This week the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States met on interest-rate policy and decided they will be very careful about raising interest rates. You may ask what this has to do with what the Rayno Report covers -- big tech trends in networking and communications. The answer is that it's all connected. 

A growing theme in the global economy is how technology is affecting jobs. This is what I call the #robotmeme, the idea that technology is contributing to deflationary forces. This comes in two parts 1) Better networking and connectivity throughout the world enables labor arbitrage (outsourcing) 2) Automation decreases the total number of jobs.

Real wages have declined since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 17:36 pm and is filed under Investing.
Keywords: Automation, Google, #robotmeme, The Fed, Jobs

UBIqube, a Dublin, Ireland-based startup focusing on orchestration software for the telecom industry, has quietly landed a deal with Japanese service provider giant NTT Group (NYSE: NTT). NTT will use UBIqube's MSActivator Orchestration Framework to deliver NTT's enterprise security services via its Enterprise Cloud and WideAngle security. 

The software will be rolled out in NTT's ICT solutions and international communication business within the NTT Group. NTT is expanding its enterprise security services with a broader range of functions and vendors to deliver virtualized capabilities and customer-premises device based systems, according the both NTT and UBIqube.

 

UBIqube's orchestration software helps service providers set up and manage cloud services. (Source: UBIqube)
 

Network orchestration tools, which help service providers coordinate the hardware and software to initiate, manage, and track customer services, are becoming more important service providers as they aim to deliver more cloud, services. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 16:04 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: UBIqube, Nabil Souli

Are you afraid of the coming of the robots? If you haven't tracked this, it's the idea that artificial intelligence (AI) is accelerating, it's having a profound impact on our economy and society, and advanced AI and the arrival of the smart robots is one of the biggest threats to our life.

The robots will take all of our jobs. Or worse yet, kill us

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 18:11 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Robotics, AI, Deflation, Fed, Robert Shiller

Overture Networks yesterday announced a series of products designed to move service provider networks into the Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) future. 

The goal is to automate networks and allower service providers to move to more open platforms. Overture's barrage of product announcements, which include a new analytics platform, service orchestrator, and virtual carrier Ethernet (CE) software, wrap up many components needed for implementing SDN in telecom networks.

The Overture Ensemble architecture.
 

The product releases come at an interesting time, with service providers caught in the balance between maintaining their aging, legacy proprietary networks and making big moves to an entirely different network paradigm. SDN, as Rayno Report has defined it in our SDN Revolution report, means using open standards, standard hardware, and a highly intelligent software layer to deliver smarter, more automated networks. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 16:21 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: SDN, NFV, Overture, Service Orchestration, LSO

The Cloud WAN market is coming to a branch office near you, and it's going to shake up the way enterprise access gear and services is sold for many years to come.

That's the conclusion of Rayno Report's new premium research report, "The Future of Cloud WAN." Billions of dollars of revenue is at stake, and the Rayno Report estimates the new market for virtualized Cloud WAN services is close to $7.5B over the next five years. 

The Cloud WAN is on the cusp of changing how businesses buy networking connectivity, especially to branch offices. Research shows that enterprises are tired of buying and configuring their own WAN connectivity gear, and a new crop of technology startups is introducing a model for delivery traditional WAN services, which include connectivity, WAN optimization, and secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) in a software model without cumbersome propretiary hardware and expensive private lines. 

Some new startups, such as CloudGenix, Pertino, and VeloCloud, are designing cloud-based services that allow enterprises to create VPNs and secure networks through Web portals. Others, such as Aryaka, are have built Network as a Service (NAAS) offerings that allow companies to outsource their entire WAN operations. And at the same times, WAN technology incumbents such as Cisco and Riverbed are scrambling to virtualize their existing WAN functionality so that it can be delivered in the cloud in a Software as a Service (SAAS) model. 

Some key findings of the report:

  • The total opportunity for a variety of Cloud WAN services is $7.5B by the year 2020.
  • $360M in venture capital has been invested in a variety of Cloud WAN startups.
  • Detailed analysis of 17 startup and incumbent technology companies pursuing the Cloud WAN market.
  • How Cloud WAN technology will virtualize existing enterprise WAN technology functions such as branch-office routers, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), WAN Optimization, and Application Delivery Controller (ADC) technology and move this functionality into the cloud.
  • Details about the Return on Investment (ROI) offered by a Cloud WAN model. Includes potential savings in areas such as management, hardware costs, maintenance, and energy.

Companies discussed in this report include: Akamai (Nasdaq: AKAM), Aryaka, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), CloudGenix, Distrix, Exinda, FatPipe, Glue Networks, Netsocket, Pertino, Riverbed Technology, Siaras, Silver Peak, Talari, VeloCloud, Versa Networks, Viptela. 

The report is available today for $650 per single-user license on our Premium Research site.  For special enterprise license offerings, please contact sales at sales@raynoreport.com

This entry was posted on Monday, January 26, 2015 at 23:12 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Cloud WAN, CPE, Cisco, Juniper, Aryaka, Pertino, VeloCloud

Is it time to take a look at shares of Super Micro Inc. (Nasdaq: SMCI)? The stock of the data-center infrastructure provider took a hit after the company announced 41% year-over-year revenue growth and earnings that beat estimates for its second fiscal quarter. 

The company announced revenue of $503M, which is 41% year-over-year growth. 60% of revenue was contributed by systems sales (servers and storage) while the remaining 40% was contributed by component sales. The company reported Earnings Per share (EPS) of $0.65, exceeding the consensus expectation by $0.18. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 22:28 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Digital Media.
Keywords: Super Micro, Servers, Intel, Haswell

Pluribus announced today that it has landed a substantial Series D funding round of $50M led by Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek and including Ericsson as a strategic investor.

