Apple and Microsoft had teamed up to form a super patent troll called the Rockstar Consortium in a bid to take out Android. The Troll outbid Google, Intel – and a few others – in buying thousands of Nortel patents.
The “Rockstar Consortium” was not subject to promises that Apple and Microsoft initially made to license the patents under reasonable terms and launched its patent attack on Android last year.
It seems that a a settlement of sorts has been reached. Rockstar has agreed to sell its patents to RPX (with Google and Cisco picking up much of the bill). RPX has so far been a “good guy” in that it collects patents to stop trolling.
It’s making sure that basically anyone can license these patents under FRAND (fair and reasonable, non-discriminatory) rates. The price being paid is approximately $900 million.
This is considerably less than the $4.5 billion Microsoft and Apple paid but this was for only 4,000 of the 6,000 patents. It is safe to assume that Apple and Microsoft kept the 2,000 valuable patents.
Google and Cisco will license these patents to stop the majority of the lawsuits and can defend themselves if they feel threatened.
Cisco’s Mark Chandler celebrated the deal as a “common sense” solution. And, it certainly beats all out patent litigation war. But it’s still just about moving money around, rather than encouraging innovation. He notes that in settling this as a group, it helps keep things from getting totally out of control.
And this is the 20th consecutive quarter of positive growth, according to analysts at the International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC said shipments were up in the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013 by 7.3 percent, amounting to 520,752 units.
The market is growing mostly by cyber security products intended to perform a number of different security problem in one box.
Cisco is the leader of the security pack, with 15.9 percent of the market, followed by Check Point, Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet and McAfee.
Unified threat management (UTM) is the dominant leader of the pack in both revenue and sales volumes, said IDC.
The lawsuits, filed in a federal court in California, accuses Arista of infringing on 14 patents on networks and also on related copyrights.
Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler wrote in his bog that rather than building its products and services based on new technologies developed by Arista, however, and providing legitimate competition to Cisco, Arista took a shortcut by blatantly and extensively copying the innovative networking technologies designed and developed by Cisco.
Arista was formed by former Cisco employees, including Chief Development Officer Andreas Bechtolsheim, Chief Technology Officer Kenneth Duda, and Chief Executive Officer Jayshree Ullal.
Arista said it had not yet been able to evaluate the lawsuits.
“While we have respect for Cisco as a fierce competitor and the dominant player in the market, we are disappointed that they have to resort to litigation rather than simply compete with us in products,” Arista said in a statement.
It is blaming capital budget cuts at telecom service providers and weak sales in emerging markets.
The move is surprising because Cisco had previously expected better revenue and profit for the first quarter.
Chief Executive John Chambers said on a post earnings conference call with analysts that the service provider is the big challenge. Two to three US service providers have dramatically slowed the order rates with us, he said.
AT&T, the No. 2 U. telecom services provider, said last week that it would trim its 2015 capital spending outlook to $18 billion from $21 billion.
Cisco has also struggled with sluggish sales and increased competition in emerging markets. The company said sales in China fell by a third in the first quarter.
The US service providers are not buying. Revenue from US service providers dropped 18 percent, although sales from emerging economies declined six percent.
The company forecast adjusted profit of between 50-52 cents per share and revenue growth in the range of 4-7 percent for the second quarter ending January. Analysts were expecting a profit of 53 cents per share.
However the better than expected revenue and profit is still on, thanks to an increase in demand for its new high-end switches and routers.
Total revenue rose to $12.25 billion from $12.09 billion and Net profit fell to $1.83 billion from $2 billion a year earlier.
The report said that demand for fast data access and storage continues to rise and that’s creating more and more datacentres. Datacentre automation is sometimes known as Software Defined Data Centres (SDDCs). Automation helps management deal with scalability, flexibility, manageability and reduced costs.
The market research company said it segments the datacentre automation market by hardware such as network automation, server automation and storage automation. It also values the secor by service including consulting services, installation and support.
The demand for data is forcing businesses to either build new datacentres or upgrade existing sites.
And the cost of datacentre infrastructure continues to increase at the same time as IT budgets continues to decrease.
Majr vendors in the industry include HP, Oracle, Dell, Brocade, Cisco, IBM, CA and BMC Software.
Dubbed Operation SMN, the coalition of security companies has apparently given the hackers a Chinese burn after it detected and cleaned up malicious code on 43,000 computers worldwide infected by Axiom.
The effort was led by Novetta and included Bit9, Cisco, FireEye, F-Secure, iSIGHT Partners, Microsoft, Tenable, ThreatConnect Intelligence Research Team (TCIRT), ThreatTrack Security, Volexity, and was united as part of Microsoft’s Coordinated Malware Eradication (CME) campaign against Hikit.
Hikit is custom malware often used by Axiom to burrow into organisations and nick data. It works quietly and evades detection, sometimes for years.
Axiom used a variety of tools to access and re-infect environments including Derusbi, Deputy Dog, Hydraq, and others. Ludwig says, they expanded the group and its scope “so that we absolutely did the best possible job of clean-up and removal” and rolled it all into a Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) released Oct. 14.
Novetta thinks that while the MSRT was comprehensive, it may be only a temporary setback for Axiom, which will just work out another way of doing the same thing.
Novetta says it has “moderate to high confidence” that Axiom is a well-resourced and well-disciplined subgroup of the state-backed “Chinese Intelligence Apparatus.”
