BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress (MWC) -- The world's largest mobile technology show is chock-full of gadgets, mobile operators, and buzzwords: Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), Software-Defined Networking (SDN), small cells, and IoT (Internet of Things).

I must confess, most of what I've been thinking about this week is how much data is on the mobile network. My attempt to pick the right global data plan before I left home did not work -- within three hours of landing in Barcelona I was receiving stress-inducing texts from Verizon informing me that I'd incurred a $150 surcharge for downloading my email (even though I thought I had made the right switch before I left). 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 at 20:12 pm and is filed under Mobile, Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Mobile, Mobile Apps, Facebook, Big Data, Mark Zuckerberg

Here it is, the vaunted Net Neutrality. More specifically, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved to declare Internet broadband a Title II services, bringing it under the umbrella of its regulatory powers as a public utility.

I would be great if anybody knew what this actually was, how you manage it technologically, or why the FCC has any credibility or capability to make the Internet better. I think the FCC is the wrong bureaucracy (if any) to be put in charge of it, and how it is a big threat to the freedom of the Internet. 

Why are the faux hipsters celebrating? It seems as if there is a populist movement afoot to embrace Net Neutrality because "cable companies are evil" and it somehow represents some kind of intellectual freedom, when in fact it's the opposite. Last I checked, Netflix and CEO Reed Hastings were making a ton of money, so I'm not sure whether that qualifies them as less evil than cable companies. More importantly, the Internet has been the fastest growing communications network in the history of the world precisely because it hasn't really been regulated -- at all. 

But it doesn't matter. The lobbyists have won, for now.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 16:15 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: FCC, Net Neutrality, Netflix, Tom Wheeler

On February 25, the Rayno Report held another one of our riveting social chats streaming live on CrowdChat and Twitter. This one was on the topic of #whitebox. With 582 views so far and a total social reach of 564,000 people, it's evident it's a popular topic!

What is a white box, you ask? These are network switches built on commodity hardware using merchant silicon, rather than the proprietary integrated systems in traditional networks. The advantage of building on commodity hardware is more flexibility in choosing your own OS and software applications -- and better economies of scale. 

 

The sponsor of the chat, Pica8 (@Pica8) pointed out that the emerging Software Defined Networking (SDN) community is building white box switches using Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), or outsourced manufacturing outfits. This is similar to way that iPhones and servers are now built, where the hardware manufacturing is separate from software installation.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 27, 2015 at 15:45 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: White Box Switches, White Boxes, Pica8, SDN, NFV, Top of Rack

This week, private co-location and cloud services provider 365 Data Centers announced 2014 milestones that included double-digit and record quarterly sales growth, reflecting the strong demand in the Tier-2 data-center market.

365 Data Centers reported 275 total customers and said it added 33 new customers, three of which they refer to as “the largest social media and video distributors.” The company is focusing on co-location and data-center services in mid-tier cities. Such cities are experiencing the largest traffic growth, and 365 has some hot markets including San Jose, Calif., St. Louis, Mo., and Nashville, Tenn., in its roster of 17 locations. It also covers major areas such as New York and Los angeles.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 17:12 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: Data Center, Tier 2, 365 Data Centers

Whitebox networking is all the rage. HP (NYSE: HPQ) last week announced it was teaming with Cumulus to deliver whiteboxes. And Cisco Systems (Nasdaq:CSCO) recently explained on a conference call with analysts why it's going to "crush" them

We'll be covering this topic today in an exclusive CrowdChat, sponsored by Pica8, at 11 AM PST. The chat will bring together experts in the whitebox community to discuss the evolution of the whitebox market, why it's important, and how big it is. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 16:32 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications.
Keywords: White Boxes, Whiteboxes, Ethernet, Pica8, Linux, SDN

"Webscale" cloud providers and the data-center market are all the rage for optical technology vendors these days. Ciena today announced two new chipsets targeting growth in these markets

Ciena today announced the WaveLogic 3 Extreme chipset and the WaveLogic 3 Nano chipset. WaveLogic 3 Extreme will boost bandwidth efficiencies on Ciena's 6500 and 5430 converged packet optical platforms, and WaveLogic 3 Nano will be implemented in Ciena’s 6500 and 8700 optical platforms, making them more energy efficient.

WaveLogic 3 Extreme will double capacity in metro networks and provide 85% greater capacity in submarine networks, according to the company. The WaveLogic 3 Extreme is available today, and it has already been deployed by Verizon, Southern Cross, Japan-US Cable, and Trans Pacific Express. WaveLogic 3 Nano enables high 100G densities in a much smaller footprint and uses lower electrical power consumption. WaveLogic 3 Nano will be available in June.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 03:21 am and is filed under .
Keywords: Ciena, WaveLogic, DCI, Cloud, Webscale, Optical Networking

Shares of New Relic, Inc. (NYSE: NEWR), a recent IPO which makes software tools for monitoring applications, are slowly bouncing back this week after the company's first earnings report as a public company.

