.
  • Industrial Ethernet switches were in high demand exiting the year.
  • 5/5.0 Gbps port shipments were up more than 60 percent in 2020, as the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of higher speeds and new technologies.
  • Major vendors with revenue share gain for the quarter as well as for the year are H3C, HPE, and Huawei.

Cyxtera expands its bare metal service to additional data centers

Cyxtera, which operates a footprint of 61 data centers in 29 markets around the world, expanded its Enterprise Bare Metal service to customers in its data center facilities in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Cyxtera Enterprise Bare Metal offers dedicated colocation infrastructure in an on-demand, subscription-based model. In total, Enterprise Bare Metal is now available from 12 markets – Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London in Europe, as well as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey Metro, Northern Virginia, Phoenix, and Silicon Valley in North America.

“Our Enterprise Bare Metal offering delivers access to digital infrastructure that meets stringent compliance and security requirements in a dynamic fashion to allow our enterprise customers to deploy the capacity they need as their business needs change,” said Randy Rowland, Chief Operating Officer of Cyxtera. “We’re excited to bring this capability to our world-class facilities in Amsterdam and Frankfurt.”

VMware teams with NVIDIA to deliver an AI-Ready Enterprise platform

VMware is collaborating with NVIDIA to deliver an AI-Ready Enterprise platform that combines the compute virtualization software of VMware vSphere and the innovation of NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite. Updates to the AI-Ready Enterprise platform include:

  • NVIDIA has exclusively certified the new VMware vSphere 7 Update 2 release for NVIDIA AI Enterprise suite, a cloud-native collection of optimized AI applications and frameworks, for an end-to-end AI solution;
  • vSphere 7 Update 2 introduces support for the NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs in NVIDIA-Certified SystemsTM. This, with NVIDIA AI Enterprise, enables customers to fold-in an end-to-end AI solution with confidence on their existing enterprise virtualization platform, instead of running AI projects in separate unmanageable IT silos; and,
  • Customers are also able to incorporate the latest generation of NVIDIA GPUs into their virtual environment and take advantage of features like Multi-Instance GPU (MIG) allowing GPU cycles to be shared across multiple users; vSphere vMotion to provide live migration for non-disruptive operations; and vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) for automatic initial workload placement to avoid performance bottlenecks.

“NVIDIA AI Enterprise is a software suite optimized, certified and supported on VMware vSphere that enables customers to rapidly deploy, manage and scale AI in production with confidence,” said Justin Boitano, vice president and general manager of Enterprise and Edge Computing, NVIDIA. “Through NVIDIA’s collaboration with VMware, IT professionals can now support business teams with the industry’s most trusted AI tools across their hybrid cloud infrastructure.”

  • In September 2020, VMware introduced vSphere with Tanzu to deliver Kubernetes.

https://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-newsfeed.VMware-Evolves-Developer-and-AI-Ready-Infrastructure-to-Advance-Digital-Business.4ab5538a-c5f6-4ebd-92a2-1dd0beaf972c.html

Mexico's GigNet picks Tejas Networks for metro optical in Cancun

GigNet, a  digital infrastructure company in Mexico, has selected Tejas Networks' optical networking and broadband access products for a high-capacity fiber optic network expansion in the Cancun region of Mexico.


Tejas Networks will supply its full range of last-mile access products based on GPON/NG-PON fiber broadband technology, ultra-converged packet aggregation products based on MPLS-TP/PTN technology, and terabit-scale optical backbone products based on OTN/DWDM technology, all centrally managed by a universal SDN-ready network management system (NMS).

Mr. Sanjay Nayak, Managing Director and CEO of Tejas Networks said, "We are delighted to partner with GigNet as they increase their robust, flexible and scalable network to profitably deliver premium, SLA-driven services to their customers, using our innovative products. We are excited that they have selected our end-to-end optical and access products, for this prestigious network in Mexico."

http://www.tejasnetworks.com

Etisalat picks Netcracker Domain Orchestration for 5G Slicing

Etisalat selected Netcracker Domain Orchestration solutions for automation of 5G slicing within a multivendor, cloud-native 5G core environment and across the entire network. 


Netcracker Core Domain Orchestration, based on the cloud-native Netcracker Digital OSS portfolio, combines Service Orchestration and VNF/CNF Orchestration with critical real-time OSS functions, including Active Inventory and Configuration Management as well as Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning-driven analytics. The solution orchestrates multivendor 5G core and incorporates new 3GPP slice management functions, including Customer Service Management Function, Network Service Management Function and Network Slice Subnet Management Function. Additionally, Netcracker Edge Domain Orchestration comprises the same components for the edge domain with the addition of MEC application orchestration and management.

