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ThousandEyes Launches Multi-Cloud Network Intelligence

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ThousandEyes Launches Multi-Cloud Network Intelligence

Enables companies to gain immediate insights into application experience for concurrent AWS, GCP and Azure deployments

As companies increasingly rely on multiple public cloud platforms to deliver applications or services, ThousandEyes today announced Network Intelligence coverage for multi-cloud environments. Now, organisations leveraging any combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), have the ability to measure and visualise app and network-layer performance metrics on a cloud-to-cloud, Internet-to-cloud and inter-region basis. Companies gain immediate and comprehensive visibility into every service delivery path in a multi-cloud environment, allowing them to overcome the complex operational challenges of multi-cloud deployments, accelerate cloud adoption and deliver superior digital experiences.

“Multi-cloud is the new enterprise architecture reality. At Equinix, our customers rely on our global platform of interconnection and data center solutions to bring together multiple networks and providers by providing an easy, fast and secure onramp to hybrid multi-cloud and digital ecosystems,” said Ryan Mallory, Senior Vice President of Global Solutions Enablement for Equinix. “ThousandEyes has pioneered a solution that enables both application and Internet-aware network visibility into every major cloud platform and their interdependencies, which empowers our customers see every network like it’s their own, and helps us deliver on our mission of cultivating powerful digital ecosystems on a global scale.”

Multi-Cloud Shifts to Mainstream

The rise in enterprise adoption of multi-cloud environments and modular application architectures is largely due to a desire to reduce vendor lock in and/or deploy best of breed services from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers like AWS, Azure and GCP. According to a recent Gartner report, “Gartner predicts that a strategy comprising multiple IaaS and PaaS providers will become the common approach for 80% of enterprises by 2019, up from less than 10% in 2015” (Gartner, Assessing the Strengths and Weaknesses of High-Value IaaS and PaaS Multicloud Use Cases, Elias Khnaser, January 17, 2018).

“Our research has found that multi-cloud architectures are driving change in enterprise IT. At the same time, we have observed increased interest in active test monitoring solutions for visibility into these cloud applications. We know that traditional monitoring tools that rely on packet capture, flow and SNMP have limited-to-no visibility into cloud-based application delivery and inter-service communication,” said Shamus McGillicuddy, Senior Analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. “By introducing cloud vantage points inside AWS, Azure and GCP, ThousandEyes is directly addressing an obvious and painful blind spot in today’s multi-cloud infrastructure. When the quality of digital experiences can make or break a company, visibility should be a mission-critical priority for any organisation running or even planning a multi-cloud environment.”

Immediate Network Insights for Multi-Cloud Deployments

ThousandEyes Network Intelligence for multi-cloud environments includes pre-provisioned and easy-to-deploy IaaS vantage points, including 15 AWS regions, 15 GCP regions and 30 Azure regions, as well as Agent-to-Agent tests between Cloud Agents. This provides the ability for IT teams to measure inter-region, hybrid and inter-cloud performance, map network paths and monitor connectivity between a combination of on-premises and cloud data centers. Companies are also enabled to adopt a data-driven approach when planning multi-cloud deployments, as well as provide immediate visibility into application delivery, network behavior and inter-service dependencies, and their impact on digital experience. Additionally, ThousandEyes Enterprise Agents can be deployed easier than ever before with pre-validated templates for the major IaaS providers, allowing for even deeper visibility from virtual private cloud (VPC) instances and availability zones.

 “Without visibility into every path that applications and services traverse on the Internet, enterprises are putting their blind faith in the complex chain of service providers involved in delivering their digital experiences. They’re actively risking their end user experience and its impact on revenue, brand reputation and employee productivity, and this issue is only compounded in a multi-cloud environment,” said Nick Kephart, senior director of product management at ThousandEyes. “Some of our largest and fastest-growing enterprise customers such as Box, JLL, Okta, Slack and Zuora already rely on ThousandEyes for visibility into the cloud. Expanding our global infrastructure to include pre-deployments directly inside major IaaS providers is a logical evolution that aligns with today’s multi-cloud reality and makes it easier than ever for them to ensure the delivery of superior digital experiences.”

