A full 82 percent of business leaders surveyed by Forbes Insights said cloud-based collaboration tools help businesses execute faster by shortening time to market, quickening product upgrade cycles and enabling faster responses to competitive challenges.
Cisco, the networking and IT giant, posted a healthy 14.5 percent increase in net income for the first quarter of 2013.
LAS VEGAS–Juniper Networks this week unveiled its JunosV Contrail Controller, an open standards-based controller for software defined networking (SDN), as part of its JunosV Contrail family of products.
02/05/2013 - Riverbed is sole leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for WAN optimization controller report
Riverbed Technology (Nasdaq: RVBD) is the only firm designated as a leader and Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) the only challenger in Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant for wide area network (WAN) optimization controllers report.
A WAN optimization controller is "customer premises equipment (appliance or virtual appliance) that is typically connected to the LAN [local area network] side of WAN routers, or it is software integrated with client devices, such as servers or routers," Gartner explained in the report.
Image source: Gartner
Enterprises usually deploy WAN optimization controllers in data centers and remote locations in order to improve the performance of business applications over WAN connections caused by bandwidth constraints and latency or protocol limitations, Gartner said.
The controllers improve app performance by prioritizing critical traffic through quality of service policing and traffic shaping, minimizing latency through protocol- and application-specific optimization and compressing and caching WAN traffic.
The crowded visionaries quadrant includes Aryaka, Blue Coat Systems, Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS), Exinda, Ipanema Technologies, Silver Peak and Virtela. Niche players are Array Networks-Certeon, Circadence, FatPipe Networks, F5 Networks (Nasdaq: FFIV) and Sangfor.
Gartner said it named Riverbed as a market leader because the firm "offers the broadest set of capabilities in the industry, including features for large branch networks, data center replication and storage networking protocols, and single remote users, combined with unmatched ease of installation and management and best-in-class presales and post-sales support."
By contrast, Cisco has a broad portfolio of WAN optimization controllers but "feature delivery often lags the competition," Gartner judged.
Commenting on the report, Exinda, one of the market visionaries, said the firm targets mid-market enterprises with its WAN optimization products. It said it is the only vendor to offer WAN optimization, network control and application monitoring in a single suite.
Exinda recently conducted a survey with the Aberdeen Group which found that 60 percent of enterprises cannot control recreational traffic over their network or segment traffic based on application type. This means that non-critical applications are getting the same priority as critical applications, a problem WAN optimization controllers are designed to address.
The enterprise market for Ethernet switches is predicted to plateau and decline by 2017 as enterprises turn more toward wireless local area network (WLAN) technologies, according to a new report by the Dell'Oro Group.
At the same time, demand for Ethernet switches for the data center is on the rise. "Data center consolidation projects and an increase in Cloud services are causing the data center segment to significantly outperform the overall Ethernet switch market. This trend is causing vendors focused in the data center to gain overall market share compared to those focused in other segments," stated Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell'Oro Group.
"At the same time, the increase in mobile devices is causing many enterprises and SMBs [small and medium-size businesses] to invest more heavily in WLAN… The divergence in market segment performance will have more impact on vendor share and vendor product offerings over the next several years than we have experienced in the past decade," Weckel added.
Dell'Oro's predictions could cause heartburn for Ethernet switch vendors. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is the leading Ethernet switch vendor, followed by HP (Nasdaq: HPQ), Alcatel Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Huawei and Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), according to the latest IDC stats.
Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC, agreed that enterprises are focusing more on wireless infrastructure, but said he expects demand for Ethernet switches and other wired infrastructure to hold its own.
"While enterprise mobility is no doubt the focus for IT and network managers, the underlying wired infrastructure is also continuing to get mindshare in the context of a holistic approach to the network in delivering applications to end-users," Mehra observed.
Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst in IDC's Networking Trackers Group, predicted that the proliferation of video traffic as well as the need to support all types of devices at the network edge will "keep the enterprise networking market relevant over the longer term."
25/04/2013 - SIP trunking is 'connectivity choice' for enterprises upgrading systems, says Infonetics analyst
SIP trunking has become the "connectivity choice" for enterprises upgrading their communications systems to IP PBX and unified communications (UC), observed Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research.
Myers is predicting that SIP trunking will be the fastest growing business VoIP segment through 2017. The combined business and residential VoIP services market is forecast by Infonetics to reach $82.7 billion in that year.
In 2012, SIP trunks increased 83 percent year-over-year as multi-site businesses adopted SIP trunking to reduce costs and improve flexibility, according to Infonetics. Myers noted that in North America, SIP trunks are at less than a 15 percent penetration rate, so the market segment has plenty of room to grow.
In addition, cloud-based VoIP and UC service revenue grew 17 percent year-over-year in 2012. This compares with an overall VoIP services market growth of 9 percent year-over-year, according to Infonetics.
In an emailed response to questions, Myers explained that the advantages of cloud-based VoIP and UC services are predictable monthly expenses and no large upfront capital costs, management and upgrades provided by third parties and the ability to add or remove services and users as needed.
The growth of cloud-based UC was underscored this week by Orange Business Services' announcement that it is offering the first unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) to large enterprises on a global scale. The Business Together as a Service offering will provide enterprises with cloud-based VoIP; unified messaging; instant messaging with presence; audio, Web and video conferencing; and mobile access.
