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Packet, the leading bare metal cloud for developers, and Netronome, a leader in high-performance intelligent networking solutions, announced a new hardware platform that efficiently powers cloud-native workloads at the edge.

The joint design, which will be deployed throughout all of Packet’s cloud and edge sites, combines the latest in disaggregated computing architecture in a cost-effective bare metal form factor.

Cloud-native and edge workloads demand stringent cost, power and latency parameters without compromising security and the pace of innovation. Packet’s new compact microservers meet these requirements while providing the tenant isolation needed in a bare metal environment. Due to its ultra-compact and low-power design (100W per microserver), up to 120 microservers can fit in a single 42U rack, enabling the build-out of performance-driven edge infrastructures while maintaining real estate and power requirements.

Each of Packet’s new Edge cloud microservers with integrated Netronome SmartNIC technology delivers up to 25Gb/s throughput while enabling highly scalable security policies and control close to the cloud-native applications. As a result, Packet is able to deploy less complex, lower power and more cost-effective top-of-rack switch solutions. At the same time, developers are empowered with access to deep network acceleration capabilities through the use of eBPF programming for innovating in the areas of switching, security, telemetry and load balancing.

Zachary Smith, CEO, Packet
With this platform we are bringing the lessons of hyperscale providers directly to the edge with a disaggregated, accelerator-based architecture and a custom designed hardware model. We see cloud-native network workload driving huge demand at the infrastructure edge and the combination of SmartNIC technology and eBPF expertise from Netronome brings not only significant cost savings but also unique performance capabilities to our content, IoT and Telco customers.

Published in Technology & Solutions

TIM and Sony Mobile have signed an agreement that consolidates the relationship between companies sharing the same objectives of accelerating the 5G technology development in the next future.

TIM will support Sony Mobile in all the development phases of the product for Italy, making available to the project the ecosystem of partners in the Innovation Hubs, its technical know-how, with the best resources of its own research centers, and the access to TIM's 5G test facilities to commercially launch a 5G device.

Mario Di Mauro, Chief Strategy, Innovation & Customer Experience Officer, TIM
This agreement stresses the tremendous value companies such as TIM and Sony Mobile assign to innovation, two leaders in their business segments, always careful to promote synergies that can raise when pairing the experience on services of a leading mobile provider together with the expertise on devices of a global player like Sony Mobile.

Tibor Wagner, Director of Central and Southeast Europe, Sony Mobile
Our partnership together with TIM is to enhance both the business and technical collaboration towards a joint commercial launch of 5G devices and services, as well as the innovative development of 5G and IoT both for consumer and enterprise markets.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Cisco announced the intent to acquire privately-held Luxtera, a semiconductor company based in California for $660 million in cash.

Luxtera uses silicon photonics to build integrated optics capabilities for webscale and enterprise data centers, service provider market segments, and other customers. Its technology, design, and manufacturing innovation significantly improves chip scale and performance, while lowering costs. Cisco plans to incorporate Luxtera's technology across its intent-based networking portfolio, spanning enterprise, data center and service provider markets. 

 The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2019, subject to customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals.

The acquisition will enhance Cisco's and Luxtera's capabilities in 100GbE/400GbE optics, silicon, and process technology will enable customers to build future-proof networks optimized for performance, reliability, and cost.

Upon completion of the transaction, Luxtera employees will join Cisco's Optics business under David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager, Networking and Security Business.

David Goeckeler, EVP and GM, Networking and Security Business, Cisco
Coupled with our silicon and optics innovation, Luxtera will allow our customers to build the biggest, fastest and most efficient networks in the world.

Published in Solution Vendors M&A

CenturyLink is now offering its own Security Log Monitoring service integrated with Palo Alto Firewall as a managed service to enterprise customers. 

CenturyLink's Security Log Monitoring platform manages and monitors a diverse set of Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls with enhanced visibility and threat intelligence capabilities, as well as rich integration with its portal and mobile application.

Managed Palo Alto Firewall offers a wide range of intrusion prevention systems throughput, from 610 Mbps to 20 Gbps. Features supported by Managed Palo Alto Firewall include: anti-virus, URL filtering, site-to-site and client VPNs, in addition to application, content and user identification. With Managed Palo Alto Firewall, customers can choose the monitoring options that best serve their business needs, either managed by CenturyLink or by in-house resources, says the Company.

