Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Cisco adds AI across its networking and security portfolios

Cisco introduced new integrations across its networking and security portfolios, enabling IT teams tp manage more of their campus and branch secure networking technologies from a unified AI-driven cloud platform.

“As a market leader in both networking and security, and with visibility into over 1 billion endpoints, Cisco is in a unique position to build the industry’s premier AI-driven, secure and simple networking management platform, Cisco Networking Cloud,” said Jonathan Davidson, EVP and GM, Cisco Networking. “Whether it’s autonomous operations or simply delivering a trouble-free experience to an end user, endpoint and network data is key to AI-driven intelligence. The best data produces the best result, and Cisco has the best data.”

Some highlights:

New Integrations with Cisco Secure Access: deeper integrations between Cisco Networking and Security Cloud platforms. These innovations with Cisco Secure Access, Cisco’s Secure Services Edge (SSE) solution, deliver a unified approach to networking and security management, and automated monitoring of the digital experience, providing insights from network, device and application performance metrics. These integrations are available today with Catalyst SD-WAN and ThousandEyes.

Enhanced security posture reporting for OT assets: Industrial organizations can now utilize the Security Posture report for comprehensive details on OT asset inventories, top vulnerabilities and highest cyber risks to help reduce the attack surface.  These features are available with Cisco Cyber Vision and available as part of our hardened industrial-grade routers, switches, and firewalls.

Cloud Monitoring for Catalyst Wireless: First introduced as a capability for Catalyst switching, customers can now view select Catalyst wireless devices in the Meraki dashboard. This new capability gives Cisco customers a complete, cloud-managed view of their access networks. Cloud Monitoring for Catalyst Wireless supports the Catalyst 9800 Wireless Controllers and most Catalyst Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E access points.

Catalyst 9300-M Cloud-Managed Switch Models: Cisco is continuing its journey to a single, unified hardware architecture with the new Catalyst 9300-M switches which will be managed natively from the Meraki dashboard. This is the first step in the evolution towards full cloud management for the Catalyst switching portfolio.

Cisco UCS X-Series Direct: An extension of Cisco’s UCS X-Series Modular System, the new Cisco X-Series Direct is built for environments where customers need connectivity and compute power at the edge to support more applications with less infrastructure

Cisco AI Validated Designs: Cisco is expanding its offering of converged and hyperconverged validated designs addressing new use cases, leveraging recently announced Cisco Validated Solutions and AI/ML blueprint for data center networks. These designs can accelerate AI/ML deployments and minimize risks by helping customers build high performance compute and data center network fabrics with automation and visibility tailored for a variety of AI-driven enterprise use cases.

OIF to showcase Interoperability at OFC 2024

Addressing the unprecedented demand for next-generation data center networking, artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) and disaggregation applications.OIF will showcase the interoperable solutions from 47 member companies at the upcoming OFC 2024 in San Diego. 

OIF’s OFC demo this year features nine new participating companies and marks a 38 percent increase in participants compared to the OFC 2023 demo. The live and interactive multi-vendor demonstrations in booth #1323 will feature interoperability solutions in 800ZR, 400ZR and OpenZR+ optics, Energy Efficient Interfaces (EEI) & Co-Packaging, Common Electrical I/O (CEI) channels and Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) implementations that are addressing the speed, power and density challenges that will define the industry landscape for the next decade.

“OFC 2024 serves as an unparalleled platform for OIF members to spotlight their collaborative efforts in driving the evolution of optical networking solutions,” said Mike Klempa, OIF Physical & Link Layer Interoperability Working Group Chair and Alphawave Semi. “This year’s historic, largest-ever interoperability demonstration not only underscores the capabilities of OIF member companies in addressing the industry’s pressing demands, but will also unveil multiple industry-firsts, once again positioning OIF and its work as driving the industry and designing real solutions for pressing network challenges.”

Lumen charts progress following European divestiture

Lumen Technologies reported Q4 2023 revenue of $3.517 billion, down from $3.800 billion a year earlier. Reported net loss was $(1.995) billion for the fourth quarter 2023, which included a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $1.9 billion, compared to reported Net Loss of $(3.069) billion for the fourth quarter 2022, which included a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $3.271 billion.

During the quarter, Lumen completed the $1.8 billion divestiture of its EMEA business and the sale of select CDN contracts.

Capital expenditures for the quarter amounted to $821 million, compared to $833 a year earlier.

"In 2023, we outlined big, multi-year, strategic priorities including strengthening our balance sheet, executing on key programs to turn the core business around by 2025, and igniting new growth by delivering disruptive innovations that help our customers solve their next-gen networking needs," said Kate Johnson, president and CEO of Lumen. "I am pleased to report that we delivered our 2023 EBITDA and free cash flow guidance, and we made material progress on our strategic priorities."

Colt takes over Lumen’s European networks

Colt Technology Services, headquartered in London, completed its acquisition of Lumen Technologies’ European, Middle Eastern, and African (EMEA) business. Colt paid US$1.8 billion cash for the assets, which included Lumen’s entire terrestrial and subsea networks, data center and network services in the region. The deal also includes Lumen’s trans-Atlantic subsea networks, the regional employees and customers contracts.Regarding the Internet backbone...