Until recently, large enterprises have been reluctant to deploy UCaaS because of concerns about quality, reliability and scalability. But apparently 3M is willing to give UCaaS a try. It signed up to be the first large enterprise customer to deploy Orange's Business Together as a Service among its 20,000 employees at 75 sites across 25 countries. Around 16,000 seats will be rolled out at 3M sites by the end of 2014, and the remaining seats over the following three years.
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) unveiled on Wednesday new data center products employing Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Cloud OS technologies. The new products combine Cisco's unified data center technology with Microsoft's Fast Track 3.0 private cloud architecture.
This should help customers simplify the management of the combined Cisco and Microsoft data center environments and provision data center resources more rapidly, Cisco said in a release.
"We are doubling down on our data center initiative working with Microsoft both on the hypervisor side as well as the management side. This announcement is related to joint engineering development work that we have been doing with Microsoft and bringing those solutions to the market," said Satinder Sethi, vice president for data center solutions at Cisco.
Enterprise customers who want to virtualize their data center networks can do so alongside physical networking and cloud computing infrastructure through a combination of the Cisco Nexus 1000V series virtual and cloud networking platform and Microsoft's Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Extensible Switch and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1, Cisco said.
As part of the data center initiative, Cisco is offering new Microsoft Fast Track 3.0 products that give customers the choice of either integrated reference architectures with Cisco and EMC's (NYSE: EMC) VSPEX infrastructure or with Cisco and NetApp's FlexPod platform. Both of these products have been validated for the Microsoft Fast Track 3.0 program.
"We have now certified UCS with best-of-breed partners EMC and NetApp. So we are not just joining our technology but also bringing joint solutions to the market, which should ease the consumption model for our customers," Sethi told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
The joint initiative will give enterprises insight and control over how Cisco's unified data center elements work with Windows Server and application software, Cisco explained.
The two IT giants also plan to undertake go-to-market initiatives that will enable channel partners who resell both Cisco data center and Microsoft Cloud OS products to increase their data center business and improve customer service.
Cisco had previously worked with VMware on integrating its UCS and Nexus 1000V into VMware's server virtualization offerings, noted a report by Datacenter Dynamics. By now integrating with Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization platform, Cisco is providing its customers with a less expensive alternative to VMware, the report said.
08/04/2013 - Enterprises plan to spend $17M on average for data center security this year, says Infonetics
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel's (Nasdaq: INTC) McAfee, HP (NYSE: HPQ), Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) and Trend Micro were identified by 104 large enterprises surveyed by Infonetics Research as the top suppliers of data center security products.
Enterprises spent an average of $14.6 million on data center security products in 2012 and plan to spend close to $17 million in 2013, according to the survey.
The leading drivers for enterprises to buy new data center security products include the need to protect virtualized servers, upgrade security products to match network performance and add new threat protection technologies.
"Based on the results of our latest study, we believe most data center security buyers will continue to turn to trusted names, but they'll also use smaller vendors whose solutions bring a leap in efficacy, lower costs, or provide management and policy functions that offer a single window into hardware appliances, virtual appliances, and server software," observed Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics.
The research firm predicted that enterprises will continue to use hardware infrastructure for firewalls and to prevent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which can shut down networks and websites by flooding them with bogus traffic. At the same time, enterprises will continue to invest in virtual appliances for higher-layer security for messaging, application and Web protection, as well as intrusion prevention.
In addition, Infonetics expects to see continued growth in hypervisor security products and more partnerships between appliance, virtual appliance and server security vendors.
"Now is the time to develop comprehensive solutions. Vendors that aren't in the game yet or rounding out their product offerings will be challenged to compete for the massive dollars that will be spent this year and next," Wilson concluded.
- see the Infonetics stats
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) will pay a 17 cent quarterly dividend on April 24 to shareholders of record on April 8, up three cents or 21 percent from the dividend issued last quarter. This is its second dividend boost in less than a year, demonstrating the strong financials of the IT giant. At the same time, the firm announced last week that it is laying off 500 workers. Most of those layoffs will come in operations involved with Cisco's alliance with EMC (NYSE: EMC) and other data center business initiatives, according to sources consulted by Network World. Read more
More than half of 340 IT professionals surveyed by network management and converged infrastructure provider Zenoss said they are actively considering adopting converged infrastructure.
Close to one-third of respondents have already adopted converged infrastructure, and three quarters of those said that it has resulted in better customer service, according to the survey.
"Converged infrastructure was more prevalent than we had expected …People are happier when they have fewer tools that they have to use to manager that infrastructure and delivering on the services they promised," Jennifer Darrouzet, director of product marketing at Zenoss, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
Converged infrastructure puts multiple IT components, such as servers, data storage, networking equipment and IT management software, into a single, optimized networking product.
"Converged infrastructure is the pooling of compute, network and storage resources," Darrouzet explained.
Two-thirds of respondents who have adopted converged infrastructure said a major benefit was network provisioning via automation; 57 percent cited faster delivery of resources; and 51 percent cited lower operating costs. The leading technical driver that prompted enterprises to adopt converged infrastructure was virtualization, with VMware (NYSE: VMW) accounting for between 37 percent and 43 percent of deployments, according to the survey.