“Etisalat is always at the forefront of innovation, and with our 5G technology evolution to incorporate dynamic slicing, we will bring highly differentiated services, experiences and unique business value to our customers,” said Haitham Abdulrazzak, Chief Technology Officer at Etisalat.

“The collaboration with NEC on Netcracker Domain Orchestration further accelerates the automation, agility and new digital experience needed to change how our customers select and activate on-demand 5G services from cloud platforms,” said Khaled Al Suwaidi, Vice President of Fixed and Mobile Core at Etisalat.


Zayo to acquire Intelligent Fiber Network in Indiana

Zayo Group Holdings agreed to acquire Intelligent Fiber Network (IFN) which provides fiber-based connectivity solutions to over 400 customers, operates a 5,000 route-mile network across multiple markets in Indiana, including Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Terre Haute and South Bend.


“IFN brings to Zayo another unique and dense regional fiber network and a dedicated local team that excels in serving its customer base,” said Matt Steinfort, chief financial officer, Zayo. “This team, the additional network assets and the nearly 1,000 incremental on-net buildings will aid our efforts to accelerate growth as we look to capitalize on the enterprise opportunity within our network reach.”

“The combination of IFN and Zayo will enable significantly enhanced reach and value to our customers and our legacy owners,” said Jim Turner, chief executive officer, IFN. “Together, the combined companies will help drive investment and growth in Indiana’s communications infrastructure and advance the ubiquity of high speed connectivity throughout the state.”

Monday, March 8, 2021

DARPA launches Data Protection in Virtual Environments

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched an initiative called the Data Protection in Virtual Environments (DPRIVE) program which seeks to develop a hardware accelerator for Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE).

Fully homomorphic encryption enables users to compute on always-encrypted data, or cryptograms. The data never needs to be decrypted, reducing the potential for cyberthreats.

DPRIVE aims to design and implement a hardware accelerator for FHE computations that is capable of drastically speeding up FHE calculations, making the technology more accessible for sensitive defense applications as well as commercial use.

DARPA has selected four teams of researchers to lead the initiative: Duality Technologies, Galois, SRI International, and Intel Federal. Each team will develop an FHE accelerator hardware and software stack that reduces the computational overhead required to make FHE calculations to a speed comparable to similar unencrypted data operations. The teams will create accelerator architectures that are flexible, scalable, and programmable, but will also explore various approaches with different native word sizes. Current standard CPUs are based on 64-bit words, which are the units of data that determine a particular processor’s design. Word size directly relates to the signal-to-noise ratio of how encrypted data is stored and processed, as well as the error generated each time an FHE calculation is processed. The selected DPRIVE research teams will explore various approaches covering a diversity of word sizes – from 64 bits to thousands of bits – to solve the challenge.

In addition, teams are exploring novel approaches to memory management, flexible data structures and programming models, and formal verification methods to ensure the FHE implementation is correct-by-design and provides confidence to the user. As the co-design of FHE algorithms, hardware, and software is critical to the successful creation of the target DPRIVE accelerator, each team is bringing varied technical expertise to the program as well as in-depth knowledge on FHE.

“We currently estimate we are about a million times slower to compute in the FHE world then we are in the plaintext world. The goal of DPRIVE is to bring FHE down to the computational speeds we see in plaintext. If we are able to achieve this goal while positioning the technology to scale, DPRIVE will have a significant impact on our ability to protect and preserve data and user privacy,” concluded Rondeau.

“Fully homomorphic encryption remains the holy grail in the quest to keep data secure while in use. Despite strong advances in trusted execution environments and other confidential computing technologies to protect data while at rest and in transit, data is unencrypted during computation, opening the possibility of potential attacks at this stage. This frequently inhibits our ability to fully share and extract the maximum value out of data. We are pleased to be chosen as a technology partner by DARPA and look forward to working with them as well as Microsoft to advance this next chapter in confidential computing and unlock the promise of fully homomorphic encryption for all,” stated Rosario Cammarota, principal engineer, Intel Labs, and principal investigator, DARPA DPRIVE program.

For its part, Intel says it plans to design an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) accelerator to reduce the performance overhead currently associated with fully homomorphic encryption. When fully realized, the accelerator could deliver a massive improvement in executing FHE workloads over existing CPU-driven systems, potentially reducing cryptograms’ processing time by five orders of magnitude.

