As the shares of cybersecurity companies zoom to new heights, there may be good reason: The topic of information and network security remains the number one issue for customers plotting their cloud technologies and services. 

Last week I rambled through the RSA Conference in San Francisco for a day and then later heard from technology experts at the Netevents Cloud Innovation Summit in Tiburon, Calif. The conclusion from a variety of sources seems to be this: Security technology is failing to protect networks and data as the bad guys get more sophisticated in their attacks. 

"The security market is fundamentally broken," RSA President Amit Yorannew told attendees of an RSA press conference. "The approach that our industry has taken is irreparably flawed, and we have to change." 

Some more indications that this has become consensus:

This entry was posted on Monday, April 27, 2015 at 15:25 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: Cloud, Security, Virtualization, SDN, NFV, Netevents

TIBURON, Calif. — Not surprisingly, a VMware technology executive says that container technology is not a threat to VMware's virtual machine (VM) franchise, because customers are going to use them together to improve network automation and security of virtualized networks.  

"We have several customers running containers inside VMs. The isolation of containers is very weak -- it's basically no more than the solution of a Linux kernel," said Guido Appenzeller, Chief Technology Strategy Officer for Network and Security, VMware, speaking here at the NetEvents conference. "They take all of the containers and put them into one virtual machine."

This entry was posted on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 18:48 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications, Investing.
Keywords: VWware, Virtualization, Security, NFV, Containers

As more devices are becoming connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), smartphones are emerging as the most important means of controlling this burgeoning market of connected devices. 

It may seem as though smartphones dominate many aspects of day-to-day life -- because they do. In the past decade they have become our primary form of communication, in pretty much any form, from voice to messaging to email. Today many users are using their smartphones more as personal computing devices than as strictly communicative devices. That trend is nothing new, just becoming far more prevalent.

Let's examine these devices and their capabilities and think about how they are going to interact with the important IoT market. Your smartphone has a significant amount of computational power, coupled with a simple and intuitive UI as well as a wide range of radio technologies, to connect you to just about any network or device. And there's a plethora of tech companies actively developing products and services in both the IoT and smartphone spaces.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 24, 2015 at 15:12 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: IoT, WiFi, NFC

Martin Taylor, the Chief Technical Officer of Metaswitch Networks, has been working in software protocols and networking for more than 20 years. He joined Metaswitch in 2004 after pioneering converged voice and video as CTO of CopperCom, an early softswitch provider.

At CopperCom, Taylor led the ATM Forum effort to create a standard for Voice over Broadband (VoB) interoperability. The company was also one of the early leaders in softswitches, which run voice applications as software on packet-based networks -- one of the earlier IP-based applications of Software Defined Networking (SDN).

Martin Taylor, CTO, Metaswitch

Softswitches, which abstract IP voice switch functions from hardware, were one of the first SDN applications. Metaswitch has been building IP-based softswitches since 2000, and it is also a leading provider of IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMSs) and Session Border Controllers (SBCs). The company was producing SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology before they became hot industry buzzwords.

More recently, Metaswitch has embraced the cloud model by creating Project Clearwater, an IMS platform that runs in the cloud and is also available as open source. Clearwater is designed to run in the cloud and can lower the cost of running IMS applications to less than 2 US cents per subscriber per year, according to Metaswitch.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 15:22 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Interviews.
Keywords: Martin Taylor, Metaswitch, NFV, SDN

When Nokia (NYSE:NOK) announced that it would be acquiring Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU), a curious thing happened: Both stocks fell. 

This sent a bad signal that large investors in both companies didn't like the deal. It's also extremely rare. The typical pattern in a public-market acquisition is for the shares of the acquiree to rise. The Boston Consulting Group says the historical average premium for the acquired company is 34%. So what gives?

A big factor in the selling of shares after the deal was Nokia investors, according to some sources. Many of the Nokia shareholders were interested in owning Nokia for the intellectual property benefits of Nokia's Advanced Technologies division, which licenses patents. Adding another telecom equipment merger didn't do much for them. 

"Many of the people that owned NOK only cared about intellectual property licensing revenues and the bull case that NOK can get more Chinese handset players to pay it," said Michael Genovese, Managing Director at MKM Partners, when I inquired by email. "They don't feel great about telecom equipment so they are getting out of the stock."

Nokia's shares have been choppy for months and fell immediately following the deal.