Technology companies are the largest adopters of converged infrastructure; education and telecommunications rank second and third in industries that want to adopt the technology. North America leads in adoption of converged infrastructure--representing 57 percent of those enterprises who have it and 55 percent of those who want it.
The C-level suite is looking for agility and reduced capital expenditure from converged infrastructure, while the IT operations staff is more interested in greater efficiency, the survey found. "That could be a recipe for disconnect," Darrouzet noted.
"We saw a lot of disconnect up and down the command chain about what people were trying to accomplish ... We saw a lot of misalignment in terms of what personnel were trying to accomplish," she cautioned.
ORLANDO, Fla.-- There will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020, generating $14.4 trillion in value, said Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), here at Enterprise Connect Orlando 2013.
Lloyd broke down the $14.4 trillion figure as follows: $2.5 trillion in improved asset utilization, $2.5 trillion in employee productivity enhancement, $2.7 trillion in supply chain savings, $3.7 trillion in customer experience value and $3 trillion in innovation.
Lloyd also announced the introduction of new enterprise collaboration tools that combine software and network intelligence to improve videoconferencing.
During a demo of one of the new products, WebEx-enabled TelePresence, the connection with the other participants failed, highlighting the difficulty enterprises encounter when trying to deploy new video collaboration technology.
With WebEx-enabled TelePresence, on-premise customers can theoretically extend a meeting invitation to outside users to participate in TelePresence and WebEx meetings using their browser and a WebEx link.
In addition, Cisco launched new software that enables enterprises to monitor the type and amount of resources, such as ports, bandwidth and infrastructure, that are needed to support a videoconference and adjusts resources automatically.
"We allow enterprise customers to use their existing video collaboration hardware and infrastructure… to add new systems, such as video-enabled IP phones and mobile client tablets, in a seamless and cost effective way. We are also using network intelligence to be more prescriptive in how we allocate resources across different devices," explained Thomas Wyatt, vice president and general manager of Cisco's collaboration infrastructure business unit.
"By enabling TelePresence as part of the WebEx software, we can extend the video experience to anybody with any type of video endpoint, whether it is mobile device, telepresence room or IP phone. Anyone with a browser can now have two-way video capability," Wyatt told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
In addition, Cisco is expanding its medianet architecture to TelePresence endpoints and Jabber clients. Medianet provides IT managers with visibility into video traffic on the network and automatically syncs endpoints with the network.
"The IT administrators who run these networks are focused on how they get more precision in their hands to be able to manage and control the video flow through the network. Our medianet architecture is about enabling applications to interact with the underlying network infrastructure and optimizing the network for video delivery," Wyatt explained.
Finally, Cisco is expanding its cloud video-as-a-service products for its partners. For example, partners can deliver different consumption models that enable users to hold secure video meetings without reservations by dialing a number and entering an access code. Users can join from a variety of networks and endpoints, from Jabber desktop video clients to standalone telepresence endpoints and immersive room systems.
"We are launching a virtual meeting room concept that allows these partners to run an impromptu meeting in the cloud," Wyatt explained. "People are moving away from scheduled meetings and want the ability to rendezvous at any point in time and have a quick call."
- see Cisco's release
ORLANDO, Fla.-- Vidyo has completed the virtualization of its core videoconferencing infrastructure with the launch of virtual editions of VidyoGateway and VidyoPortal, the company announced here at the Enterprise Connect conference on Monday.
The virtual products provide enterprises with a videoconferencing infrastructure that scales across large, geographically dispersed facilities. Customers can license the software using floating licenses and cascading, the company related.
"If your company has a large number of branches, it's hard to imagine how a massive desktop deployment could be possible without virtualization and floating licenses," commented Roopam Jain, principal analyst for Frost & Sullivan's North American information and communications technologies practice.
Vidyo said that the new products provide videoconferencing infrastructure that enables enterprises to extend their investment in virtualized x86 servers without the problems of latency, limited scalability and high cost.
The virtual versions of VidyoGateway and VidyoPortal are scheduled to ship in the second quarter.
Last week, Vidyo announced that it had posted a 68 percent year-over-year billings growth in fiscal year 2012. In the enterprise segment, the company experienced a 54 percent year-over-year growth, while in the healthcare sector it saw 77 percent year-over-year growth and some major contracts from the U.S. federal government.
Ashish Gupta, chief marketing officer with Vidyo, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications that his company serves the enterprise market through audiovisual integrators, systems integrators and IT value added resellers.
"In 2012, we saw a clear movement toward winning in the enterprise, winning against our legacy competitors. With companies that have invested in legacy technologies, we are winning broader deals," Gupta said.
According to the latest stats from IDC, Cisco is the videoconferencing and telepresence market leader with 44.8 percent of the market, while Polycom has a 23 percent market share.
The enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market generated $739.8 million in the revenue in the fourth quarter, an 8.6 percent year-over-year decline but a 14.9 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. For all of 2012, market revenue totaled $2.64 billion, down 2.6 percent from the 2011 figure.
11/03/2013 - Cisco's stock gets bump due to Wall Street optimism
Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) stock has recently gotten the thumbs-up from CNBC analyst Jim Cramer as well as Motley Fool Senior Technology Analyst Eric Bleeker.
In a March 8 episode of Mad Money, Cramer said that "overlooked unloved technology" stocks such as Cisco are good investment opportunities. He said that Cisco and other telecom equipment firms are getting attention from fund managers as well as individual investors.