With its expertise in cloud infrastructure, software stacks and fully homomorphic encryption, Microsoft will be a critical partner in accelerating the commercialization of this technology when ready, enabling free data sharing and collaboration while promoting privacy throughout the data life cycle.

“We are pleased to bring our expertise in cloud computing and homomorphic encryption to the DARPA DPRIVE program, collaborating with Intel to advance this transformative technology when ready into commercial usages that will help our customers close the last-mile gap in data confidentiality —– keeping data fully secure and private, whether in storage, transit or use,” said Dr. William Chappell, chief technology officer, Azure Global, and vice president, Mission Systems, Microsoft.


DISH to acquire Republic Wireless - 200K subs

DISH Network agreed to acquire Republic Wireless, an MVNO service operating on the T-Mobile network with approximately 200,000 customer relationships. Financia terms were not disclosed. 

After the acquisition closes, the existing Relay division of Republic Wireless will continue to operate as a standalone company and will become a wholesale customer on DISH's 5G network. Relay provides communication and productivity solutions for frontline teams in hospitality, facilities management, manufacturing, healthcare and education, and will remain headquartered in Raleigh, NC.

"Republic has created a loyal following and established a brand known for innovation, customer service and value. We plan to build upon that strong foundation," said John Swieringa, group president, Retail Wireless and DISH COO. "As we continue to grow our retail wireless business, Republic broadens our existing customer base and positions us to deliver even more value to the market, expanding our portfolio of mobile solutions to meet a variety of customer needs. We look forward to welcoming Republic customers to the DISH family."



DT completes first 5G SA data connection in Germany

Deutsche Telekom has carried out a video call at its first 5G standalone site.  The call was made via the standalone antenna in Garching to Bamberg in Telekom's first 5G standalone core network and from there to Bonn. In Garching, the response time was 13 milliseconds.

"True technical innovation is made up of implementation strength and pioneering spirit. Telekom has clearly demonstrated both with 5G. More than two-thirds of people in Germany can already use Telekom's 5G network today," said Walter Goldenits, CTO of Telekom Deutschland. "And the next step has also been taken. With our first data connection via 5G Standalone, we are making history again. As the first network operator in Germany."

The 5G technology currently deployed in Germany is based on the 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA) network architecture. 

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/first-5g-standalone-data-connection-in-germany-successful-621114

OSA Biophotonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences, 12 – 16 April

The OSA will host an all-virtual OSABiophotonics Congress: Optics in the Life Sciences, from 12 – 16 April 2021. The conference will feature three dynamic plenary talks highlighting advancements in biomedical research spanning molecular and cellular investigations to clinical applications. Conference attendees will explore the latest techniques in using optical tools for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.

In her talk titled “Alternative Strategies for 3D Single Molecule Localization Microscopy,” plenary speaker Sandrine Lévêque-Fort, CNRS Researcher Director at the Institute of Molecular Science, Paris Saclay University, France, will explore recent developments of 3D imaging in Single Molecule Localization Microscopy. Lévêque-Fort’s current work focuses on varying strategies to improve spatial and temporal resolution for fluorescence microscopy. Lévêque-Fort’s plenary talk is scheduled for 13 April 2021 at 13:00 UTC. Use this link to convert the session to your local time zone.    

Dan Oron, Professor, Department of Molecular Chemistry and Materials Science, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel, will discuss “Quantum Enhanced Superresolution Confocal Microscopy.” Oron will demonstrate how the resolution of a standard confocal can be increased fourfold with a twofold axial resolution increase. This is achieved utilizing the quantum phenomenon of fluorescence antibunching. Oron’s area of interests are at the interface between light and the nanoscale in which he studies the interaction of light with nanostructured materials, optical super-resolution methods and the optics of biological nanostructured materials. Oron’s talk is scheduled for 14 April 2021 at 14:00 UTC. Use this link to convert the session to your local time zone.

R. Clay Reid, Senior Investigator,  Allen Institute for Brain Science, USA, will review approaches for analyzing neural circuits in his talk, “Petascale Microscopy for Brain Mapping: Electron and Light Microscopic Approaches to Connectomics.” His pioneering work includes new methods for recording increasingly large ensembles of neurons to study sensory processing. Reid’s plenary is scheduled for 15 April 2021 at 19:00 UTC. Use this link to convert the session to your local time zone.

