Here’s our weekly gathering of news bits from the software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) community. It’s got quite a storage bent this time, but … first things first …
1. Q1 Sunk Cisco’s Battleship
Cisco was stung by the U.S. government shutdown, but that’s not the only reason its first-quarter earnings and forecast were weak. As Cisco explained Wednesday, set-top sales were down 14 percent from the previous year, thanks to virtual customer-premises equipment (CPE) catching on with service providers. Sales to China and other emerging markets have slowed down substantially, as well.
One theory is that it’s a backlash to the revelations about how widespread U.S. online surveillance has become. That seems like a stretch, but it also seems plausible.
In any event, few people saw this coming. “We anticipated a risk to our revenue estimate for the quarter, but were floored by [the] fiscal Q2 outlook” for a year-over-year decline in revenues of 8 to 10 percent, wrote analyst Catharine Trebnick of Northland Capital in a report issued Thursday.
Cisco shares fell $2.63 (11%) to $21.37 on Thursday.
2. Nuage Names Customers
Nuage Networks announced three customers Thursday: Telus, UPMC (the University of Pittsburgh medical center) and a major (but unnamed) financial company. Nuage CEO Sunil Khandekar mentioned the wins Thursday during an Alcatel-Lucent technology day for analysts, being held at AlcaLu’s facilities in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
I think these are the first customers Nuage has named, but they aren’t huge surprises. UPMC and Telus were announced as trial customers in April, as were European service providers Exponential-e and SFR.
3. EMC Goes All-Flash
EMC made its first announcement of flash-storage products from XtremIO, which got acquired last year for $430 million. EMC’s VNX-F hasn’t made much headway into the solid-state storage market, so Plan B is to try the more, well, extreme approach of XtremIO’s all-flash design.
The problem here is that the channel and EMC’s sales force might not want XtremeIO to cannibalize VNX-F’s high-end markets, writes Sterne Agee analyst Alex Kurtz in a note issued this week. For the sales force, in particular, EMC will need to provide the right incentives for them to sell XtremeIO rather than just fall back on old, familiar, and (I’m guessing) high-commission products.
4. Storage to the Maxta
Software-defined storage (SDS) startup Maxta announced its presence this week. Virtualization.info describes the company’s work as a “mix of VMware Virtual SAN and Nutanix capabilities.” The company’s product, consisting of virtual machines running on hypervisors, has been in production for a year, but Maxta was shy about standing up to SDS haters, apparently. Now that it’s shown the stuff works, the company is willing to talk.
5. AWS Designs Its Own Storage
— Drue Reeves (@dreeves1) November 12, 2013
6. And Furthermore
… Sears wants to turn some of its auto centers into data centers. We’re talking only about the standalone auto centers, not the ones attached to malls. They don’t want Banana Republic shoppers wandering in and hacking customers’ data.
… GigaOm observes that Rackspace has stopped being all about “fanatical support.”
… New switches from Huawei point to the dream of an agile enterprise network.