"We are seeing life from telecommunications companies, such as JDSU, Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) and Cisco. Companies that have not spent much on technology as of late, such as the giant telcos Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T (NYSE: T), are starting to spend again" on telecom equipment, said Cramer.
"It's out with the old, in with the new. The new in this case is overlooked, unloved technology from yesteryear. It's beginning to work, and I suspect it will keep working as long as the stocks don't go so high they are no longer considered cheap. The move into old tech is in its infancy, and those left-behind stocks are now ready to run," Cramer said.
Bleeker agreed, noting that Cisco is trading cheaply at roughly 12 times earnings. He said that Cisco's efforts to diversify its revenue outside of its core switches and routers into services make the stock an attractive investment prospect.
"So if you are looking at Cisco, valuation, and where its story line is going, you want to look at services. Look at Cisco becoming a more diversified company. If it follows the same script as other tech firms like IBM (NYSE: IBM), that could lead to higher multiples and gains for investors," Bleeker said in a video.
Last week, Cisco's stock jumped from $20.78 at the opening bell on Monday to $21.81 at the closing bell on Friday. In its most recent quarter, Cisco posted total revenue of $12.1 billion, a 5 percent year-over-year increase, and net income of $3.1 billion, a 44 percent year-over-year increase.
Earlier in the year, RBC Capital Managing Director Mark Sue raised his rating on Cisco's stock from "sector perform" to "outperform" and set a share price target of $24, up from $21. Also, MKM Partners named Cisco as a top stock pick for 2013 because the firm is "well positioned to define the next generation of holistic intelligent networks."
Under the stewardship of its visionary leader John Chambers, Cisco is actively diversifying outside its core business and is a leading firm in many of the sectors it is now pursuing. Chambers is credited with having turned a struggling $1.2 billion router and switch business into a $46 billion IT giant.
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) maintained its dominant position in the Ethernet switch market despite a decline in the fourth quarter, while HP (Nasdaq: HPQ) and Huawei gained market share in the quarter, according to the latest stats from IDC.
Cisco's dominance in the Ethernet switch market was eroded slightly as its market share slipped from 64 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to 61.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.
By contrast, HP, which is in a distant second, saw its Ethernet switch market share climb from 8.5 percent in the 2011 fourth quarter to 9.3 percent in the 2012 fourth quarter, according to IDC.
Last month, HP strengthened its product offering by launching a new Ethernet switch, the SX1018, along with new server blades and enclosures as part of its converged infrastructure portfolio. HP said the new SX1018 Ethernet switch, which is part of the HP BladeSystem c7000 Platinum enclosure, provides low port-to-port latency and is more than four times faster than its previous switches.
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) clung to third place with a 3 percent market share, while Huawei was a close fourth, having increased its market share from 1.9 percent in the 2011 fourth quarter to 2.9 percent market share in the 2012 fourth quarter.
Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR), which had been in fourth place in the 2011 fourth quarter, slipped to fifth place with a 2.5 percent market share in the 2012 fourth quarter.
Overall, worldwide Ethernet switch revenues totaled $5.7 billion in the 2012 fourth quarter, a slight increases from the same quarter in 2011.
Geographically, the Ethernet switch market grew the most in the Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan), with a 15.6 percent year-over-year increase, followed by the Middle East and Africa with a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase and Latin America with a 12 percent year-over-year jump.
On the other hand, the Western European and North American market both saw declines, with Western Europe declining 12 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter and North America dropping 1.1 percent in the quarter.
"While growth in the Ethernet switch market will largely come from 10GbE and 40GbE in the coming years, it is encouraging to note that the market for Gigabit Ethernet is holding its own, largely in campus, aggregation, and network edge deployments," said Rohit Mehra, vice president of network infrastructure at IDC.
The worldwide router market declined slightly in the 2012 fourth quarter compared to the same quarter in 2011, according to IDC stats.
The dominant player in the router market is also Cisco, which had a 75 percent market share, according to third quarter revenue data from Infonetics Research. HP and Juniper came in a distant second and third, respectively.
In a report release earlier this year, TechNavio predicted that virtualization would fuel a 14 percent compound annual growth rate in demand for data center Ethernet switches.
28/02/2013 - Jabber now available for virtual desktops
27/02/2013 - IDC: Cisco ups lead over Polycom in enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence market
Cisco's market share inched up to 44.8 percent in the fourth quarter from 43.3 percent share in the third quarter. Polycom's market share slipped to 23 percent in the fourth quarter from 25 percent in the third quarter.
Polycom has been struggling financially of late. It posted a 96 percent year-over-year drop in net income in the fourth quarter, while its revenue declined a more modest 9 percent year-over-year to $353 million. Despite the firm's troubles, Zacks Investment Research is maintaining a neutral stance on Polycom's stock.
"[T]he company is in the midst of its transition from hardware centric to cloud- and software-based business models, which is the main reason behind the sales execution problem. However, Polycom has made several product enhancements for its popular RealPresence platform and has entered into a strategic agreement with AT&T Inc. to offer cloud-based video conferencing services to different organizations," Zacks observed in a research note.
