Pica8, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup developing "white box" switching systems using Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology, today announced a $12.5M Series B funding round from a group of investors led by VantagePoint Capital Partners, Cross Head and Pacific Venture Partners (PVP), bringing its total funding to date to over $20 million. 

The funding as the SDN market heads into its next phase of development, as the "hype"cycle has passed and many startups are getting into the nitty-gritty of customer deployments. Many of the early market leaders are now going back for Series B or C rounds. Some will raise even larger rounds than Pica8, and some won't raise any money at all.  

In short, 2014-2015 will be "make it or break it" time for many SDN startups, as we predicted in our SDN report

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2014 at 15:09 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Pica8, SDN, White Box Switches, Cisco, NSX, Venture Capital

You may have heard about the "Webscale" phenonemon, in which large cloud-based service providers, including social networks, are required to build massively scaleable data centers. One of the biggest challenges: Scaling storage to match the requirements of Webscale data centers. 

By some estimates as many as 50% of data centers will have Webscale requirements by 2017. This week we'll be holding a social chat covering how #webscalestorage has some of the same requirements of networking and computing technology in large data centers: Open standards, commodity hardware, and massively scaleable architectures.

Join us on Thursday at 2PM ET/11AM PT for a #Webscalestorage chat, on which we'll discuss these trends. You can mark your calendars by going to the CrowdChat page, which will we use to run the chat. Coho Data is sponosring the chat. 

The hallmarks of many webscale technology solutions include more open and flexible technology including a software-defined approach, similiar to what's happening in Software Defined Networking (SDN), whereby open software controls large arrays of massively scaleable hardware. A great example is Facebook's work with the Wedge, which we recently outlined in our report

The same trends are taking hold with Webscale storage. The flavor of choice appears to be 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). A survey of 200 enterprise excutives and adminstrators shows that one-half of survey respondents have deployed 10 GbE technology with about 13% more planning to deploy technology within the next year, according to the 2014 State of Web-scale Storage Report, published by Coho Data and Actual Tech Media

There's clearly a movement to consolidate around Ethernet, because of its simplicity and pervasiveness in networks. Data-center managers indicate the will to consolidate around Ethernet-based storage technologies, which are replacing other storage technologies, including Fibre Channel. A full 87% of respondents are already running some kind of Ethernet-based storage protocol —  iSCSI, NFS, or SMB — in their data centers.

But Ethernet is just part of the picture. Webscale storage is a complex issue, and new architectures will be brought to bear. This means introducing new models for storage including a "scale out" architecture, broad standardization, and applying elements of SDN to storage networks, whereby more open and sophisticated software can scaleable masses of commodity hardware. 

These are some of the trends we'll take a look at on Thursday in our Webscale storage chat, which will include many experts including real-life storage architects and customers. Go to the CrowdChat page now and mark your calendar

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 15:24 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Webscale, Storage, 10 GbE, Fibre Channel, Coho Data

Hunter Newby, the CEO of fiber company Allied Fiber, believes the policies of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States are impeding investment in telecom infrastructure -- and it may be creating a crisis in the world of "dark fiber."

Dark fiber is the building block of networks. It's fiber cable that has been laid in the ground but not yet "lit" by being connected to networking equipment and services. Think of it as a digital Interstate system. Newby says that Fed's 0% rate policies have driven money into other asset classes and diverted money away from more challenging infrastructure projects, which have longer term benefits. He says we need a more aggressive national fiber infrastructure policy. 

His arguments make sense. Investment in infrastructure can have beneficial results. Recently the Rayno Report published research results showing that investment in gigabit broadband can boost GDP. I've also written here about the puzzle of the plummeting money velocity: Since the Fed has implemented 0% interest rates and injected $4 trillion into the banking system, money velocity has collapsed. See the chart below from the St. Louis Fed, for proof.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 13:58 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Dark Fiber, Google, The Fed, Hunter Newby, Allied Fiber

A new study links gigabit-speed broadband to higher economic growth, concluding that communities with widely available gigabit access have per capita GDP that is 1.1 percent higher than communities with little to no availability of gigabit services.

Gigabit broadband is broadly defined as speeds reaching 1,000 Mbps, typically achieved by deploying fiber to the home (FTTH) or business. The new study, conducted by the Analysis Group and released by the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council (FTTH), was based on 55 communities in 9 states

The 14 communities with widely available gigabit broadband enjoyed over $1 billion in additional GDP when gigabit broadband became widely available, says the study. The metropolitan study areas were all in the United States and ranged from Alabama to Oregon. 

This entry was posted on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 17:55 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Gigabit Broadband, Broadband, Studies, GDP, Fiber, FTTH

A survey by research firm Frank N. Magid Associates, released exclusively to CNET, concludes that YouTube is the most popular site for finding online TV shows, trailed closely by Netflix. 

The survey asked 2,400 people to check off a list of online sources they use to watch TV shows. YouTube was the most common response, with 38 percent, followed by 33 percent for Netflix, 17 percent for Hulu, and 14 percent for Amazon Prime, according to the data from the June survey.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 14:02 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: YouTube, Online Video, Online TV, Netflix, Hulu

Last week, the Rayno Report hosted a social chat on #IoTanalytics. For those of you not up to speed on buzzwords and hashtags, that means how analytics technology can be applied to the gobs of data being collected from the millions of devices that will be connected online, now referred to by marketers worldwide as the Internet of Things (IoT).

We're in the early stages of IoT, of course, which is the concept that machines and devices connected to the Internet will communicate with other machines, in addition to us. The long-term vision is that this machine-generated data, coming from millions of devices and sensors, can be analyzed and used to deliver insight, automation, and efficiency, among other things.