Registration is now open for participants. Advanced registration is required to receive the web link and access the conference. 

https://www.osa.org/en-us/meetings/osa_meetings/osa_biophotonics_congress/exhibition/

Airspan to go public through merger with a SPAC

Airspan Networks announced a merger agreement with and into New Beginnings Acquisition Corp. (NBA), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The combination is expected to have an enterprise value of nearly $822 million. Upon closing of the business combination, expected in the third quarter of 2021, NBA will be renamed “Airspan Networks Holdings Inc.,” a publicly listed company, which is expected to be listed on the NYSE American with the ticker symbol “MIMO.”


“These seismic 5G industry trends play right into Airspan’s strengths,” said Eric Stonestrom, President and CEO of Airspan. “This transaction is expected to help fund our growth plans and accelerate our vision of providing our customers with leading edge 5G networks. We are at the precipice of a significant capital-intensive upgrade as 5G deployments drive the future growth of existing mobile carriers, new market entrants, and private and enterprise buildouts that we believe will transform numerous industries.”

“We are delighted to partner with Airspan, a first mover in this exciting and rapidly expanding new 5G market,” said Michael Liebowitz, CEO and Director of New Beginnings Acquisition Corp. “As 5G networks are rolled out, Airspan is leading the way with its breakthrough Open RAN technology with significant potential for growth serving incumbent and emerging carriers, and also addressing new “private 5G” segments including in building 5G, Distributed Antenna System (DAS) building replacements, connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), automated port operations, air-to-ground in-flight connectivity, Smart Industry 4.0 factories and optimized Smart Grid driven utilities. This transaction will bring the vision of Eric and the Airspan team to fruition.”


II-VI expands manufacturing in California

II‐VI is expanding its manufacturing footprint in Santa Rosa, California, with a plan to double over the next five years its manufacturing capacity of optical filters for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrumentation and 5G optical access networks.

The rapid growth in PCR testing for COVID-19 and the ongoing buildout of the 5G optical access infrastructure are simultaneously driving the demand for optical filters with high performance and reliability, necessitating sustained multiyear investments in production capacity. II-VI initiated the buildout of recently secured manufacturing space in Santa Rosa, and began procuring manufacturing equipment, including coating chambers, to double manufacturing capacity over the next five years.    

“We would like to thank the inventors, designers, manufacturers, and operators of PCR test systems whom, we estimate, enabled hundreds of millions of PCR tests that helped mitigate the global spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Chuck Mattera, Chief Executive Officer, II-VI Incorporated. “We were proud in 2020 to focus on our contributions to the global PCR testing capacity with our state-of-the-art filter coatings capabilities. Now, in 2021, we are doubling down on our pledge to support the growth of PCR testing over the next five years. "

https://ii-vi.com/news/ii-vi-incorporated-to-double-manufacturing-capacity-of-optical-filters-for-pcr-instrumentation-and-5g-optical-access-over-a-five-year-investment/

Coherent says II-VI merger proposal is superior to Lumentum's

Coherent's board of directors notified Lumentum that it has received from a superior acquisition proposal from II-VI Incorporated. 

Under the terms of II-VI's revised proposal, each share of Coherent common stock would be exchanged for $170.00 in cash and 1.0981 shares of II-VI common stock at the completion of the transaction. 

Coherent has notifed Lumentum that it intends to terminate their merger agreement unless Coherent receives a revised proposal from Lumentum by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on March 11, 2021 that the Coherent board determines to be at least as favorable to Coherent's stockholders from a financial point of view as II-VI's revised proposal, after taking into account all aspects of any such proposal Coherent may receive from Lumentum.

Lumentum has notified Coherent of its intention to review the II-VI proposal under consideration of its matching rights as defined in the definitive merger agreement. 

Under the terms of the definitive merger agreement, Coherent would be required to pay a $217.6 million termination fee to Lumentum if Coherent terminates the definitive agreement in order to enter into an agreement with II-VI.

II-VI outbids Lumentum in competition to acquire Coherent

 II-VI made an offer to acquire Coherent, a global laser technology leader, in a cash and stock transaction priced at $260.00 per Coherent share (Coherent’s shareholders would receive $130.00 in cash and 1.3055 II-VI common shares for each Coherent share), based on the company closing stock price on February 11th.II-VI’s proposal represents a premium of 24.0% to the implied value of Coherent’s merger agreement with Lumentum, based on Lumentum’s...