Overall, the enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence equipment market generated $739.8 million in the fourth quarter, an 8.6 percent year-over-year decline but a 14.9 percent quarter-over-quarter increase, according to IDC. For all of 2012, market revenue totaled $2.64 billion, down 2.6 percent from the 2011 figure.
The multi-codec immersive telepresence market continued its multi-year slide, posting a 32.8 percent year-over-year drop in 2012. The video network infrastructure segment was also down 4.5 percent in 2012 from 2011.
On the positive side, room-based videoconferencing increased 4.1 percent in 2012 and personal videoconferencing jumped 5 percent.
"Despite the overall weak 2012 performance in the worldwide enterprise videoconferencing market, we still see adoption being driven by interest in doing video integrations with vendor UCC [unified communications and collaboration] portfolios and business processes, as well as the increasing use of video among small workgroup, desktop, and mobile users. Video as a key component of collaboration continues to place high on the list of priorities for many organizations," said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst for worldwide networking trackers research at IDC.
26/02/2013 - Cisco-EMC cloud venture VCE teams with SAP
As a result of the partnership, VCE will deliver HANA software pre-installed on its Vblock Specialized System, which enables enterprises to analyze and transact large amounts of data.
VCE offers enterprises preconfigured and pretested cloud systems called Vblocks, which include Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and switches, EMC's storage arrays and VMware (NYSE: VMW) virtualization software.
VCE controls 57.4 percent of the integrated infrastructure systems market, with HP (NYSE: HPQ) taking a 24 percent market share and Hitachi 15 percent, according to Gartner stats. Market revenue grew 53.7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2012, but accounted for only 3.5 percent of the $83 billion data center hardware total in 2011, according to a Gartner report provided to FierceEnterpriseCommunications by VCE.
In addition, VCE announced that it is beefing up its Vblock system converged infrastructure offerings by launching two smaller models to its line-up of integrated services and network switches.
Last week, VCE launched the Vblock System 100 and 200. "These are targeted at enterprises with distributed operations or remote branch locations," explained Todd Pavone, executive vice president of product development and strategy at VCE. The 200 in particular is targeted at the mid-sized enterprise market, "which can leverage the 200 to run their data centers in the core," Pavone told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
In addition, VCE is beefing up its larger Vblock Systems 300 and 700 products to increase capacity and performance, providing greater flexibility for compute, networking and storage resources.
VCE also launched last week its Vision Intelligent Operations software, which provides a customer management framework for Vblock systems. Through collaborative engineering work with VMware, the software integrates with VMware's virtualization and cloud management portfolio. VCE Vision also supports open application programming interface integration with other management toolsets.
"We see a data center vision where customers are not going to be in a reactive mode anymore. There is going to be a set of business and infrastructure policies to manage the data center automatically and dynamically across geographic boundaries," Pavone enthused.
VCE appears to be succeeding with its vision. In the most recent quarter, it surpassed a $1 billion run rate and shipped its 1,000th Vblock system.
However, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings cited by ZDNet, EMC has lost $430.2 million on VCE, while Cisco has lost $325 million on the venture. VCE was formed in 2009 by Cisco and EMC with investments from Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and EMC's VMware subsidiary.
VCE's leading challenger, HP, countered last week with an extension of its converged infrastructure offerings. HP unveiled a new HP BladeSystem as well as new converged storage and networking products that combined wired and wireless infrastructure. HP claimed that it had a 71 percent win rate against Vblock/UCS in the August to October 2012 quarter.
25/02/2013 - 'Internet of Everything' to generate $14.4 trillion in value through 2020, predicts Cisco
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) predicts the "Internet of Everything" will generate $14.4 trillion in value through 2020, creating a significant business opportunity over the next decade.
Businesses must transform themselves to take advantage of the potential profits and cost savings from the Internet of Everything, which is the interconnection of people, processes, machines and objects, Cisco said in a new report.
The main factors driving this development are $2.5 trillion from reduced costs through asset utilization, $2.5 trillion in improved employee productivity, $2.7 trillion for eliminated waste in supply chain and logistics, $3.7 trillion in improved customer experience and $3 trillion in reduced time-to-market through innovation.
Technology trends fueling this value creation include cloud and mobile computing, big data and increased processing power.
Cisco identified many potential uses for the Internet of Everything, including the smart grid, smart buildings, connected healthcare and patient monitoring, smart factories, connected private education, connected commercial vehicles, connected marketing and advertising and connected games and entertainment.
To capitalize on the potential uses, robust security capabilities will need to be developed and privacy policies put in place. Otherwise, the disclosure of confidential corporate data and/or personal information might discourage the adoption of the Internet of Everything, the report warned.
The potential is immense, as 99.4 percent of physical objects that may be part of the Internet of Everything in the future are not currently connected, the report noted.
More than 50 billion devices will be connected by 2020 and there will be a 44-fold increase in data creation by then, 34 percent of that in the cloud, according to Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer with Cisco.
"All of this leads to a world of intuitive connections between people, processes, data and things on the network--the Internet of Everything. What does this mean? It means the trends we've been discussing over the past several years are all having a cumulative effect, and putting new demands on IT," Warrior wrote in a Huffington Post article.
"The onus is on IT to make applications available anytime, anywhere for employees and allow businesses to move with greater agility and speed. The goal is to move to a world of anything delivered 'as a service' from the cloud," she added.