Lumen expands NaaS from 23 data centers to 136 across North America

Lumen Technologies has expanded its  Network-as-a Service (NaaS)   from 23 data centers to 136 across North America.  Through data center partners, Lumen has extended its NaaS reach to Digital Realty and Equinix Fabric customers in several key markets, including Ashburn, Va., Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York/New Jersey, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto. Lumen Internet On-Demand is now available to these...

ZEDEDA raises $72M for Edge AI and Computing

ZEDEDA, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced $72 million in Series C funding for its edge management and orchestration software.

ZEDEDA, which says it now has tens of thousands of nodes under management, reduces the cost of managing and orchestrating distributed edge infrastructure and applications while increasing visibility, security and control. Its platform provides a unified orchestration experience across hardware, software, networks and cloud that delivers visibility, control and security. 

The latest funding was led by Smith Point Capital, founded by former Salesforce Co-CEO Keith Block. The company has now raised over $127 million in total since its founding. Hillman Company, LDV Partners, Endeavor Catalyst Fund and Forward Investments (DEWA) joined Smith Point Capital as new investors in the company. In addition, ZEDEDA saw strong support from returning investors in this round, including Lux Capital, Almaz Capital, Coast Range Capital, Juniper Networks, Emerson Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, 5G Open Innovation Lab, Rockwell Automation and Porsche Ventures.

Arm's quarterly revenue rises 14% yoy on AI trends

Arm reported revenues of $824 million for its fiscal third quarter and three months ended December 31, 2023, up 14% year-over-year, with record royalty revenue and strong growth in licensing revenue. Non-GAAP operating profit increased 17% year-over-year to $338 million resulting in a 41.0% non-GAAP operating margin.

"Arm delivered another quarter of record revenues driven by continued adoption of the world’s most pervasive compute platform," said Rene Haas, CEO. “More customers moving to higher-value Armv9 technology combined with market share gains in cloud server and automotive resulted in strong royalty growth.  The AI wave drove licensing growth as these new devices require Arm’s performant and power-efficient compute platform."

Some highlights

  • Royalty revenue of $470 million, up 11% year-over-year was driven by the semiconductor industry recovery and the rapidly increasing penetration of Armv9-based chips, which typically command a higher royalty rate.
  • Better than expected license revenue of $354 million, up 18% year-over-year, and strong bookings were due to strong demand for more advanced Arm CPUs as companies increase investment in AI across all end markets.
  • During the current quarter, Arm’s customers reported that they had shipped 7.7 billion Arm-based chips for the September quarter shipping period. This takes the cumulative number of Arm-based chips reported as shipped to 280.3 billion.

Lumen appoints Dave Ward as CTO

Lumen Technologies named Dave Ward as its new Chief Technology Officer, reporting to Lumen CEO Kate Johnson starting next week and serve as a member of the executive team.

Ward joins Lumen from PacketFabric, a start-up in the NaaS sector, where he was the chairman and CEO. Prior to leading PacketFabric, he was a Senior Vice President, CTO-Engineering and Chief Architect at Cisco Systems, and served as a Fellow at both Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.

"My entire career has been committed to inventing the capabilities and improving the experience of the Internet," said Ward. "Lumen's unmatched network and innovative technologies will help drive that reinvention for businesses and I'm looking forward to joining this impressive team, and great culture, and helping the company deliver new capabilities that will give its customers unparalleled simplicity and connectivity."

NETGEAR posted Q4 revenue of $189 million, down 24% yoy

NETGEAR reported fourth quarter 2023 net revenue of $188.7 million, a decrease of 24.3% from the comparable prior-year quarter.

Fourth quarter 2023 GAAP operating loss of $2.9 million, or (1.5)% of net revenue, as compared to operating loss of $12.2 million, or (4.9)% of net revenue, in the comparable prior-year quarter.

Fiscal 2023 net revenue of $740.8 million, a decrease of 20.6% from the prior year.

Bryan Murray, Chief Financial Officer of NETGEAR, commented, “I’m pleased with our fourth quarter results where NETGEAR delivered revenue and operating margin near the high end of our updated guidance. Thanks to the strong market reception of our leading WiFi 7 products, stabilization of our SMB business and our continued disciplined expense management, this quarter demonstrates the progress in our core long-term growth and profitability strategy. Despite a more promotional environment in the U.S. retail networking market, our premium CHP products remain resilient and once again outperformed the market, growing double digits sequentially and more than 30% year over year. Spurred by the success of our recently released Orbi 97x WiFi 7 mesh system, our premium products increased to approximately 25% of our CHP retail business. In addition to the solid performance of our products, we were able to exceed our paid subscriber target for the year, ending the fourth quarter with 877,000 paid subscribers and service revenue of over $11 million in Q4.”

Mr. Murray continued, “Although channel inventory compression constrained the topline across both our CHP and SMB businesses during the year, the strong contribution of our premium products powered us to equal our highest annual gross margin performance since 2007. As we progress through the WiFi 7 upgrade cycle, we believe our CHP product mix will continue to shift towards our higher-margin products. While channel inventory compression will continue to constrain SMB growth in the next few quarters, we are confident in the business’ ability to generate long-term revenue and margin expansion for NETGEAR.”