Lumentum to acquire Coherent for its photonics and laser expertise

 Lumentum agreed to acquire Coherent in a cash and stock transaction valued at $5.7 billion, with Coherent stockholders receiving $100.00 per share in cash and 1.1851 shares of Lumentum common stock for each Coherent share they own. The combination will create a leading photonics company with significant positions in the growing market for photonics, an expansive global customer base and a well-diversified revenue mix. The transaction value...


Microsoft previews AI-driven Azure modules

 Microsoft unveiled the public preview of Azure Percept, a platform of hardware and services that aims to simplify the ways in which customers can use Azure AI technologies on the edge – including taking advantage of Azure cloud offerings such as device management, AI model development and analytics.

The Azure Percept platform includes a development kit with an intelligent camera, Azure Percept Vision, and a microphone module called Azure Precept Audio.

Azure Percept Vision and Azure Percept Audio connect to Azure services in the cloud and come with embedded hardware-accelerated AI modules that enable speech and vision AI at the edge, or during times when the device isn’t connected to the internet. In addition, Azure Percept devices automatically connect to Azure IoT Hub, which helps enable reliable communication with security protections between Internet of Things, or IoT, devices and the cloud. 

Potential applications could include elevators that respond to voice commands, cameras that notify store managers when to restock shelves and video streams that keep tabs on everything from cash register lines to parking space availability.

https://blogs.microsoft.com/ai/with-azure-percept-microsoft-adds-new-ways-for-customers-to-bring-ai-to-the-edge/

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Microsoft Exchange hit by state-sponsored hackers from China

Microsoft warned enterprises using its on-premises Exchange Server platforms of multiple 0-day exploits being used in limited and targeted attacks. The exploit does not affect Microsoft 365 or Azure Cloud deployments.

Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) attributes this campaign with high confidence to HAFNIUM, a group assessed to be state-sponsored and operating out of China, based on observed victimology, tactics and procedures. HAFNIUM, which primarily targets entities in the United States across a number of industry sectors,  exfiltrates data to file sharing sites like MEGA. The group is believed to use leased virtual private servers (VPS) in the United States to launch their attacks

In the attacks observed, HAFNIUM used the newly discovered vulnerabilities to access on-premises Exchange servers which enabled access to email accounts, and allowed installation of additional malware to facilitate long-term access to victim environments. 

According to media reports, the attack potentially compromised up to 30,000 organizations.

Microsoft has released out-of-band security updates to address four vulnerabilities in Exchange Server. In addition, Microsoft has released alternative mitigation techniques for Exchange Server customers who are not able to immediately apply updates that address vulnerabilities.

Separately, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a directive requiring federal civilian departments and agencies running Microsoft Exchange on-premises products to update or disconnect the products from their networks.

In addition, the European Banking Authority confirmed that it was compromised by the attack, and that as a precautionary measure, the EBA has decided to take its email systems offline.

https://www.microsoft.com/security/blog/2021/03/02/hafnium-targeting-exchange-servers/



Friday, March 5, 2021

SEC charges AT&T with disclosing insider information

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged AT&T and three of its Investor Relations executives with selectively disclosing material nonpublic information to research analysts.

According to the SEC's complaint, the disclosure of insider information occurred in in March 2016 when AT&T became aware that a steeper-than-expected decline in its first quarter smartphone sales would cause AT&T's revenue to fall short of analysts' estimates for the quarter. 

The SEC is charging AT&T Investor Relations executives Christopher Womack, Michael Black, and Kent Evans with making private, one-on-one phone calls to analysts at approximately 20 separate firms. The complaint further alleges that as a result of what they were told on these calls, the analysts substantially reduced their revenue forecasts, leading to the overall consensus revenue estimate falling to just below the level that AT&T ultimately reported to the public on April 26, 2016.

https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2021-43 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

DZS acquires RIFT.io for network orchestration

DZS has acquired RIFT, a start-up based in Chelmsford, Massachusettes developing network orchestration and automation solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The carrier-grade RIFT.ware software platform aims to simplify the deployment of any slice, service or application on any cloud. 

“The trend toward cloud and open software solutions is undeniable, and with the acquisition of RIFT, DZS accelerates its vision and strategy to deliver and manage intelligent network and processing functions at the network edge,” said Charlie Vogt, President and CEO of DZS. “With our recent Optelian acquisition, the introduction of our DZS Chronos and DZS Velocity portfolios for broadband access and mobile transport powered by sdNOS (the DZS SDN-enabled Network Operating System), and now the introduction of DZS Cloud, our company is more aligned than ever with software-defined, network virtualization and cloud-native automation solutions. The transaction adds a software development center in Bangalore, India and a product operations center in Boston, Massachusetts. DZS Cloud will enable us to deliver differentiated stand-alone and end-to-end cloud-based solutions designed to increase ARPU, lower churn, streamline operations and optimize service provider and enterprise networks.”