Chris Smith, VP of Global Security Services, CenturyLink
By bringing together CenturyLink's correlated threat intelligence and rapid threat detection and response capabilities with Palo Alto Networks next-generation firewalls, we're helping enterprises protect their increasingly complex networks against the changing threat landscape.

Karl Soderlund, SVP, Worldwide Channels, Palo Alto Networks
We are pleased to work with CenturyLink to offer customers a managed next-generation firewall that has the intelligence, automation and high performance to stop attacks in their tracks.

Published in Technology & Solutions

Mobile phones have become content discovery devices - and that’s among their most important functions in our everyday lives. They’re with us nearly every moment of the day, so we rely on them for content even more than our TVs and radios. We get our news, weather, sports scores and stock prices from our phones. When we’re bored, we look to them for entertainment.

This is nothing new - in fact, we’re in the fifth era of content discovery on mobile. The shift hasn’t been so much in our behavior as our means of getting that content. To summarize our history of mobile content discovery, here’s a brief guide:

Era 1: Via WAP (ca. 2000)

Era 2: On smartphones (ca. 2007)

Era 3: Via apps (ca. 2008)

Era 4: Via unlimited data plans (ca. 2016)

Era 5: Via device AI and UI (today)

Note that with each era, speeds have increased while friction has decreased - thus facilitating easier content discovery.

When mobile phones were first used to discover content, the carriers were king. The carriers had their own portals, which they even opened to non-subscribers as a way to entice them to switch over. However, changes in publishing tools (from WAP to WEB), in the way we use our phones (switching from mobile browsers to apps) and changes in data speeds drove the early shifts in how we discovered mobile content.

By the Fourth Era, data plan pricing changes had created an entirely new use case for the mobile device. As big data plans have become increasingly more accessible, the handset has in lockstep become more of a content discovery device than a phone - and that has led to the creation of new phone UI, UX and AI functionality by carriers, OEMs and O/S developers.

That brings us to the dawn of the Fifth Era - where we are today. This next wave creates both a huge challenge and a huge opportunity for carriers in particular. How can they make sure their investment in the next wave of infrastructure disproportionately creates new profits for themselves and not others - like Google and Facebook?

Here are the trends that will mark the next shift that carriers will have to navigate.

#1: The device becomes more important

Greg Wester,
SVP of Marketing
& Business Development,
Mobile Posse

Always-on consumers are now reliant on their phones to find content, whether it’s information they need or just something to pass the time while they wait for the train. However, today, the phone itself doesn’t make it easy to find that content. Users will swipe and tap and type into search bars, or open Facebook or a news app to find what they’re looking for. Moving forward, the phone’s UI will incorporate machine learning to understand what the user wants and serve up that content automatically. The content served will be tailored to the user, and discovery will be completely friction free.

#2: The carrier will become more important

Particularly if they take some ownership of the user interface. Taking the friction out of content discovery is a critical part of winning the Fifth Era, and carriers have an unprecedented opportunity to take the lead here. Just as they owned the portals of the past, they can have a hand in making content discoverability enjoyable and friction-free moving forward. Carriers know more about how we use our phones and what we like than we do. They have data about our usage and everything we do with our phones, and they can use that data to make our mobile experiences exponentially more personalized, convenient, useful and entertaining. By owning the discoverability of tailored-to-us content, making search simpler, creating more “snackable” content experiences and increasing access to the media we love, carriers make themselves a beloved and important part of mobile lives - rather than the “necessary evil” we perceive them as today. To lead into the next trend, they have the ability to deliver to us more engaging and personalized content than Facebook - and we wouldn’t even have to open an app to find it.

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#3: Facebook will become less important to publishers

As content discovery becomes a friction-free affair, users will become less reliant on Facebook to serve them engaging content, particularly if the carriers step up. If the device itself is delivering great content without users having to search for it, publishers will be free to seek different distribution channels for their content. If the carriers themselves own those content discovery venues, that opens the possibility of new partnerships and new revenue streams for publishers - and perhaps a shift away from the current Google/Facebook duopoly.

