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Vertical Systems Group has checked the pulse of the managed SD-WAN sector and AT&T came out on top of its leaderboard for 2018. While Vertical Systems Group is known for its Carrier Ethernet Leaderboard, this is the first time it has provided a benchmark for the managed SD-WAN sector. - While NFV has been a jungle of complexities for some service providers, CenturyLink continues to bushwhack its way to new horizons. CenturyLink is now on its fourth iteration of NFV, and while there have been some pain points along the way, CenturyLink's Bill Walker says the journey has been worth it. - CenturyLink is leveraging its SDN platform to offer a new multipoint Ethernet service across its global footprint. The new E-LAN service adds multipoint-to-multipoint capabilities to CenturyLink's Ethernet E-Services portfolio to help enterprises simplify their bandwidth needs and create multinational wide area networks to reduce cost and complexity. - To help assure that NFV rollouts will be successful, Spirent today announced a new NFV testing platform called Spirent CloudSure. Spirent claims that CloudSure is the first commercially available testing platform for assuring NFV performance based on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute's I GS NFV-TST 001 specification. - The bloom between Apstra and Cisco—both of whom offer intent-based networking solutions—has definitely withered. Up until this year, Apstra was a Cisco Partner and an invited attendee at the Cisco Live! conferences, but that has changed, according to Apstra's Michael Wood, CMO and vice president of product. - The Linux Foundation has taken the wraps off a new open source community to help cities with their increasingly complex transportation networks. The Urban Computing Foundation is pulling together software resources to improve mobility, safety, road infrastructure, traffic congestion and energy consumption across connected cities. - With the one-year anniversary of the EU's adoption of its GDPR coming up soon, Microsoft is calling on Congress to do the same in the U.S. - The Federal Trade Commission is broadening its antitrust probe of Broadcom to see if the chipmaker used its dominance to hamper competition. The FTC is reportedly looking for evidence that Broadcom's behavior harmed competition in the Wi-Fi and switch markets, according to a story by Bloomberg. - MistNet announced a $7 million series A round of funding on Tuesday and also launched its CyberMist detection platform. - HPE is buying supercomputing company Cray for $1.3 billion in a move that could boost its quantum-computing capabilities in the future. HPE is paying $35 per share for Cray, which is a $5.19 premium over Thursday's closing price of $29.81 per share. - Thanks to its fiber build-out, Deutsche Telekom announced that almost 39,000 more homes across Germany now have access to speeds of 100 Mbps. While the downstream speeds clock in at 100 Mbps, Deutsche Telekom said the upstream speeds now reach up 40 Mbps. - The Trump administration's ongoing efforts to throttle the use of some of Huawei's technology in the U.S. and abroad are starting to show results. Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom told their employees they would no longer supply Huawei until further notice, according to a story by Bloomberg. - In a seemingly surprise move, rivals Microsoft and Sony announced on Thursday they are teaming up on cloud-based gaming and AI solutions. Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 gaming platforms weren't specifically mentioned as being part of the memorandum of understanding the companies signed. - Juniper Networks announced it has selected Tata Consultancy Services to beef up its product assurance process with artificial intelligence and automation. Juniper is using TCS' AI-based Smart QE platform across its hardware and software security products. - A federal judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York has ruled that Charter Communications has to pay for letters that will be sent to Windstream subscribers. A preliminary injunction was filed on Wednesday that outlined the steps that Charter needs to take to remedy an advertising campaign that said Windstream, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, was going out of business. - According to a report by IHS Markit, uCPE processor sales will sail to $327 million by 2023, which would be a big jump from $7 million this year. The promise of universal customer premises equipment is based on using a single off-the-shelf box coupled with software instead of numerous pieces of equipment. - Cisco chalked up another customer win for its Viptela-based SD-WAN offering, and extended its partnership with Tata Communications in the process. While Tata and Cisco have long been technology partners, the two companies said Thursday they had expanded their partnership to create a fully managed hybrid SD-WAN solution for Tata. - Cisco turned in positive numbers during its third quarter earnings on Wednesday. Going forward, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins sees 5G builds and 400G deployments as opportunities for his company. - VMware is bolstering its application packaging toolset with the purchase of Bitnami, the company announced on Wednesday. VMware didn't disclose the price it was paying for San Francisco-based Bitnami, which makes prepackaged applications for the cloud. - Riverbed announced updates to its Digital Experience Management and SD-WAN offerings, but the headliner is an "accelerator" for SaaS applications. - With Atlanta a hot bed for the fintech industry, Flexential announced today that it has expanded its colocation facility in the Atlanta area. Flexential, which offers hybrid IT and data center solutions, completed a 70,000-square-foot expansion of the facility. - Frontier Communications CEO and President Dan McCarthy said at an investor conference his company is bouncing back thanks to several key projects. McCarthy said Frontier's fiber assets, improved field operations and customer care were key points in the company's turnaround efforts. - The TM Forum announced that AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Salesforce and China Telecom have signed on in support of its Open APIs. Those companies showed their support by signing the TM Forum's Open API Manifesto. - Ciena's Blue Planet is leveraging machine learning, automation and AI to proactively prevent up to 95% of service providers' network outages. Blue Planet announced a new software platform, Proactive Network Operations (PNO), that uses closed-loop automation to find the root causes of potential outages - While revenue was up for the large U.S. hyperscale cloud providers, capex took a slight hit year over year in the first quarter, according to a report. The hyperscale cloud market revenue in the U.S. grew 27% year over year in the first quarter, according to a report issued today by 650 Group. -

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