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Ido Susan, CEO and co-founder of the cloud-based routing firm DriveNets, hopes to use the first-round funding to upend established rivals like Cisco—to whom he sold his last startup. - Companies deploying SD-WAN use over 50% more bandwidth than those who have not deployed it, IHS Markit found. Their bandwidth needs are also growing at twice the rate of companies using traditional WANs. - MEF's long-in-the-works Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) Sonata API is nearing its first full-release date. LSO Sonata represents an intercarrier API set that purports to enable a "groundbreaking" level of automation for inventory management, pricing/quoting, ordering and customer experience. - Pulling together its work over the last eight years with CORD, SDN and cloud, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) today announced its fifth reference design: Converged Multi-Access and Core (COMAC). The COMAC initiative was designed to unify the various access and core technologies over both mobile and broadband networks. - Cisco reported stable growth and company executives described a positive environment despite a government shutdown and trade war with China. Cisco shares this morning vaulted $2.03 (4%) to a new 52-week high on the back of a positive earnings report. - Cisco's pivot to software-based revenues was rewarded during its second-quarter earnings report after the market closed on Wednesday. Despite tariffs, Brexit and challenging currency issues overseas, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said on the earnings call that its enterprise customers were showing amazing resiliency as they continued to view technology as a core part of their growth strategies. - The company is on the offensive, building out its data centers and offices in the U.S. And yesterday, Google Cloud’s new CEO laid out his strategy to compete more aggressively against the other major public cloud providers. - SD-WAN vendor Cato Networks announced today that it has garnered certification as a RingCentral connectivity partner. The certification was a seal of approval for Cato Networks' compatibility with unified communications-as-a-service offerings. - AT&T first outlined a virtualization project back in 2013 as part of its Domain 2.0 initiative. The provider is now on the final leg of having 75% of its network virtualized by 2020, but there are still a few hurdles to clear on the stretch run. - Google Cloud’s new CEO says the company is setting its sights on more traditional enterprises, especially very large companies. And it’s building up its sales force and working with its channel partners. - Verizon has expanded the reach of its Secure Cloud Interconnect into Alibaba Cloud for private connections. The provider's customers that are looking to expand in the Asia-Pacific region can now do so with direct MPLS connections to Alibaba Cloud. - Ericsson and Intel announced a partnership to develop a software and hardware management platform for NFV, distributed cloud and 5G. The plan is to combine Ericsson's software-defined infrastructure management software with Intel's Rack Scale Design across the length of a multiyear contract. - Windstream Enterprise has added a SIEM service to its security arsenal to help midsized enterprises ward off security threats. Windstream's SIEM, which stands for security information and event management, monitors services for threats and helps businesses stay compliant with PCI and HIPAA regulatory requirements. - SD-Branch technology has matured to the point of deployment and is now delivering significant benefits to customers in terms of speed of deployment. Communications service providers should seize the (potentially large) opportunity to offer managed SD-Branch solutions to their business customers. - Wholesale carrier Epsilon expanded its reach in the U.S. last month by partnering with The Massachusetts Internet Exchange (MASS IX). Users of Epsilon's SDN-enabled Infiny by Epsilon platform can now "click-to-connect" to MASS IX and remotely peer with more than 40 content and cloud providers, regional ISPs and education networks. - Verizon issued $1 billion in green bonds on Friday, and it plans to use the proceeds to fund various sustainability initiatives. Part of the proceeds will support 5G-related projects in Verizon’s pipeline. This bond issuance follows closely on the heels of a $1 billion green bond issued by Telefonica. - 6WIND chalked up another customer win in its ongoing effort to replace virtual routers from Brocade with its own virtual routers. Czech Republic-based JHComp switched out its Brocade Vyatta vRouters with 6WIND's 10G Turbo Routers. - New York-based Zoovu has raked in $14 million in a series B round of funding that it will use to expand the use of its AI digital sales assistants. With the new funds, Zoovu will expand into the Asia-Pacific region as well as increase its investment in artificial intelligence and behavioral analytics. - In a rare waving of the white flag, Google Fiber announced Thursday that it was pulling up stakes in Louisville, Kentucky. In a company blog post, Google Fiber said it was pulling the plug on its fiber-based network on April 15, but it will be footing the bill for the next two months of service. - San Mateo, California-based Agile Stacks announced Thursday that it raised $6 million in a series A round of funding. The funding was led by Rosecliff Ventures and joined by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, along with initial investors Canaan and Alumni Ventures Group. - Nokia and German service provider M-net are laying claim to the industry's first transmission of a probabilistically shaped wavelength. M-net is the first carrier to trial Nokia's Photonic Service Engine 3 coherent digital signal processing technology. - T-Systems has helped one of the largest healthcare services groups in Asia migrate to Microsoft Azure's cloud. T-Systems, which is Deutsche Telekom's business services division, provided support to Zuellig Pharma for implementing SAP HANA in a public cloud. - Ciena followed through on its previously announced plan to make its Blue Planet software stack a more independent division. During Ciena's fourth-quarter earnings call in December, CEO Gary Smith said that Blue Planet would operate as its own division within Ciena separate from its hardware business. - Same song, different verse for Amazon Web Services as it continues to be the market leader in the cloud services sector, according to a report. Amazon Web Services increased its market share at the end of last year to the point where it is equivalent in size to the next four competitors combined. - White box and traditional switch vendors are driving the use of merchant silicon in data switches to new heights, according to a report. The IHS Markit report predicts that merchant silicon shipped in data center Ethernet switches will reach 63% of all units shipped in 2022. -