Make no doubt about it, this money is a warchest to take on Cisco and VMware for the reign of Software Defined Networking (SDN) supremacy. The impressive roster of investors includes prior venture investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow, and AME Cloud Ventures. Newtech, an Asia data-center infrastructure provider, also joined as a strategic investor. This event puts Pluribus in the top tier of SDN startups.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 18:09 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Pluribus Networks, SDN, Cisco, Kumar Srikantan

(Editor's Note: This is a contributed piece from wearable tech expert Julien Blin. It first appeared on Facebook and Blin has published another version on Medium. It has been slightly edited.)

2014 again marked the confirmation that the wearable tech and IoT space is vibrant, legit and here to stay, with the emergence of new innovative startups, successful exits (e.g. Basis, acquired by Intel), and the official entry of Apple (Nasdaq:AAPL) into the space with the launch of the Apple watch. 

First, what happened in 2014?

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 16:51 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Wearable tech, Intel, Facebook, IoT, Apple, Apple Watch

Cisco CEO John Chambers may be having his Steve Ballmer moment. The situations are analagous. Steve Ballmer, the Co-Founder and fomer CEO of Microsoft, stubbornly stuck around Microsoft long after everybody starting chattering about his departure. Then Microsoft shares started rising in anticipation of his departure. 

Of course I famously wrote last year that I thought John Chambers was retiring in 2014. It was not announced. It was too early, I guess. Or was it? The shares have risen since then, and the market is still chattering about it. It's also still top of mind in Cisco's San Jose, Calif. headquartes, where the rank-and-file are tiring of a corporate strategy that involves round after round of layoffs.  

Note that in the Microsoft's case, the stock started to rise before the announcement that Ballmer would leave. That continued through the naming of the new CEO. Mr. Market knows more than we do. What's happening at Cisco? Cisco shares have been mysteriously strong lately, rising to a recent 52-week high hear $28.

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What's behind this strength? Certainly not the un-inspiring earnings calls. Maybe it's the market sensing that change is close. This is exactly what happened to Microsoft shares in the year leading up to Ballmer's departure.

 

Microsoft's shares started rising in anticipation of a CEO change and then accelerated when the news was out.

Cisco shares have been steadily rising since October.
 

The market may be anticipating a "New CEO" event, which would be bullish for shares on the perception of changes at Cisco. The company has $50B in cash and all sorts of opportunities to shake things up. There could be a restructuring in the cards. The market just wants a new story to tell for Cisco. As the networking giant attempts to morph into a software-driven company, it could be that more radical changes might be ahead: A major restructuring? A spin-off of a cloud business unit? Anything is possible. 

Again, look at the Microsoft situtation. Microsoft shares have risen since Ballmer left and new CEO Satya Nadella set the company on a course set directly for cloud.

Will it finally happen with Cisco? I think it has to. There is absolutely no upside to Chambers staying any longer, especially now that the stock has pumped up to $28 from $18 in less than a year. He can go out with a strong stock. 

People at Cisco might take this as an "attack," but it's not an attack at all. Chambers has been at Cisco for more than two decades, and he has created a technology giant that dominates the networking market. But eventually, every company must change leadership, and this is a natural transition point. 

Chambers is taking his time. I'll try to predict it again, and eventually I'll be right. My prediciton that Chambers will finally leave in 2015 is part of some other "Un-Predictions" that I wrote for SDNCentral, which you can check out here

Another prediction: Juniper's turmoil will continue. More on that next week. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 14:44 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: John Chambers, Cisco, Juniper

The rumor mills are alive with word that Verizon is considering a joint venture or outright acquisition of AOL.

No, this is not some bad dream from 1999. The sources are "people with knowledge of the matter," according to the Bloomberg story. These are code words for "a few MBAs have gone out of their mind."

The first thing I thought of when I heard this was that Verizon buying AOL has a certain vintage, retro ring to it. It's like Levi's merging with McDonalds. Or maybe Kodak taking over Polaroid. Or maybe it's like the 1980s supergroup Asia, where the players all sound powerful and successful on paper, but it's not something you'd boast about listening to in school. 

This entry was posted on Friday, January 09, 2015 at 15:10 pm and is filed under Mobile, Digital Media, Investing.
Keywords: Verizon, AOL, Online Video, M&A, Supergroup Asia
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Fashion Project Lands $7,200,000 Series A Funding
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  • Description: Fashion Project is the exclusive service where you donate & shop for designer labels — with a portion of every sale going to charity.
  • Website: www.fashionproject.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $7,200,000
  • Round: Series A
  • Purpose: This latest round of funding enables the company to grow its workforce and strengthen marketing, technology and operational infrastructures.
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Kollabora Lands $935,007 New Financing
  • Company: Kollabora
  • Description: Kollabora is a social platform for DIYers, consisting of a craft supply marketplace and multiple maker communities linking to projects, supplies, and how-tos. Kollabora soft-launched sewing, knitting, and jewelry making communities with fashion-forward projects, and plan to expand into many more DIY communities, including home decor.
  • Website: www.kollabora.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $935,007
  • Round: Undisclosed
  • Purpose: Proceeds purposes were not disclosed. SEC regulatory filing - amended. Contact technology company for investment details, if applicable. Not an offer or solicitation for sale of securities.
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Giphy Secures $17,000,000 Series B Funding Round
  • Company: Giphy
  • Description: Animated GIFs have existed for decades, but there was still no good way to browse and discover the best the web had to offer. And the vision for Giphy isn’t really just about finding GIFs.
  • Website: www.giphy.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $17,000,000
  • Round: Series B
  • Purpose: Giphy will also be launching an easy way to make GIFS soon.
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