Axiom has been found in organisations that are of strategic economic interest, that influence environmental and energy policy and that develop integrated circuits, telecommunications equipment and infrastructure.
The target organisations are often related in some way, and once Hikit has burrowed its way into a computing environment, it can create a “mini-network,” communicating laterally with other Hikit installations within the organisation or related outside groups. What makes it difficult to track is that it uses proxies and never communicates with the command-and-control server directly. Hikit talks to companies in such a way that the traffic does not look dodgy.
Customers want the cloud to be less hazy less than it is and Cisco believes it can help itself and them by developing standardised cloud apps as well as very secure hybrid clouds.
New partners include Deutsche Telekom BY, NTT Data and Equinix and said it will put up $1 billion for cloud financing using its equity arm, Cisco Capital.
Cisco claims that its announcements will expand the reach of its cloud initiative across 250 datacentres in 50 countries.
Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of sales and development said that his company is in a position to connect different cloud services by using a common stack.
Cisco signed a number of providers to build a channel programme using Comstor, Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
The firmis offering Cisco hybrid cloud bundles – a combination of tech and services – to help enterprise customers to build different kinds of cloud environments.
That’s according to technology market research company IDC, which said the market in Q2 was worth $654.80 million, a rise compared to the same quarter in 2013 of 6.2 percent.
Cisco has 20.2 percent revenue share, up one percent year on year.
The runners up in shipments during the quarter were Check Point (17.5%), Fortinet (8.5%), McAfee (6%) and Juniper (5.5%), with the others commanding 42.3 percent.
However, McAfee’s growth between Q2 2013 and Q2 2014 was a massive 66.9 percent, IDC said.
Unified threat management (UMT) was the fast growing security appliance product category – that’s the eighth consecutive quarter and UTM appliances account for 48.4 percent of total vendor revenue.
Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services uses contextual awareness and controls to automatically assess threats, provide intelligence and improve defences to protect network.
Aimed at large enterprises, it includes Sourcefire’s Advanced Malware Protection and Next Generation Intrusion Prevention Systems.
The software management gives authorised users dashboards and drill down reports of discovered hosts, dodgy applications, threats and indicators of compromised systems.
Cisco claims its firewall is enterprise class, and supports VPN, advanced clustering and granular application layer and risk based controls. Open source integration with Snort, OpenAppID and ClamAV let companies customise security.
No details of pricing are available.
Ten years ago, the very word Dell was enough to send VARs, VADs and, let’s face it, the rest of the channel into streams of invective, punctuated by words you wouldn’t want your nan to hear you speak. Like the expletive “direct sales”, for example.
But, it seems, everything has changed and now Dell loves the channel and, incredibly, the channel seems to love Dell too. Channel Eye took time out from our incredibly stressful schedule to spend a day at a security partner reseller conference in Budapest and got to chat to several senior executives and resellers too, for that matter, who spelled out the sea changes that have happened at the Round Rock company.
While Dell is still seen by many as the PC tin maker that put the wind up conventional and indirect players like HP and the rest, it’s made a number of acquisitions in the last few years that mean the barque is now being steered in an entirely different direction. Those include SonicWALL, Quest and others.
The changes have been engineered at the highest level – that is to say by Michael Dell himself – with the assistance of senior exec Cheryl Cook. Unbelievably for an old channel hack like me, 32 percent of Dell’s business now goes the indirect route, worth an estimated $20 billion of revenue, under the umbrella of Partner Direct.
Channel Eye interviewed senior members of the EMEA channel team, including Andy Zollo and Marvin Blough – executive director of Dell’s worldwide channels and alliances. We also had the opportunity to talk to Patrick Sweeney, executive director of product management at the corporation.
Sweeney said: “Dell is in the process of becoming an end to end supplier of scalable systems. Dell continues to build PCs, but relies on value added resellers (VARs) to be trusted advisors [to customers].” He said that Dell is now a serious player in software and security and offers products that he claimed favourably compete with the likes of Cisco, Fortinet and others. The company, he said, invests heavily in R&D, has a wide breadth of products and the idea of Dell as a major player in security and software is promoted by Michael Dell himself when he makes major announcements.
In fact, Dell has something like 124 VARs in the EMEA region. The trend is that larger companies have started to rely on VARs to help them through the IT maze, whether that be in the cloud, in big data, or in security. Florian Malecki, who is the international product marketing director at Dell, said his company also relies on value added distributors (VADs) to generate events and training schemes.
How does it all work? Under the Dell umbrella of Partner Direct, the company operates certification for its channel partners at different levels, said Zollo. The tiers are premier partners, preferred partners and registered partners, but, he said, Dell is about to introduce a fourth category – managed service providers (MSPs). Dell continues to roll out partnership initiatives and concedes that while it still has direct customers, the trend is to move towards an indirect model to allow it to penetrate different markets. It’s impossible to operate a direct model in the many markets it now plays in.
Zollo says that the company has a “direct touch” sales team that cross sells all the products it has – and this umbrella model means that Dell GCC is able to operate across a wide area of customers and partners.
Who would have thought it? Dell was once a company that wouldn’t even talk to channel publications like ours. But it looks as if it will be talking to us more and more in the future. It relies on its VARs and its VADs for deep levels of specialisation, training and support.
We guess that HP must be gazing at all of this with quite some alarm. And Lenovo, for that matter.