After months of talking to smart people and taking notes, my latest notebook is filled. Usually what I do at this point is read back through the whole thing to see if there are any nuggets that I missed or forgot about.
Why not just dump it straight onto the Web? This is stuff that real people are saying in the real world. For your pleasure, here you go:
Data Center Growth: Data-centers are growing like mad. They are being industrialized and commoditized. This has boosted the stocks of lots of data-center plays (for example, check out the stock of F5 Networks lately). This presents huge new opportunities in storage & energy investments, as data-center players look to reduce their costs with new technology. Remember that half of the cost of a data center is power and cooling.
TV Over the Top Video: This involves downloading multimedia content over the Internet, through a standalone service. Turns out, this is a great market, but there are lots of technology challenges in delivering the content. Look at Netflix. Question is, how to make it better? Look for new video compression, storage, and security plays.
Data Analytics: Think of how fast data is growing in the world. It’s exponential. Then think of what you can do with that data if you start mining it. There are patterns and predictability involved. We’ve convered companies like Marketo and Blue Kai which are doing this on the marketing front, but really the possiblilties are endless, from financial applications to sports scores.
Riverbed Technology (RVBD): I need to follow up on Riverbed, which we followed earlier in the year but haven’t updated since they announced a great second quarter. My sense is they are taking advantage of the data-center trend and also continuing to gain market-share from Cisco. Watch the stock, it’s a buy.
Microwave Backhaul: I’ve read “microwave backhaul” from several different sources. Seems to be a trend here, as it emerges as a viable solution to backhauling mobile traffic.
Cyan Optics: Three reliable people have told me they are hot.
AT&T vs. Verizon: Verizon’s network is better, I can tell you that from a household which is split between AT&T and Verizon phones. Here’s another thing. Verizon is focusing on fiber backhaul to cell towers, I am told, while AT&T is insisting it can be done with copper. Tell you something?
Ethernet on a T-1: Despite AT&T’s stubborn love for copper, it can be done, as Ethernet over copper is a viable techology up to 30 Mbit/sec., and it’s being driven by AT&T’s obsession to squeeze every last bit of juice out of those copper wires.
Cisco Pricing: Is there more room for margin pressure on traditional routing and switching gear? Despite an enormous amount of competition, Cisco is still able to command a 30-40% margin premium, I am told by reliable sources in the channel. Is this premium warranted? I’m also told no.
New optical supercycle? Anybody remember the optical networking bubble of 2000? Well, it’s been ten years. Video traffic is growing like mad. Is there maybe another optical supercycle coming? There may be no new bubble, but I think, personally, that there will be solid growth in optical for the next 10 years.
Cloud Computing Transparency: The new buzzword. If you use the cloud, how reliable is it? The only way to know is if your service provider gives you access to the performance statistics. Call this Cloud Transparency.
Open Source in the Data Center: Again, another buzzphrase repeated to me by at least two reliable sources. With data centers growing like mad, there is more demand than ever for scalable and cost-effective technology. Traditional enterprise solutions such as SQL databases, for example, may not be right for data center. People are moving to open source.