ThousandEyes Network Intelligence coverage for multi-cloud environments is now generally available fromwww.thousandeyes.comor through approved partners.

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Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output

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Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output 1

By Ahmad Ghaddar

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell from recent highs for a second day on Friday as Texas energy firms began to prepare for restarting oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Brent crude futures were down $1.16, or 1.8%, to $62.77 per barrel, by 1150 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.42, or 2.4%, to $59.10 a barrel.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to analysts.

Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.

However, firms in the region on Friday were expected to prepare for production restarts as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.

“The market was ripe for a correction and signs of the power and overall energy situation starting to normalise in Texas provided the necessary trigger,” said Vandana Hari, energy analyst at Vanda Insights.

Oil fell despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]

The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about both nations returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

While the thawing relations could raise the prospect of reversing sanctions imposed by the previous U.S. administration, analysts did not expect Iranian oil sanctions to be lifted anytime soon.

“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon said.

(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; editing by Jason Neely)

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Analysis: Carmakers wake up to new pecking order as chip crunch intensifies

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Analysis: Carmakers wake up to new pecking order as chip crunch intensifies 2

By Douglas Busvine and Christoph Steitz

BERLIN (Reuters) – The semiconductor crunch that has battered the auto sector leaves carmakers with a stark choice: pay up, stock up or risk getting stuck on the sidelines as chipmakers focus on more lucrative business elsewhere.

Car manufacturers including Volkswagen, Ford and General Motors have cut output as the chip market was swept clean by makers of consumer electronics such as smartphones – the chip industry’s preferred customers because they buy more advanced, higher-margin chips.

The semiconductor shortage – over $800 worth of silicon is packed into a modern electric vehicle – has exposed the disconnect between an auto industry spoilt by decades of just-in-time deliveries and an electronics industry supply chain it can no longer bend to its will.

“The car sector has been used to the fact that the whole supply chain is centred around cars,” said McKinsey partner Ondrej Burkacky. “What has been overlooked is that semiconductor makers actually do have an alternative.”

Automakers are responding to the shortage by lobbying governments to subsidize the construction of more chip-making capacity.

In Germany, Volkswagen has pointed the finger at suppliers, saying it gave them timely warning last April – when much global car production was idled due to the coronavirus pandemic – that it expected demand to recover strongly in the second half of the year.

That complaint by the world’s No.2 volume carmaker cuts little ice with chipmakers, who say the auto industry is both quick to cancel orders in a slump and to demand investment in new production in a recovery.

“Last year we had to furlough staff and bear the cost of carrying idle capacity,” said a source at one European semiconductor maker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“If the carmakers are asking us to invest in new capacity, can they please tell us who will pay for that idle capacity in the next downturn?”

LOW-TECH CUSTOMER

The auto industry spends around $40 billion a year on chips – about a tenth of the global market. By comparison, Apple spends more on chips just to make its iPhones, Mirabaud tech analyst Neil Campling reckons.

Moreover, the chips used in cars tend to be basic products such as micro controllers made under contract at older foundries – hardly the leading-edge production technology in which chipmakers would be willing to invest.

“The suppliers are saying: ‘If we continue to produce this stuff there is nowhere else for it to go. Sony isn’t going to use it for a Playstation 5 or Apple for its next iPhone’,” said Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics.

Chipmakers were surprised by the panicked reaction of the German car industry, which persuaded Economy Minister Peter Altmaier to write a letter in January to his counterpart in Taiwan to ask its semiconductor makers to supply more chips.

No extra supplies were forthcoming, with one German industry source joking that the Americans stood a better chance of getting more chips from Taiwan because they could at least park an aircraft carrier off the coast – referring to the ability of the United States to project power in Asia.

Closer to home, a source at another European chipmaker expressed disbelief at the poor understanding at one carmaker of how it operates.