One of our guest hosts, Tate Cantrell (@Tate8tech), CTO of data-center provider Verne Global, says "IoT has the potential to change everything-from how our coffee is brewed to how the lights go out at night."

This entry was posted on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: IoT, CrowdChat, Rayno Social Chat, #IoTanalytics, analytics, Verne Global

Investment bank Cowen & Co. is raising its price target and outlook on Apple Inc. (AAPL) based on a survey of 4,500 adults in U.S. and China that indicates strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and 6+.

Cowen has raised the Apple price target to $110 from $106. Cowen is modeling sales of 120 million iPhone 6/6+ units in the first 12 months, which is above Wall St. consensus, and Cowen analysts believe those projections may be "conservative," according to a research note published this morning by Cowen analysts Timothy Arcuri and Bryan Prohm.

The survey of 4,500 adults in the U.S. and China indicates that battery life, screen size, and chip speed of the new iPhone models are strong drivers for upgrades. 

This entry was posted on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 13:51 pm and is filed under Mobile.
Keywords: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 6, Battery Life, Android

Cisco announced a deal to buy Metacloud yesterday, affirming two big trends in cloud computing: 1) Private cloud and 2) OpenStack.

Metacloud is a provider of "OpenStack as a Service" offering, meaning it enables enterprises to set up cloud applications and services in their own data centers using the open-source OpenStack platform. OpenStack has gotten a lot of attention as a virtualization environment comparable to VMware (VWW), because it holds many advantages of open source such as speed of development and lower costs.

The OpenStack vs. VMware debate was in full swing at the recent VMWorld conference, and Cisco may see this as an opportunity to fight back at VMWare's dominance, as a growing conflict between the companies appears to be developing. The Rayno Report predicted this as far back as 2010

The Metacloud offering seems perfect for the market -- and obviously Cisco -- because it takes advantages of the growing interest in OpenStack at the same time as increased interest among enterprises to build their own private cloud services.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 17:20 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: OpenStack, Cloud Computing, Private Cloud, Cisco, Metacloud

Have you stayed awake late at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, "What is Facebook's Wedge technology, and what does it mean?"

Well, Rayno Report has the answer for you. I have released our latest free report, a 5-page Strategic Brief on Facebook's own data-center swtich, the Wedge, as well as the whole Open Compute Project (OCP), which was started by Facebook. This is Facebook's own initiative to drive new technology standards for Webscale data centers to lower costs and improve interoperability. 

If you haven't heard, open technologies are taking over the data center. Virtualization technologies such as OpenStack, KVM, and OpenFlow – as well as many others – are being used as the foundation for new data-center architectures. Facebook wants to take this a step further with OCP, which is creating a series of specs in hardware and data center design, for everything from power supplies to mechanical systems. This follows the concept of disaggregation – the ability to build entire data centers based on open, interchangeable parts. Think of it as Lego blocks for cloud computing. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 14:54 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Facebook, Wedge, SDN, Open Compute Project, SDN Revolution

You might have heard of something called the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the concept of the world's millions of devices being connected via IP networking, which can provide value in many ways by analyzing the data collected by the networked devices.

As the world becomes increasingly networked, analytics tools will become more important in creating new applications for the smarter, connected world. The Rayno Report will be hosting an IoT and analytics social chat on Tuesday, Sept. 16 (tomorrow) at 11 AM EDT.

Tomorrow's #iotanalytics social chat can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #IoTanalytics, or by using CrowdChat, an exciting new platform for following social conversations. You can mark the event on your calendar and follow on CrowdChat by going to the CrowdChat page here

Guest speakers on the #IoTanalytics chat will include Tate Cantrell, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Verne Global, a data center operator based in Keflavik, Iceland; and Craig Sowell, SVP of Marketing at Datapipe. We're also asking any users of IoT and analytics technology to join in the conversation. I'll be moderating the chat. The event is sponsored by Verne Global. 

This is part of a series of social chats produced by Rayno Media Inc., including #SDNChat. If you are interested in sponsoring an event please contact me at scott@rayno.com

This entry was posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 13:34 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: IoT, Analytics, Tate Cantrell, Verne Global, CrowdChat

Hipcamp Receives $2,000,000 Seed Round
  • Company: Hipcamp
  • Description: Our mission is to get more people outside. By making it easier to discover great places to camp, we hope to inspire a broader demographic to embrace the outdoors and commit to protecting our beautiful planet.
  • Website: www.hipcamp.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $2,000,000
  • Round: Seed
  • Purpose: Proceeds purposes were not disclosed.
  • Investors:

Pica8 Lands $12,500,000 Series B Round
  • Company: Pica8
  • Description: Pica8 is fulfilling the promise of true software-defined networking (SDN) by providing the world's first open, hardware-independent switching system. Pica8's open switches transform the data center by decoupling hardware from software.
  • Website: www.pica8.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $12,500,000
  • Round: Series B
  • Purpose: The funding will help Pica8 to support its accelerated software development and ongoing go-to-market strategies to help continue its momentum within the emerging software defined networking (SDN) market.
  • Investors:

Reddit Garners $50,000,000 New Financing
  • Company: Reddit
  • Description: Reddit is a social news website that displays news based on personal preferences and community likes. It operates this system based on the history of users voting stories up or down. Reddit provides news, information, insight, and articles related to a wide range of topics.
  • Website: www.reddit.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $50,000,000
  • Round: Undisclosed
  • Purpose: Reddit will use the money to expand its development on projects and new features, it’ll also use some to “expand our community management team” and “build out better moderation and community tools.”
  • Investors: