Weekly Intelligence Digest – April 13, 2015

Top News Stories


1. Ericsson Launches Cloud DVR Solution

Ericsson launched a cloud DVR (digital video recorder) solution at NAB this week on the back of its acquisition of Fabrix Systems. The launch positions Ericsson as a market leader in cloud DVR because of its new video storage and processing platform. This innovative platform reduces cost and simplifies consumer experience by reducing the size of set-top-boxes while also providing consumers with on-demand, anywhere TV access. Ericsson’s new cloud DVR solution will run on all QAM and IP-based TV platforms. It is powered by the Ericsson Video Storage and Processing Platform, which enables seamless integration between legacy TV services and new cloud-based services to give viewers simplicity of content selection, immediacy of access and high quality delivery.

BID Insight Ericsson’s research department anticipates that by 2020, time spent watching on-demand and time-shifted content will reach equal levels. As viewers increasingly demand ‘anywhere access’ and time-shifted viewing, TV service providers will need to ensure they give consumers the control to record and watch live TV content anytime on the device of their choosing. Ericsson’s new Cloud DVR solution integrates and virtualizes the storage and processing capabilities of as many Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) servers as needed, which in turn provides superior performance gains and allows operators to avoid the complexities and fiscal challenges connected to launching new services. The cloud-centric solution drives functions from the home into the cloud, enabling service differentiation and new efficiencies.

2. Alcatel-Lucent Provide Telefonica with Motive CEM

Alcatel-Lucent, an IP and cloud networking firm – in conjunction with management consultancy firm, Accenture – have signed a four-year agreement with telecommunications industry leader Telefonica. Telefonica will employ Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Customer Experience Management (CEM) software portfolio for its European and Latin American customers. The CEM technology will enable Telefonica to detect, diagnose and solve customer device complaints more efficiently, thereby reducing call resolution time. It will also allow Telefonica to provide self-care channels for customers so that they can resolve problems independently, reducing heavy dependence on call centers.

BID Insight The new contract for Alcatel-Lucent represents another recent positive development for the telecom equipment manufacturer, which only six months ago was facing major threats to its long-term success. In fact, Alcatel-Lucent had a long-term strategic vision statement in place, which it called the Shift Plan; this involved selling off its non-core assets and focusing on the business with the highest potential growth. Alcatel has nurtured and formed various partnerships such as the one with Telefonica this week that allow it to create more inclusive packages of equipment with wide distribution. There is even talk that Alcatel-Lucent could become a prospective takeover target.

3. Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect Are Joined by Active Canopy

Bit9 + Carbon Black Connect, an alliance specializing in endpoint threat protection, detection and response, have been joined this week by Active Canopy, an information security services firm, as both an incident response partner and a managed security services provider. Active Canopy is a “Connect” MSSP and IR partner, allowing it to use the newest Bit9 Carbon Black technology to provide cybersecurity to its customers. The Active Canopy team spot malicious files that can execute an attack and will now utilize Carbon Black to pinpoint each endpoint and server on which malware has appeared and disclose the complete “kill chain” of the attack. This allows responders to have enhanced visibility to see where and how the attack began and rapidly contain it.

BID Insight Active Canopy consider their first priority is to provide affordable sophisticated cybersecurity and expert analytics. This alliance allows Active Canopy to combine big data with the most all-inclusive active detection and response technologies available in the market. Cybersecurity threats are developing all the time in complexity and amount, leaving companies open to attack and disruption. Active Canopy uses an active cloud-based service, which extends beyond virtual networks into physical networks. Active Canopy CyaaS platform offers cyber-expert analytics and big-data scalability at an affordable price. Companies are increasingly demanding end-to-end protection and this partnership between Bit9, Carbon Black and Active Canopy goes towards providing it.

4. Plexxi Partners with PSSC Labs to Offer Software-Defined Networking

Plexxi, a company which provides networking products and SDN, announced a partnership with server hardware company PSSC Labs. The partnership will see Plexxi SDN switching and control optimized for Big Data applications combined with PSSC high-performance compute and Cloudera enterprise with the end goal of providing an integrated solution for scale-out Big Data applications. The integrated offering is called CloudOOP Big Data Pod. It will allow companies for the first time to use Big Data/scale-out applications across multiple racks inside a single datacenter or across multiple datacenters that could be located anywhere in the world. The bundled solution will be delivered in a single half-rack occupying a minimal data center footprint.

BID Insight Plexxi partnered with Cloudera in January, revealing that its Plexxi Switch had received certification for Cloudera’s Enterprise 5 platform, making it “the first SDN-based Ethernet switch and the only truly single-tier, scale-out networking solution.” Last year, they introduced SDN starter kits to enable an easier onramp for enterprises to explore the new technology. Its latest development: CloudOOP Big Data Pod will help companies reduce their operating and capital expenses at the same time as improving Big Data app performance and enabling flexible and easy scale-out by adding more racks when necessary. Plexxi’s simple and direct, single-tier switching architecture lessens layers of networking complications by enabling a Big Data Fabric with fewer switches, fewer interconnect ports, and fewer cables, considerably reducing operational and capital network costs.

5. Verizon Digital Media Partners with Imagine Communications

Verizon Digital Media are partnering with Imagine Communications, a company specializing in video infrastructure, workflow management solutions and advertising systems, to provide a seamless, end-to-end OTT Distribution Solution. The collaboration will enable video service providers and broadcasters to deliver over-the-top (OTT) video streaming of linear content through a combined end-to-end solution. It will integrate and simplify workflows for broadcast and Internet playout systems to deliver an exceptionally high quality viewing experience for users. The partnership essentially enables rapid deployment of OTT capabilities.

BID Insight Broadcasters need to expand their audiences via multiscreen services using efficient, cost-effective means. The combination of Imagine Communications’ end-to-end video management solutions with Verizon’s content delivery infrastructure allows the alliance to offer an integrated solution that allows broadcasters to more quickly and simply deliver their linear programming directly to end-users irrespective of their location or chosen device. It also allows media companies to quickly develop new workflows and content for distribution to their OTT audiences. Numerous media companies are eagerly searching for such alliances as the demand for highest quality linear and on-demand video encoding and streaming for multiscreen environment rapidly grows. By merging Imagine Communications’ broadcast routing, playout and trafficking systems with Verizon’s video encoding, management and content delivery network, online viewers will be guaranteed of one of the utmost quality viewing experiences on any screen at any time anywhere in the world.

6. Internap Announces Next Generation of its Managed Domain Name System Service

Internap announced updates to its Managed Domain Name System (NDMS) service that controls 24 points of presence (POPs) across four continents to stop DNS bottlenecks and improve the reliability, speed and agility of website and Web applications. The improved Managed DNS service additionally includes automatic high availability failover to make sure that Web applications are continually running. Key features include disaster recovery, global reach, enterprise account management, integrated route optimization, flexible and fast configuration and multiple record type support.

BID Insight Consultancy firm Aberdeen Group found that a Web application delay of only one second can reduce page views by 11%, conversions by 7% and customer satisfaction by 16%. As Web applications become more and more dependent on data pulled from multiple domains, the DNS lookup process of resolving a host name to an IP address can be an overlooked source of latency. Organizations that depend upon performance- and data-intensive Internet applications need a solid DNS solution. Not enough name servers, poor geographic distribution or improper routing can affect latency and cause downtime issues. According to Steve Orchard, senior vice president and general manager of data center and network services, Internap’s enhanced Managed DNS addresses “customer demands for the speed, reliability and uptime required to support today’s growing segment of large-scale Internet applications.”

7. Cumulus Networks Partners with Puppet Labs to Extend SDN to More Devices

Cumulus Networks has become Puppet Labs’ most recent partner to launch support for its Puppet Supported Program. Puppet Labs is an industry leader in IT automation. The partnership has developed a joint integration so that switches running Cumulus Linux, the operating system for open networking, can be managed as efficiently as other Puppet-managed devices. “The Puppet Supported Program enables more businesses to leverage the power of automation so they can move faster, with even more confidence,” said Nigel Kersten, CIO of Puppet Labs. Data center IT teams can benefit from automating and managing the network and the compute infrastructure in precisely the same way, thereby lowering OpEx costs.

BID Insight Many companies already have mature server automation practices and tooling, however, changes to the network are often implemented manually, or with vendor-provided tools that are not connected to other data center operations. The partnership between Cumulus Networks and Puppet Labs has led to a native Puppet Enterprise agent for Cumulus Linux and a Cumulus Linux Puppet module. This means customers can use Puppet Enterprise to configure and manage switch VLANs, interfaces and compute resources. As a result of their previous partnership, Dell and Cumulus Networks can offer a reference platform on the S6000-ON switch. Switches can be automated by Puppet in the same way that servers, load balancers and other key pieces of infrastructure have been in the past. Additionally, a high level of customization is possible.

8. Amazon Announces New Initiatives

Amazon announced a series of new initiatives at its AWS Summit in San Francisco this week. The initiatives include a “Marketplace” where desktop applications delivered over the Internet can be bought, an updated set of tools for managing files (the ‘Elastic File System’) and a new service that assists companies in making predictions. Andy Jassy, Senior VP for AWS, said the EFS is the “missing piece” in Amazon’s cloud computing storage initiative. One of the principal benefits of the software is that cloud customers don’t have to buy their storage in advance, but instead can be billed just for the storage which they need. There is no minimum fee or setup cost. The technology will be in preview mode this summer. Additionally, Amazon has started to offer a “Machine Learning Services” that will allow customers to mine the data they have on Amazon servers to construct predictive models with improved ease.

BID Insight Other topics discussed at AWS included the database market, desktop computing and increased use of “containers”. Amazon’s ‘Aurora’, the database which was launched last year cost only one tenth of the price of offerings from the commercial world. It is still in test mode. Another area where Amazon is focusing its attention is the virtualization of the desktop. Amazon’s ‘WorkSpaces’ offering which was launched last year has been highly popular. Amazon also said it would provide increased use of ‘containers’, a way to make applications ‘virtual’, which has been developed by various companies including San Francisco’s startup Docker. The software would make it easy to scale containers up and down. Andy Jassy discussed a range of other topics, closing his presentation by discussing cloud computing as “the biggest change to computing in our lifetimes”. He said customers want it and everyone should embrace it.

9. SiteLock’s President Joins the Online Trust Alliance Board

SiteLock, specialist in global website security, announced this week that its President, Neill Feather, has become a board member of the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit organization focused on building online trust. Neill Feather noted that “SiteLock and the OTA are strong proponents of educating businesses, and collectively, we hope to share best practices and thwart the rising number of dangerous and malicious cybercriminal efforts.” Executive Director and President of OTA, Craig Spiezle, commented that Fether will bring his invaluable expertise in website security – from small business to enterprise – to the board and OTA’s mission of enhancing consumer trust and promoting marketplace innovation.

BID Insight The OTA was founded in 2005 in order to bolster online trust and empower users, in addition to supporting innovation and the Internet’s vitality. OTA is backed by over 100 companies in the technology, security, ecommerce, governmental and financial industries. Its headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington. SiteLock’s participation with OTA comes at a moment when more than 70% of security breaches are focused on small businesses. There are 160,000 new samples of malware spotted every day – and Trojans are responsible for 80% of malware infections globally. SiteLock’s aim is to assist businesses of all sizes in preventing and addressing data breaches through its groundbreaking web security solutions.

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