David Evans, Cisco's chief futurist, predicted that 1.3 zettabytes of data will flow over the Internet by 2016. "As the things that are connected to the Internet become smarter and more capable, much of the computing, analytics, and decision making will take place at the 'edge' of the Internet. This shift from 'dumb' data to 'smart' information at the point of decision, as well as at the core, will allow the Internet to be more helpful, relevant, and secure," he wrote in a recent blog.
Cisco has laid out a bold vision for the future. While $14.4 trillion in value might seem like an unrealistic prediction, there is no question that there will be ample business opportunities for enterprises from the interconnection of people, processes, data, machines and objects in the coming decade.
Juniper Networks (Nasdaq: JNPR) on Thursday unveiled a software-defined networking (SDN) roadmap and launched a number of SDN-based software and services, including its virtualized Mobile Control Gateway (vMCG) designed to enable mobile operators to handle the increase in traffic generated by the explosion of smartphone use.
The SDN product launches follow the release of Juniper's SDN strategy in late January. The strategy lays out principles for enterprises and service providers to transition from legacy network infrastructures to SDNs. Juniper Networks has been late to the SDN party, which IDC estimates could be worth $3.7 billion in 2016.
Last year, Juniper rivals Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), HP (Nasdaq: HPQ), Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD) and Arista all unveiled SDN plans to assist customers with the transition to SDN architectures. Juniper's first step in playing catch-up was its acquisition of SDN startup Contrail Systems for $176 million in December, according to a report by Network World.
A centerpiece of Thursday's announcement is Juniper's vMCG. Co-developed with Hitachi, the vMCG runs as a virtualized function on the JunosV App Engine, providing signaling and controlling functions to LTE, 3G and 2G radio access networks. This enables mobile operators to scale capacity up and down to meet demand requirements, increase service velocity and reduce costs, Juniper explained in a release.
Juniper added that the primary goal of the gateway is to support the heavy signaling load generated by smartphones. The number of smartphones is expected to double over the next three years, and cloud computing and machine-to-machine communications are making mobile traffic more volatile and changing traffic flow patterns, said ACG Research in a recent report.
In the report, ACG Research said the vMCG "delivers elastic capacity by employing an MX 3D router that provides a single point of management, virtualization through the JunosV App Engine, and low technology costs using Virtual Services Engines, Juniper's industry standard x86-based blade servers."
Commenting on the vMCG launch, Ray Mota, managing partner with ACG Research, said: "Our research has validated that Juniper's virtual Mobile Control Gateway (vMCG) has a 54 percent lower total cost of ownership over five years and the time to deploy the initial implementation is 46 percent faster than a standalone appliance-based solution. In addition, the vMCG provides incremental capacity additions in 87 percent less time, enabling operators to address the volatility of mobile control plane traffic driven by smartphones and smartphones apps."
Also on Thursday, Juniper announced the launch of its Junos Space Services Activation Director application, which enables service providers to provision thousands of services, including multiprotocol label switching and Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul.
The Services Activation Director, along with other Junos Space applications, will be available for purchase in the first half of 2013.
In addition, Juniper unveiled Thursday new security line cards for its SRX5600 and 5800 Series Services Gateways designed to improve performance, reliability and security for LTE mobile network operators. The SRX gateways collapse the security gateway, firewall, switching and routing layers on a single platform. The new line cards support up to 100 million concurrent sessions and up to 200 Gbps of firewall throughput with a single gateway, the company explained.
"The new SRX5600 and SRX5800 line cards deliver mobile operators the carrier-grade capabilities and performance scalability needed to secure LTE deployments," commented Jeff Wilson, principal analyst with Infonetics Research.
Acquisitions of cloud and big data firms increased significantly despite an overall decline in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the technology sector last year, according to the latest figures from accounting firm Ernst & Young.
Cloud firm acquisitions grew to more than 15 percent of global technology M&A deal volume in 2012, more than triple its level in 2011. Big data firm acquisitions also posted healthy growth, but from a smaller base, according to the firm's Global Technology M&A Update.
In 2012, the top five tech deals in terms of value were Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) acquisition of NDS for $5 billion, SAP's (NYSE: SAP) purchase of Ariba for $4.5 billion, CGI Group's acquisition of Logica for $2.7 billion, Dell's (Nasdaq: DELL) purchase of Quest Software for $2.6 billion and ASML Holding's acquisition of Cymer for $2.5 billion.
"SaaS [software-as-a-service] and cloud ran away from the rest of the pack in terms of deal-driving trends in 2012," Joe Steger, head of global M&A and transaction advisory services leader for Ernst & Young, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications. There were between 450 and 500 SaaS and cloud deals and between 150 and 200 big data analytics deals, he related.
In addition, non-tech firms increased their technology-buying activity, accounting for 10 percent of the aggregate M&A value and 12 percent of the M&A volume. Other sectors that saw increased deal-making included smart mobility, social networking, advertising and marketing, security, mobile payment and healthcare IT, according to Ernst & Young.
Tech M&A deal value declined 35 percent last year to $114 billion from $176 billion in 2011. The 2011 value total was boosted by two deals that exceeded $10 billion: Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility and HP's (NYSE: HPQ) $11.7 billion purchase of Autonomy.
Around 28 M&A deals totaled more than $1 billion last year, representing 45 percent of the full-year aggregate value. This compares with 36 M&A deals in 2011, or 63 percent of the full-year aggregate value.