Alcatel-Lucent's shares popped 20% on Tuesday in anticipation of the deal, but investors immediately sold and it closed lower on Thursday than its price on Monday.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 17, 2015 at 14:18 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: M&A, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokialu, Stocks

(Warning: Disturbing and potentially offensive analysis of the telco hardware business ahead -- spanning four entire pages! Sedatives or perhaps stimulants may be needed, depending on whom you work for.)  

On Wednesday morning, April 15, which has the distinction of being U.S. Federal Tax Day, the 105th day in the Gregorian Calendar, as well as the anniversay of the Battle of Formigny (1450), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which was once part of a company based in New Jersey but is now based in France, announced it will now become part of Nokia (NYSE: NOK) in Finland.

The deal is valued at $16.5 billion. What do the hard-working folks and shareholders at Alcatel-Lucent get in exchange? They gain 0.55 shares of newly minted Nokia stock. Shares of both companies went down. Yes, just another day in telco land. And all very predictable. AlcaNokiaLunacy. 

There's a lot of breathless analysis being written about what this deal means (at least in one other blog, somewhere), but let's face it: It's a snoozer. A snoozer for losers. These companies -- and their combination -- represent a fraction of the value they once had. The deal has virtually no premium for Alcatel shareholders. It's not creating value.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at 22:04 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: M&A, Alcatel-Lucent, Carly Fiorina, Nokia, Telecom Equipment, SDN, Routers

It's happening! Two large organizations supporting service-provider technology efforts, the MEF and the TM Forum, have agreed to collaborate on programs to push new technology for orchestrating and coordinating dynamic services in networks. 

This has been a broad topic of discussion in the service-provider industry, as large global operators struggle with the many new standards associated with Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO), and Software Defined Networking (SDN) -- and how they can fit together to deliver a more open, streamlined way of delivering services.  

The MEF and TM Forum's collaboration will include coordination on NFV, LSO, and NFV work streams; a proof of concept demonstration at the TM Live event in Nice, France, in June; and the MEF's use of TM Forum’s Digital Services Toolkit. You can read more about it from the TM Forum, here

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 17:09 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: LSO, MEF, TM Forum, OSS

Illumio today announced it has raised a $100 million investment round from big-name investors to pursue its security solutions for virtualized environments. 

The company will use the money to scale the development and sales of its Adaptive Security Platform (ASP), which targets application-level security in the cloud. Illumio's software is designed to monitor the security of traffic flows inside of specific application workflows, and follow them if they are moved in the cloud. 

The investors include a who's who list of top Silicon Valley venture capital firms and individuals. Participating in the round are new investors BlackRock Funds and Accel Partners, joined by existing venture investors Formation 8, Andreessen Horowitz, and General Catalyst. Also participating are Microsoft Chairman John W. Thompson, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang. 

The company, which was only founded in 2013, already has big-name customers including Morgan Stanley, Plantronics, NTT, and Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 14:03 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: Cloud Security, Security, Virtualization, Illumio

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) is gaining traction in mobile networks, and mobile infrastructure startup Affirmed Networks is emerging as one of the leaders.

Acton, Mass.-based Affirmed focuses on virtualized infrastructure for mobile Evolved Packet Core (EPC), the gear needed for mobile data networks at 3G, 4G, and beyond. It has closed a number of deals in the first quarter of 2015 to bring its customer count to 23. At least four of Affirmed's customers are so-called "Tier 1" (large) service providers, including AT&T and S. Korea's LG U+. Other significant customers include Transatel, based in France, and Elephant Talk, an international provider based in New York.  

Affirmed made a big splash when it made AT&T's list of Domain 2.0 vendors in 2013. This was the list of technology suppliers that AT&T announced it was working with on its next-generation Software Defined Networking (SDN) platforms. 

This entry was posted on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN, M2M.
Keywords: Affirmed Networks, EPC, Mobile, Mobile Data, AT&T, LG U+

Silicon Motion Technology Corporation (Nasdaq: SIMO), one of the stocks in the Rayno Model Portfolio for 2015 (currently up 19%), blasted off to a new all-time high today on bullish projections for earnings. 

Shares of SIMO stock are up about $5 (18%) for the week after the company said it expects results to come in at the high end of guidance. Yesterday shares gapped up about $2 (7%) and have risen another $1.50 (3%) in trading today to $31.96.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 09, 2015 at 15:12 pm and is filed under Mobile, Investing.
Keywords: Silicon Motion, SIMO, Mobile, NAND
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