Shares are now trading near $35, above the company's closing price of $34 on the day of its December 12 IPO. Last week, shares fell 5% on Friday after the company’s fiscal Q3 earnings report on Thursday – even though they had jumped as much as 8% in the pre-market on Friday and initially opened up. New Relic shares popped almost 50% in its IPO debut on December 12. 

NEWR shares have chopped around since the recent IPO.

With strong growth and a leading market position, the company is one to watch. New Relic reported a Non-GAAP loss of 28 cents per share, after taking out special items, for the fiscal Q3 ending Dec. 31. This was a jump of from a loss of 23 cents a year earlier, though analysts polled by Thomson-Reuters had expected a 37-cent loss. Revenue jumped 69% to $29 million. Revenue billings, EBIT margin and EPS all beat expectations thanks to large deals and expansion into enterprise.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 16:12 pm and is filed under Applications, Investing.
Keywords: New Relic, Business Analytics, APM, Analytics, IPOs, IoT

About 13 years ago I received a tip from some Silicon Valley insiders that I should check out this "hot" new startup, Timetra, which was blazing new trails in edge routing. That's when I first met Basil Alwan. Timetra was a pioneer in a niche product known as a services edge router, a device that could not only perform standard routing functions but also added flexiblity with Quality of Service (QoS), using the MPLS protocol to slice-and-dice various IP-based communications services and assign them different levels of priority. This is an approach known in the business as "tag" or "label" routing. 

Several things impressed me at the time. It wasn't just Timetra's solid technology -- which soon made it one of the most successful edge routing companies of that generation -- but Alwan himself. Alwan wasn't your typical chest-thumping Silicon Valley entrepreneur. He was a non-nonsense "doer" with a soft-spoken manner. I guess what I'm saying is that, for the Valley, he's a refreshingly humble and nice guy. 

Basil Alwan, President of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division.
 

Alcatel acquired Timetra in 2003 for the bargain price of $150 million (and subsequently completed a gigantic merger with Lucent in 2006). Nearly 12 years later, Alwan is still at the combined Alcatel-Lucent, leading its IP division. Timetra has become the engine of Alcatel-Lucent's entire IP routing strategy. Many experts have observed that Alwan's Timetra crew and its technology have had an outsized impact on Alcatel's organization, helping build its IP routing company to become a formidable rival to Cisco and Juniper.  

This entry was posted on Friday, February 13, 2015 at 15:52 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications, Investing, Interviews.
Keywords: Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent, IP Routing, MPLS, SDN, NFV

Shares of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) hit a new eight-year high, vaulting $2.30 (8%) in morning trading to $29.23, on a combination of positive factors during last night's quarterly earnings report.

A little while back I commented on the suprising strength in Cisco stock. Can the stock now break $30? Cisco shares have not been above $30 since 2007. 

Last night after the market closed, the networking giant reported $11.9 billion in sales for the quarter (Q2 of its fiscal year 2015), beating many analyst estimates. Pro forma earnings per share were $0.53, exceeding analyst consensus of $0.51. The company is now calling for 3 to 5% annual revenue growth, and it expects pro forma EPS of $0.51 to $0.53 in the April quarter. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 15:20 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Cisco, John Chambers, Nexus, Data Center

Cyan Inc. (Nasdaq: CYNI) is making a bid for the "webscale" datacenter market with the announcement of the N-Series, a 100 Gbit/s optical networking product line that is built on an open architecture, combining commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) silicon and photonic components with a modified Linux operating system. 

It's a bold move for Cyan. It's going to be making an optical networking system in the style of a Software Defined Networking (SDN) "white box," in which the software elements and an open operating system (OS) can run on commodity hardware. This gives customers more flexibility. Most networking systems in the optical market are still integrated with proprietary OSs and run on purpose-built chips.

The N11, the first product in its N-Series, will deliver a total of 8 100G ports for 800 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) of optical capacity in one rack unit (RU). When the products are stacked in a rack, Cyan says it can deliver as much as 34 terabits per second (Tbit/s) in a seven-foot rack. It's scheduled to have trial customers by the second quarter of 2015 and will ship in Q3 2015. 

The product is targeted at the Data Center Interconnect (DCI) market, where large content providers and social networking companies need large amounts of capacity to connect hyperscale datacenters together. Companies such as Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) have been pushing the limits of scale and openness. 

Infonetics indicates that 100G metro optical is the fastest growing segment of the optical market.
 

Petaluma, Calif.-based Cyan is also responding to its Northern California rival, Infinera (Nasdaq: INFN), which in December introduced its own 100G optical networking product for the DCI market, the CloudXpress. Infinera's stock price has jumped about 40% since introducing the product, indicating investor excitement for the cloud DCI market. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at 22:47 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: 100G Optical, Cyan, Webscale, Open Compute Project
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