Deal volume declined slightly in 2012, with 2,934 deals consummated last year, just two deals fewer than in 2011. Corporate volume increased 2 percent, while private equity volume declined 19 percent.
The decrease in deal volume manifested itself in two sectors: Internet and semiconductors. The 12 percent decline in Internet deal volume in the second half of the year was the largest drop ever, according to Ernst & Young.
"Macroeconomic uncertainty took hold in 2012, which had a dampening effect on large transformative deals, but it did not slow down the smaller and mid-sized strategic deals of $1 billion or less," Steger observed.
Steger identified five "megatrends" in technology M&As over the last couple of years: smart mobility, cloud computing, social networking, big data analytics and accelerated adaption (non-technology companies acquiring technology firms).
"Smart mobility is embedded in a lot of different areas, whether it is embedded in SaaS and cloud or social networking, mobile games and big data," Steger said.
For 2013, Steger predicts that the first quarter will be slow in terms of tech M&A activity. For the entire year, he expects a decline in megadeals because of continued macroeconomic uncertainty.
- read Ernst & Young's report
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and NetApp are expanding their FlexPod data center platform partnership to include branch offices, multi-data-center environments and public cloud infrastructure, the firms announced Thursday.
FlexPod is a data center platform for hosting business applications on virtualized or physical servers. It combines Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers and Cisco Nexus fabric with NetApp unified storage systems into a single architecture. The two firms have been cooperating on the FlexPod architecture for over a decade and now have over 2,100 customers in 35 countries.
"As we begin to think about connecting the enterprise IT all the way from the branch offices to the data centers to the cloud, the solutions of the future need to be able to offer a simplified deployment, management and orchestration model across the continuum. That is what this expanded collaboration is aimed at," said Manish Goel, executive vice president of product operations at NetApp, in a video discussion with Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco.
Warrior explained the two firms are expanding their partnership in four areas: deeper integration of the FlexPod architecture, expansion of the FlexPod product to cloud-scale service providers, extension of FlexPod to branch offices and a new FlexPod application validation program.
As part of the improvements made to the partnership, FlexPod will be able to manage up to 10,000 servers, enabling enterprises to aggregate several FlexPod racks and multihop Fibre Channel over Ethernet.
FlexPod will also incorporate the products offered by Cloupia, which Cisco acquired last year for $125 million, as part of the expanded partnership.
The two firms will also integrate Flash technologies at the host and storage levels. At the server level, applications running on Flash-optimized Cisco UCS servers can be accelerated with NetApp Flash Accel, while at the controller and array levels, NetApp Flash Cache and Flash Pools can be used to access cached data faster, the companies explained.
Cisco is denying that the expanded partnership with NetApp signals a shift away from its Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) collation partners, EMC (NYSE: EMC) and VMware (NYSE: VMW), according to a report by Network World.
The three firms set up the coalition in 2009 to promote enterprise data center virtualization and transition to private cloud infrastructure. Asked by Network World whether the expanded NetApp partnership undermines the VCE coalition, Jim McHugh, vice president of marketing at Cisco, said, "Absolutely not. It's complementary to that."
McHugh stressed that the VCE coalition focuses on data centers and private cloud, whereas the expanded NetApp partnership includes branch offices and public cloud infrastructure.
Whether Cisco is abandoning its VCE coalition partners or not, it is clear the firm is going after the virtualization, cloud and data center market is a big way.
24/01/2013 - TechNavio: Network virtualization to spur double-digit growth in Ethernet switch market
The increasing virtualization of enterprise networks is predicted to fuel a 14 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the global data center Ethernet switch market through 2016, according to a new report from TechNavio.
At the same time, declining equipment prices could throw cold water on that aggressive prediction, the research firm warned.
Key vendors in the market include Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), judged TechNavio. Other vendors examined in the report include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Avaya, Brocade (Nasdaq: BRCD), Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Enterasys Networks, Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR), Huawei and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).
Dell'Oro Group believes the transition in the data center to next generation architectures is spurring growth in the high-speed Ethernet switches, particularly 10 gigabit, 40 gigabit and 100 gigabit Ethernet.
"The data center remains in the early stages of migration towards 10 Gigabit Ethernet for server access. At the same time, the core in the data center is seeing the need for additional bandwidth which is necessitating the need for higher speeds. The ecosystem in the data center now comprises four different speeds. We see this as an opportunity for vendors to differentiate by optimizing their product sets for different types of networks," commented Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell'Oro Group.
Dell'Oro agrees with TechNavio that Cisco, HP, IBM and Juniper are leading vendors in this market, but adds Brocade, Dell and Extreme Networks to the list of top vendors.
And in a report released this week, Crehan Research predicts the data center switch market will approach $16 billion by 2017, with Ethernet becoming an increasing portion of the market. Crehan too sees strong growth in the 10 gigabit, 40 gigabit and 100 gigabit Ethernet switches.
As enterprise data centers continue to require more and more bandwidth, demand for higher speed Ethernet switches will increase apace.
Through software called the Virtualization Experience Media Engine, Cisco is now able to offer Jabber on Cisco thin clients and eventually will also be able to offer Jabber for virtual desktops on other thin clients as well as Windows PCs and mobile devices.
