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Avaya's bankruptcy protection is a 'good thing,' says Europe North veep
Monday, 30 January 2017 19:33

Ronald Rubens, Europe North veep at telecommunications biz Avaya, is busy doing some serious damage limitation, after the US Avaya parent company filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

When Rubens and Gary Barnett, senior VP and general manager of engagement solutions at the biz, spoke to El Reg last week, it was in a taxi on the way to meet “a very important customer” in the UK.

“We’re very busy over the meeting and reassuring customers and partners,” he said.

The chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its $6.3bn (£5bn) in debt only affects Avaya’s US subsidiaries – its foreign entities

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Secret HPE letter tells sales team and partners to keep selling Arista 'confidently'
Monday, 30 January 2017 13:29

HPE has gone the full Rick Astley with Arista, telling its sales team and partners customers it will never give it up, let it down, run around or desert it.

In a hoped-to-be-secret letter to “HPE Sales and Channel Partners” sighted by The Register , and signed by HPE's chief of enterprise group sales Peter Ryan and veep/GM for data centre networking Dominic Wilde, the company says: “Recent developments in this case are likely to receive media attention, so we wanted to share this communication with you.”

Those “developments” are a January 13, 2017, letter [PDF] from the United States

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Happy Friday: Busted Barracuda update borks corporate firewalls
Saturday, 28 January 2017 08:03

Updated A firmware update pushed to Barracuda firewalls has knocked out boxes in large firms and crippled networks, we're told.

The change was sent out to customer gear by Barracuda on Friday morning Pacific Time, according to a source familiar with the matter. The update is automatically installed, and promptly caused the devices to fall over.

It is believed bugged geolocation data in the update causes the hardware's processors to overload and crash systems. Rebooting boxes does not clear the problem: you're still left with a dead firewall. The geolocation database is typically used to filter traffic from particular countries.

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Huawei could rescue Amazon's Alexa from the smart home
Thursday, 26 January 2017 21:00

Analysis Huawei’s upcoming launch of a smartphone incorporating Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will mark a new phase in one of the most important battles for the modern internet experience.

Voice-activated assistants - which use powerful AI engines to deliver detailed, context-aware and personalized answers to users’ questions – are the way in which web giants hope to place themselves at the heart of a user’s whole range of activities, whether they are in their smart home, connected car, at work or on the phone.

Apple Siri kicked off the race, though the company seems to have lost its early momentum

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Facebook, Cumulus take on Cisco with 128 ports of open networking iron
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 18:19
Facebook's Backpack switch

You'll need more than a Backpack to haul this around

Facebook has pulled apart a bunch of its Wedge 100 Gbps switches and reassembled them as a hefty 128-port 100 Gbps open network switch dubbed "Backpack."

The Backpack switch was announced at this week's Disaggregate Networking event.

It runs Facebook's FBOSS networking and OpenBMC baseboard management implementations, and The Social Network says the Backpack chassis is “equivalent to a set of 12 Wedge 100 switches connected together”.

Backpack's internal topology is simple: four fabric cards meshed to the line cards.

Cumulus Networks moved in parallel, announcing that Backpack running Cumulus

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US Army's spun-off GPU database gets ready for more matrix operations
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 01:36

Kinetica, the in-memory GPU-accelerated database, is adding user-defined functions (UDFs) to contribute to more sophisticated analytic workloads.

Eric Mizell, Kinetica's global solution engineering veep, told The Register that the company was keen to discourage the idea of “data science as a black box”.

Although Kinetica believes offering customers the opportunity to dodge the tedium of defining schemas would be a good sell, Mizell acknowledged the company was “still in the convincing mode” rather than eating into the competition's market. He was full of praise for the city's fintech, telling us: “Financial groups in London are more advanced than anywhere else

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