“We got a call from one auto maker that was desperate for supply. They said: Why don’t you run a night shift to increase production?” this person said.

“What they didn’t understand is that we have been running a night shift since the beginning.”

NO QUICK FIX

While Infineon, the leading supplier of chips to the global auto industry, and Robert Bosch, the top ‘Tier 1’ parts supplier, both plan to commission new chip plants this year, there is little chance of supply shortages easing soon.

Specialist chipmakers like Infineon outsource some production of automotive chips to contract manufacturers led by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), but the Asian foundries are currently prioritising high-end electronics makers as they come up against capacity constraints.

Over the longer term, the relationship between chip makers and the car industry will become closer as electric vehicles are more widely adopted and features such as assisted and autonomous driving develop, requiring more advanced chips.

But, in the short term, there is no quick fix for the lack of chip supply: IHS Markit estimates that the time it takes to deliver a microcontroller has doubled to 26 weeks and shortages will only bottom out in March.

That puts the production of 1 million light vehicles at risk in the first quarter, says IHS Markit. European chip industry executives and analysts agree that supply will not catch up with demand until later in the year.

Chip shortages are having a “snowball effect” as auto makers idle some capacity to prioritize building profitable models, said Anwar at Strategy Analytics, who forecasts a drop in car production in Europe and North America of 5%-10% in 2021.

The head of Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics, Jean-Marc Chery, forecasts capacity constraints will affect carmakers until mid-year.

“Up to the end of the second quarter, the industry will have to manage at the lean inventory level,” Chery told a recent Goldman Sachs conference.

(Douglas Busvine from Berlin and Christoph Steitz from Frankfurt; Additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gilles Gillaume in Paris; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets

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Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets 3

By Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters) – The Australian dollar rose to near a three-year high and the British pound scaled $1.40 for the first time since 2018 on optimism about economic rebounds in the two countries and after the U.S. dollar was knocked by disappointing jobs data.

The U.S. currency had been rising in recent days as a jump in Treasury yields on the back of the so-called reflation trade drew investors. But an unexpected increase in U.S. weekly jobless claims soured the economic outlook and sent the dollar lower overnight.

On Friday it traded down 0.3% against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index at 90.309.

The Aussie rose 0.8% to $0.784, its highest since March 2018. The currency, which is closely linked to commodity prices and the outlook for global growth, has been helped by a recent rally in commodity prices.

The New Zealand dollar also gained, and was not far off a more than two-year high, while the Canadian dollar rose too.

Sterling rose to $1.4009 on Friday, an almost three-year high amid Britain’s aggressive vaccination programme.

Given the size of Britain’s vital services sector, analysts say the faster it can reopen the economy, the better for the currency. Sterling was also helped by better-than-expected purchasing managers index flash survey data for February.

The U.S. dollar has been weighed down by a string of soft labour data, even as other indicators have shown resilience, and as President Joe Biden’s pandemic relief efforts take shape, including a proposed $1.9 trillion spending package.

Despite the recent rise in U.S. yields, many analysts think they won’t climb too much higher, limiting the benefit for the dollar.

“Our view remains that the Fed will hold the line and remain very cautious about tapering asset purchases. We think it will keep communicating that tightening is very far off, which should dampen pro-dollar sentiment,” said UBS Global Wealth Management strategist Gaétan Peroux and analyst Tilmann Kolb.

ING analysts said “the rise in rates will be self-regulating, meaning the dollar need not correct too much higher”.

They see the greenback index trading down to the 90.10 to 91.05 range.

U.S. dollar

Aussie and sterling hit multi-year highs on recovery bets 4

The euro rose 0.4% to $1.2134. The single currency showed little reaction to purchasing manager index data, which showed a slowdown in business activity in February. However, factories had their busiest month in three years, buoying sentiment.

The dollar bought 105.39 yen, down 0.3% and a continued retreat from the five-month high of 106.225 reached Wednesday.

(Editing by Hugh Lawson and Pravin Char)

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