Jabber offers enterprise customers voice, high-definition video, web conferencing, presence and instant messaging. Cisco said it currently has 1.4 million Jabber seats. Gartner estimates there will be 77 million users on virtual desktops by 2016, according to Cisco.
"With Cisco Jabber now available for virtual environments, we are enabling our customers to deliver a complete 'anywhere' desktop to their employees without sacrificing the exceptional enterprise capabilities they have come to expect," Phil Sherburne, vice president of engineering in Cisco's Enterprise Smart Solutions unit, was quoted as saying by PC Magazine.
The advantages for enterprises to opt for virtual desktops instead of physical desktops include scalability, increased security, simplified deployment and management and lower cost, according to Cisco.
"When you do it right, [desktop virtualization] can lead to lower costs," Grace Kim, marketing manager for collaboration platforms, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications. What enterprises need to do is develop a clear virtualization roadmap, she explained.
Cisco is also integrating Jabra handsets and speakers as well as Logitech's (Nasdaq: LOGI) keyboards, mouse and webcam into the Jabber virtual desktop offering.
Logitech explained that its UC Keyboard K725-C interoperates directly with Cisco Jabber, so it can manage calls for any user who is signed in to the system. This makes the Logitech product well suited for "hot desking" work environments, where users do not have a permanently assigned desk or cubicle.
"With Cisco thin clients as part of an end to end architecture, we are able to give our sales representatives the capability to work remotely and securely from any location. Now, our IT organization is able to equally support Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS) and VMware (NYSE: VMW) desktops and easily create a sales office and back office with full functionality with only a monitor," commented Hiroki Aramaki, technical specialist for collaboration technology at NetOne Systems.
Cisco said the vulnerability in versions of its Cisco Unified IP Phone 7900 Series could enable attackers to gain remote access to the phone.
"This vulnerability is due to a failure to properly validate input passed to kernel system calls from applications running in userspace. An attacker could exploit this issue by gaining local access to the device using physical access or authenticated access using SSH and executing an attacker-controlled binary that is designed to exploit the issue. Such an attack would originate from an unprivileged context," Cisco explained in its Jan. 9 security advisory. The company also issued an accompanying mitigation bulletin.
The company said it had developed a fix for the vulnerability to reduce the "attack surfaces of affected devices." In a statement emailed to FierceEnterpriseCommunications, Cisco said it was not aware of the vulnerability being used against any customers.
Last month, Ang Cui, a graduate student at Columbia University Intrusion Detection Systems Lab and co-founder of Red Balloon Security, demonstrated the attack on the Cisco Unified IP Phone 7900 series using a technique he developed with fellow Columbia researcher Salvatore Stolfo to attack printers.
Once the phone was compromised, an attacker could eavesdrop on the entire network of phones in the enterprise, according to Cui.
In response to the initial demonstration, Cisco said it had developed a software patch and workarounds to plug the security hole.
Cui and Stolfo issued a Jan. 4 statement saying they had found "many vulnerabilities" in the firmware of Cisco VoIP phones as well as other embedded systems connected to the Internet.
The researchers said Cisco's patch to repair the vulnerabilities is "ineffective" because it "doesn't solve the fundamental problems we've pointed out to Cisco."
Acknowledging the failure to plug the hole the first time around, Cisco told Network World early this week that it deployed its "A-team" to develop a patch that works.
Perhaps not unexpectedly, the two researchers said they had developed a product, called Software Symbiotes, which is designed to safeguard embedded systems from hackers. "We don't know of any solution to solve the systemic problem with Cisco's IP Phone firmware except for the Symbiote technology or rewriting the firmware," they concluded.
RBC Capital analyst Mark Sue has raised his rating on Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO) stock from "sector perform" to "outperform" and set a share price target of $24, up from $21, according to a report by Forbes writer Eric Savitz.
In addition, MKM Partners named Cisco as a top stock pick for 2013 because the firm is "well positioned to define the next generation of holistic Intelligent Networks."
The news, along with the general Wall Street uptick from the U.S. fiscal cliff deal reached this week, bumped up Cisco's stock to around $20.45 in mid-morning trading.
Sue provided four reasons for his rating adjustment: firming visibility to forward estimates, gross margin stabilization, improving execution, and favorable risk/reward.
"Many of the negative issues related to Cisco have subsided. Cisco's core markets are no longer under attack from Huawei, HP and Juniper and Cisco's market shares have rebounded and stabilized. Cisco has also improved its sales execution and refocused its engineering talent…we believe another $1 billion can be further reduced from Cisco's cost structure which gives us added visibility to our forward earnings estimates," Sue wrote in the report quoted by Forbes.
Certainly Sue's optimism is reflected in Cisco's third quarter financial performance. The company posted an 18 percent year-over-year increase in net income, reaching $2.1 billion for the quarter. The high-tech behemoth also posted healthy revenue of $11.9 billion in the most recent quarter, up 5.5 percent from the $11.3 billion reported in the same quarter in the previous year. The company was able to generate $2.5 billion in cash from operations in the latest quarter.
In addition, Cisco is aggressively diversifying out of its shrinking core switching and router business. In November alone, Cisco acquired network traffic management firm Cariden Technologies for $141 million, cloud networking firm Meraki for $1.2 billion and the data center software firm Cloupia for $125 million.