As we shift to this new era of mobile content discovery, the carriers have the most to gain. The reduction or removal of friction has been the catalyst for the transformation of so many other industries, and mobile content is the next in line. Media fiction exists in four forms: accessibility, discovery, search and snackability (the ability to consume media quickly, in short, satisfying snippets). There are many ways to attack friction in the content discovery process: voice devices, social networks, content recommendation engines and next-gen mobile interfaces are all addressing it from different angles.

However, given mobile’s popularity, the device itself may have the biggest impact. Serving personalized content to mobile users from the UI itself seems the most obvious route to a great experience, and the carriers have a head start. Here’s hoping 2019 brings us all entertaining and friction-free content in the moments we need it most!

Published in Technology & Solutions

AT&T announced that its mobile 5G network is live now in 12 US cities - in parts of Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Louisville, Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Raleigh, San Antonio, and Waco.

In the first half of 2019 AT&T plans to deploy mobile 5G in parts of these 7 additional cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif.

Early adopters will be the first to experience the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot on the new mobile '5G+' network. '5G+' is built to provide a mobile 5G experience over mmWave spectrum, offering users a faster mobile experience than standard LTE, said the Operator. 5G+ will start out in dense urban areas, but if users are outside of 5G+ network coverage they will be able to access the nation’s best network and 5G Evolution in 385 markets on the NETGEAR Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.

AT&T delivers to select businesses and consumers its first mobile 5G device plus 5G data usage at no cost for at least 90 days. Next spring, customers will be able to get the Nighthawk for $499 upfront and 15GB of data for $70 a month on a compatible plan and no annual commitment.

Andre Fuetsch, President, AT&T Labs and CTO
Being first, you can expect us to evolve very quickly. It’s early on the 5G journey and we’re ready to learn fast and continually iterate in the months ahead.

Mo Katibeh, CMO, AT&T Business
As the ecosystem evolves, this technology will ultimately change the way we live and conduct business. We expect that our initial adopters will be innovative, growing businesses. They’re the starting point for what we think will be a technology revolution like we’ve never seen before.

Nokia recently signed a EUR 250 million loan transaction with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) to finance research and development activities related to 5G technology.

The loan, which has an average maturity of approximately 5 years after disbursement, will finance Nokia's extensive research and development program focused on 5G activities in Europe in 2018-2020. The investment will especially concentrate on developing new 5G-related end-to-end product offerings for different business areas.

5G is the next generation of wireless systems beyond the current 4G standards, providing a substantial increase in network capacity, reducing latency delays and enabling network slicing. Network slicing gives network operators greater ability to differentiate their services to match clients' needs.

Nokia's 5G research and development program also focuses on the implementation of the "Internet of Things", machine-type communication between the things humans have invented. In practice, this means a network of different devices, such as home appliances, vehicles and other electronics, being able to exchange data wirelessly.

Henrik Normann, NIB President & CEO
The business opportunities of 5G are numerous, as it will be the first mobile generation designed from the beginning for machine-type communication. Nokia's research and development is likely to benefit not just the telecom sector, but also several high-technology operators in our member countries.

Kristian Pullola, CFO, Nokia
We are pleased to receive this financing commitment from the NIB, which shares our view of the revolutionary nature of 5G. This financing will further support 5G research and development in Europe and it bolsters the momentum we have already seen this year as the era of 5G begins.

ETSI announced the creation of a new Industry Specification Group on Permissioned Distributed Ledger (ISG PDL).

The group will analyze and provide the foundations to operate permissioned distributed ledgers to be deployed across various industries and governmental institutions.

A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, linked together with cryptography. By design, the data from a blockchain cannot be modified. It is an open distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties in an efficient and secure manner. Distributed ledgers are mostly known for their use with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. However, they can also be used for digital identity attributes, object tracking, or the verification of service level agreements.

Distributed ledgers can be either permissionless (public) or permissioned (private). While permissionless ledgers are known by the general public through popular terms such as Bitcoin, permissioned distributed ledgers are better qualified to address the more business-oriented use cases that are of interest to Industry and governmental institutions.

The founding members of the Permissioned Distributed Ledgers group include Alastria, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Mineco, NEC, Telefónica, Vodafone. The updated list can be found on the ETSI Member Portal.

The new ETSI group will work on the challenges related to the operation of permissioned distributed ledgers, business use cases, functional architecture and solutions for the operation of permissioned distributed ledgers, including interfaces/APIs/protocols and information/data models as well as other topics. 

Published in Technology & Solutions

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