Thursday, September 21, 2023

Cisco to acquire Splunk, extending its data observability powers

Cisco agreed to acquire Splunk for $157 per share in cash, representing approximately $28 billion in equity value. 

Splunk  (NASDAQ:SPLK) offers a software platform for searching, monitoring, and analyzing machine-generated data, including website logs, application logs, server logs, and network logs. It can be used to troubleshoot problems, improve performance, and identify security threats. 

Splunk’s Unified Security and Observability Platform delivers ML-powered analytics and insights that can be extended with third-party apps. Splunk, which is based in the San Francisco Bay area, has over 7,500 employees and reported $3.654 billion in revenue for 2023, up 37% year-over-year.

The companies said Splunk's security capabilities will complement Cisco's existing portfolio to provide leading security analytics and coverage from devices to applications to clouds. Cisco and Splunk's complementary capabilities will also provide observability across hybrid and multi-cloud environments, enabling customers to deliver smooth application experiences that power their digital businesses.

“We’re excited to bring Cisco and Splunk together. Our combined capabilities will drive the next generation of AI-enabled security and observability,” said Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco. “From threat detection and response to threat prediction and prevention, we will help make organizations of all sizes more secure and resilient.”

Upon close of the acquisition, Splunk President and CEO Gary Steele will join Cisco’s Executive Leadership Team reporting to Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins.

  • In June 2023, Cisco agreed to acquire Accedian, a privately-held company based in Montreal that offers performance analytics and end user experience solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. Accedian's cloud-native Skylight service assurance solution provides granular, end-to-end visibility within “the massive multi” – multi-layer, multi-cloud, and multi-vendor networks. Skylight leverages its high-quality performance data, analytics and machine learning to identify, predict and prevent customer-impacting issues. It uses both hardware and software sensors across network traffic from Layer 2 to Layer 7 on physical, virtualized, and cloud infrastructure.
  • In 2020, Cisco acquired privately-held ThousandEyes, a provider of real-time visibility tools for the delivery of applications and services over the Internet. Financial terms were not disclosed. San Francisco-based ThousandEyes was founded in 2010 by Mohit Lad and Ricardo Oliveira who had worked together during grad school in the UCLA Internet Research Lab to visualize Autonomous System topologies. ThousandEyes vantage points around the world perform billions of measurements each day to detect when traffic flows are disrupted within ISPs, public cloud networks and other service providers. This network telemetry data is algorithmically analyzed as part of ThousandEyes’ core Digital Experience Monitoring platform and the macro outages that are detected are displayed on an interactive map as part of ThousandEyes’ Internet Insights offering.

U.S. DoD funds eight Microelectronics Commons hubs

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded $238 million or the establishment of eight Microelectronics Commons (Commons) regional innovation hubs.

The Microelectronics Commons, a key component of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, aims to facilitate the creation of innovative microelectronics. With $2 billion in funding for Fiscal Years 2023 through 2027, the Microelectronics Commons program aims to leverage these Hubs to accelerate domestic hardware prototyping and "lab-to-fab" transition of semiconductor technologies. Each Hub will be advancing U.S. technology leadership in one or more of these areas:

  • Secure Edge/Internet of Things (IoT) Computing
  • 5G/6G
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hardware
  • Quantum Technology
  • Electromagnetic Warfare
  • Commercial Leap Ahead Technologies

The eight awardees are:

1. Northeast Microelectronics Coalition (NEMC) Hub

Awardee (Hub Lead): The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MassTech)

Hub Lead State: Massachusetts

FY23 Award:  $19.7 M

90 Hub Members

2. Silicon Crossroads Microelectronics Commons (SCMC) Hub

Awardee: The Applied Research Institute (ARI)

Hub Lead State: Indiana

FY23 Award:  $32.9 M

130 Hub Members

3. California Defense Ready Electronics and Microdevices Superhub (California DREAMS) Hub

Awardee:  The University of Southern California (USC)

Hub Lead State: California

FY23 Award:  $26.9 M

16 Hub members

4. Commercial Leap Ahead for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors (CLAWS) Hub

Awardee:  North Carolina State University (NCSU)

Hub Lead State: North Carolina

FY23 Award:  $39.4 M

7 Hub members

5. Southwest Advanced Prototyping (SWAP) Hub

Awardee:  Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University

Hub Lead State: Arizona

FY23 Award:  $39.8 M

27 Hub members

6. Midwest Microelectronics Consortium (MMEC) Hub

Awardee:  MMEC

Hub Lead State: Ohio

FY23 Award:  $24.3 M

65 Hub members

7. Northeast Regional Defense Technology Hub (NORDTECH)

Awardee :  The Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY)

Hub Lead State: New York

FY23 Award:  $40.0 M

51 Hub members

8. California-Pacific-Northwest AI Hardware Hub (Northwest-AI Hub)

Awardee:  The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University

Hub Lead State: California

FY23 Award:  $15.3 M

44 Hub members

Video: Solving Distributed Computing at Scale

A radical transformation is coming for data center infrastructure as computing systems scale up and scale out. Enfabrica's Accelerated Compute Fabric Switch (ACF-S) aims to solve critical networking, I/O and memory scaling problems in data center AI and high-performance computing clusters.

Rochan Sankar, Thomas Norrie, and Shrijeet Mukherjee, discuss:

  • how Enfabric is meeting the exacting requirements of data centers, aiming to disrupt networking.
  • how Enfrabrica has architected their chip and system specifically with AI and ML in mind, focusing on the communication layer to unlock the next generation of AI performance and scaling.
  • how Enfabrica is focusing on merging scale-up and scale-out computing, and addressing the challenges of fitting large amounts of memory into systems.

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Spirent's CloudSure stress tests 5G CNFs

Spirent Communications released an automated, cloud-native test platform to help communication service providers (CSPs) and cloud-native network function (CNF) vendors ensure resilient 5G services. 

Spirent CloudSure evaluates and validates CNF resiliency within 5G networks to help ensure reliable service delivery, while reducing operational costs, and optimizing customer experience. The new CloudSure test platform complements Spirent’s Landslide 5G network test solution by injecting user-defined real-world cloud impairments and correlating their impact on cloud-native 5G services.

Key capabilities of Spirent CloudSure:

  • Reliable service delivery: Confirms 5G cloud-native network functions operate reliably under the most challenging cloud conditions for uninterrupted service delivery and long-term revenue growth.
  • Reduced operational costs: Optimizes resource utilization and validates complex fault recovery mechanisms to avoid costly outages, 5G service interruptions and reduce operating expenses.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Ensures resilient 5G service design, configuration, and performance to deliver high-quality user experiences to improve customer satisfaction and retention.
  • Competitive advantage: Enables reliable, high-performing 5G services that meet customer expectations consistently, for a competitive edge in 5G and to attract new customers.

“Cloud-native environments represent a revolutionary new technical approach that breaks a handful of highly reliable, vertically integrated 5G functions into thousands of individual software components that run on a cloud optimized for performance and cost, but not reliability,” said Glenn Chagnot, Senior Director of Product Management for Cloud Solutions at Spirent. “Cloud-native marginalizes traditional testing and visibility approaches, demanding completely new processes and tooling to realize the potential benefits. CloudSure provides proactive, pre-deployment validation to test 5G services with real-world traffic operating on an imperfect cloud to ensure services are resilient and always available in operations.”

AST SpaceMobile completes 5G call via LEO satellite with Samsung Galaxy S22

AST SpaceMobile completed the first-ever 5G connection for voice and data between an unmodified smartphone and a satellite in space.

The call was placed by AST SpaceMobile engineers from Hawaii to a Vodafone engineer in Madrid using AT&T spectrum and AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite — the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit. 

The 5G call was placed on September 8, 2023, from an unmodified Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone located near Hana, Hawaii, in a wireless dead zone. 5G connectivity testing was completed with  partners Vodafone, AT&T and Nokia. In a separate test, the company broke its previous space-based cellular broadband data session record by achieving a download rate of approximately 14 Mbps.

“Once again, we have achieved a significant technological advancement that represents a paradigm shift in access to information. Since the launch of BlueWalker 3, we have achieved full compatibility with phones made by all major manufacturers and support for 2G, 4G LTE, and now 5G.” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “Making the first successful 5G cellular broadband connections from space directly to mobile phones is yet another significant advancement in telecommunications AST SpaceMobile has pioneered. We are more confident than ever that space-based cellular broadband can help transform internet connectivity across the globe by filling in gaps and connecting the unconnected.”

NETGEAR's WiFi 7 Orbi 970 delivers up to 27 Gbps

NETGEAR introduced its Orbi 970 Series Wi-Fi 7 consumer access point capable of performing at up to 27 Gbps.

While WiFi 6E opened the 6GHz band as a superhighway for the latest, fastest devices, WiFi 7 builds on that promise by expanding the channels to 320 MHz and unleashing unprecedented speeds and performance. 

The new Orbi features Quad-Band technology and unique Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul that brings multi-link operation (MLO), a feature of WiFi 7, to create Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul which combines a dedicated 5 GHz band with a 6 GHz band to double the connection speed between the router and satellites and achieve 10 Gig wireless backhaul for reduced latency, and data delivery with maximum speed. 

The router features a 10 Gig internet port as well as one 10 Gig and four 2.5 Gig Ethernet ports, to achieve the fastest speeds available today. The new, elegant, cylindrical bodies of the routers and satellites are purposefully designed for optimal performance while gracing the home with their slim profile and smaller overall footprint to fit unobtrusively on a desk, entertainment unit or shelf. They feature 12 high-performance internal antennas with high-powered amplifiers for 360-degree, wall to wall, front to back coverage.

Technical Specifications:

  • 320MHz high-capacity channels – New, ultrawide bandwidth means up to 2.4x the speed to connected devices and is fully backward compatible with older WiFi devices. WiFi 7 smartphones and laptops can get up to 5Gbps.
  • 4K QAM – Increases speeds for users by more efficient usage of the available bandwidth.
  • Preamble Puncturing – Enables a wider channel than would otherwise be available in areas of high interference.
  • Multi-link Operation – Uses multiple WiFi bands at once, for both backhaul and fronthaul to improve network reliability, reduce latency, and ensure data is delivered with maximum speed.
  • Enhanced Dedicated Backhaul - Leverages multi-link operation (MLO), to combine dedicated 5Ghz with a 6GHz band to get 10 Gig wireless backhaul speed between router and satellites.
  • Multi-Gig Speeds with 10GbE Internet Port – Use the 10 Gig internet port for cable and fiber plans up to 10Gbps. Compatible with any internet service provider.
  • 10GbE LAN Ports – Option to use 10Gig wired connection between the router and satellites.
  • More Capacity for Data-Intense Activities – Connect up to 200 devices, such as security cameras, smart home devices, and speakers, while enjoying smooth 4K/8K video streaming, ultra-responsive online gaming, AR/VR entertainment, and uninterrupted UHD video conferencing.
  • More Multi-gig Wired ports on Router and Satellites – Plug in wired devices to improve performance via a 10Gbps and four 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports.
  • Wi-Fi 7 Qualcomm® Networking Pro Series platform – Delivers uncompromising WiFi 7 performance for today’s hyper-connected homes.


Router and 2 Satellites – 3 pack, $2299.99 MSRP

Router and 1 Satellite - 2 pack, $1699.99 MSRP

Add-on Satellite, $899.99 MSRP