The acquired company will complement DZS sdNOS embedded development teams and will enhance DZS mobile transport, broadband access and connected premises solutions by enabling the development and deployment of end-to-end services, networking and applications – including OpenRAN or vRAN VNFs and CNFs, 5G network slicing, FTTx network orchestration, enterprise oriented universal customer premises equipment (uCPE) or SD-WAN solutions. 

“As the access domain shifts to software, global operators are seeking trusted partners to support their digital transformation journey,” said Noel Charath, Senior Vice President of DZS Cloud Operations. “Charlie’s vision for DZS, the company’s trusted position as a partner of choice behind next generation wireline and wireless networks, and their investments in cloud innovation ensures that the vision we had at RIFT will continue to be advanced and expanded through DZS Cloud. With some of the most innovative and advanced carriers in the world already DZS customers, we expect to find fertile ground among these operators to leverage the DZS Cloud platform to monetize their 5G and fixed network investments with high value enterprise services, private wireless / 5G as a service, Network-as-a-Service (NaaS), and SD-WAN through SDN and NFV automation.”

https://www.dzsi.com

DZS acquires Optelian for optical transport solutions

DZS, formerly DASAN Zhone Solutions, agreed to acquire Optelian, a leading optical networking solution provider based in Ottawa. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Optelian's solutions range from simple, easily deployed D/CWDM passive-optical devices to complex networks with multi-degree ROADMs. The Optelian solutions have completed the Telcordia OSMINE certification process required for deployment by Tier 1 service providers in North America The company was founded in 2002.

DZS said the Optelian portfolio will form a new DZS “O-series” product line that will enhance the DZS Mobile Transport portfolio with environmentally hardened optical transport products optimized for mobile backhaul. Optelian’s optical transport solutions will complement DZS’s market-leading 4G / 5G xHaul Mobile Transport portfolio that are currently deployed in five Tier 1 mobile networks. The new line-up of optical transport products will also add metro and regional aggregation and transport options for Broadband Access solutions. In addition to intellectual property and products, the transaction will bolster DZS R&D, operations, sales and corporate functions.

“After joining DZS in August of 2020, we established a playbook that began with the best talent, and quickly transitioned to technology, innovation and marquee customers around the world,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of DZS. “The acquisition of Optelian will uniquely distinguish us from the traditional Edge Access Mobile and Broadband suppliers and accelerate our path forward with Tier 1 service providers in North America. I am pleased at the prospect of welcoming the Optelian employees to DZS, a team that will bring unique North America development and integration experience in the areas of ultra-high speed coherent optics and environmentally hardened transport solutions.”

"Optelian is thrilled by the prospect of becoming part of a global leader like DZS, and feel that our innovative products and employees will be a great complement to their winning culture and world-class solutions,” said David Weymouth, CEO of Optelian. ”Our customers will clearly benefit from the inclusion of our products in a much broader solutions portfolio that includes complementary Mobile Transport and Broadband Access technologies, as well as Customer Premises equipment. We believe that the vision and direction that Charlie and team have established for DZS is poised to make waves in the industry, and it will be exciting to now be a catalyst to that growth and transformation.”   

https://dzsi.com/

  • DZS, which is headquartered in Plano, Texas, announced a major rebranding in August 2020. Additionally, the company outlined its going forward vision and strategy under the direction of newly appointed President and CEO Charlie Vogt, and unveiled a new DZS logo. The new DZS management team includes: 
  • Tom Cancro, Chief Financial Officer – former GE and Verizon 
  • Andrew Bender, Chief Technology Officer – former VMWare, Hewlett Packard, NEC 
  • Daniel Won, Chief Product Officer – former DASAN Networks, LG and Cisco 
  • Jay Hilbert, EVP, Americas, Europe, Middle East/Africa (AEMEA) Sales – former Nokia, Commscope, Cambium and Rignet 
  • Bill Ko, EVP, Asia Sales – former Active Video, ARRIS Group 
  • Geoff Burke, Chief Marketing Officer – former Calix, Motorola/Next Level and Broadband Forum 
  • Keith Nauman, SVP of Global Services – former AT&T