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Mellanox’s Messaging Resonance Not Key to Success

July, 2015

Mellanox Technologies is a typical Israeli-based firm in the datacom/telecom space in that it excels at technology development, but not necessarily from a marketing/sales perspective. While the vendor has expanded internationally and has its second headquarters in the US (including several of the top CXOs), which is potentially helpful to corporate communications, it appears that much of the culture still reflects Yokneam rather than Sunnyvale. Nonetheless, although getting its fair share of appreciation for its technical strengths may at times be problematic for Mellanox, its rather consistently positive financial performance as well as its impressive installed base of customers speak volumes – and when the supplier happens to place an emphasis in its messaging in a potentially questionable way, insufficient outside attention may actually be quite beneficial. A good illustration of...

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Google’s Surrender to Extreme Environmentalist Pressure – Hit to Optics

July, 2015

When it comes to defending its overwhelmingly dominant position on the Internet or in extracting the very last penny in its network cost, Google will play hardball with the best of them. Yet, when it has to do with the quite hyperbolic attacks of the company’s existence supposedly playing a role in destroying the earth, it has almost totally capitulated (partially for political reasons), dramatically increasing the pressure on other cloud players to do likewise. It appears to be a big reason that fewer and larger Data Centers (DCs) are being built by these huge enterprises, which will probably have a negative impact on the fiber optic industry. Many people in the world are genuinely concerned about the environment and will support reasonable changes to protect the planet. There are others who erroneously view any kind of technological advancement, especially in western countries, as a...

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Microsoft’s Network: Hitches with Quasi-Carrier Mindset

August, 2015

Microsoft has been caught in the undesirable middle with its Data Center (DC) infrastructure between striving to innovate with the lowest cost, state-of-the-art optical solutions as a huge enterprise player, and reconciling it with a historical propensity to use standard service provider equipment, which often has proprietary aspects that make it a more expensive proposition. The proclivity toward the latter seems to have also resulted in more of a carrier mentality in terms of a “pay-as-you-go” type of situation, constantly responding to bandwidth growth spurts throughout its global network, but there are apparently no signs of an effort to do a full redesign of its intra- and inter-data center build-out to really get out in front of accommodating the rising needs for data transmission. While such a move would be quite costly, it also adds up to an exorbitant amount with its...

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Avago’s Spinoff of Optics in Short Term?

August, 2015

While for now, Avago Technologies will be preoccupied with the immense and time-consuming effort of its integration process with Broadcom, not too long afterwards, it would not be surprising if there would be a spin-off that would include a large number of the combined company’s optical networking assets. The progressive shift from a technology-focused firm to one that is more business-oriented should inevitably go beyond just making further sizable acquisitions, but to improve the balance sheet through aggressive divestment. Although KKR does not hold a stake in Avago anymore, we believe the supplier has been heavily influenced by the private equity firm’s modus operandi – purchase assets, find value, package parts, and sell off. One may easily presume that calling the merger, “Broadcom” instead of “Avago” probably has significance for its future technology direction....

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Inphi a Threat to InnoLight or Kaiam?

August, 2015

Once again, we have a natural affinity for the proposition of taking advantage of electronics, such as higher order modulation, to better enable optics by squeezing more data onto a single wavelength. However, by the time, Inphi is ready to ramp up production fully on its four-level pulse amplitude modulation devices, both InnoLight Technology and Kaiam will have sold a large quantity of their optical-centric componentry to both hyperscale Data Center (DC) operators as well as to OEM providers. Hopefully, within this time, Kaiam will have joined its direct competitor in filing for an IPO (assuming a certain amount of stabilization in the stock market) by stressing the former, sexier types of customers, “Google Plus,” forgive the pun. So, in effect, to whatever extent Inphi has success with PAM-4, for all intents and purposes, it will perhaps indefinitely, likely be more of a...

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