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VELOCLOUD SD-WAN SECURITY ECOSYSTEM EXPANDS WITH ADDITIONAL BEST-OF-BREED SECURITY COMPANIES

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VELOCLOUD SD-WAN SECURITY ECOSYSTEM EXPANDS WITH ADDITIONAL BEST-OF-BREED SECURITY COMPANIES

Symantec, VMware and Forcepoint Join the Industry’s Established SD-WAN Ecosystem; IBM Security Adds Integration with IBM QRadar

VeloCloud™ Networks, Inc., the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN company, today announced that the recently introduced VeloCloud SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program continues to gain broad industry momentum and membership growth with additional industry leaders joining the program.

Symantec, VMware and Forcepoint are among the latest members of the VeloCloud SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program, joining inaugural members IBM Security, Check Point Software Technologies, Fortinet, and Zscaler.

The SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program blends the industry’s most flexible enterprise SD-WAN architecture with the world’s best-of-breed security solutions. VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables enterprises to run advanced wide area networks that incorporate security at the Edge, at the Data Center and in the Cloud, all under a single uniform business policy. The resulting secure SD-WAN solution strengthens security by simplification and automation while reducing costs related to box sprawl and manual operations.

IBM Security, a strategic VeloCloud technology partner delivering Secure SD-WAN services globally, has now added VeloCloud SD-WAN integration with its industry leading IBM QRadar SIEM solution to offer as part of its managed security services solution for Fortune 1000 customers globally.

“IBM Security provides a single pane of glass for cloud and hybrid deployment models to ensure exceptional end-to-end security intelligence and threat monitoring,” said Srini Tummalapenta, IBM Chief Architect & Distinguished Engineer, IBM Security Services. “Integration with VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN is enabling business with a complete Cloud Securityhub which connects multiple cloud services, branch offices, and private datacenters with IBM QRadar, providing the single pane of glass for security intelligence and threat monitoring.”

“The addition of more industry leaders to the expanding VeloCloud SD-WAN Security ecosystem is an indication of the importance of tighter integration between the leading SD-WAN and security solutions,” said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and Co-Founder of VeloCloud. “Enterprises want to realize the tremendous business benefits that SD-WAN delivers without any compromise in security, and this ecosystem of the industry’s elite enables them to accomplish that goal.”

VeloCloud is also part of the Symantec Technology Integration Partner Program (TIPP) which fosters deep technical integrations ranging from visionary startups to leading vendors and enhances enterprise customers’ ability to fight cybercrime.

“Enterprises across the world rely on Symantec to address the challenges of the cloud generation through our Integrated Cyber Defense Platform, which protects against sophisticated attacks on premises and in the cloud,” said Peter Doggart, vice president of Business Development for Symantec. “By partnering with VeloCloud, joint customers can now optimize traffic performance to the Symantec™ Web Security Service (WSS) while also reducing cost.”

The SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program spans all three parts of the SD-WAN security framework comprising network, cloud and management. This includes network security interoperability in the branch and security Virtual Network Function (VNF) integration on the VeloCloud Edge; Cloud security via direct connect from branch to cloud and security in IaaS through VeloCloud Edges and VeloCloud Gateways; and interfaces to leading Security Operations Centers, SIEM solutions and security analytics.

“All our research in recent times reveals a common desire among CIOs to increase efficiency agility and performance without compromising security,” said Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst of ZK Research. “Tight integration between SD-WAN and best-of-breed security solutions is key to the transformation of enterprise networks that is currently underway.”

VeloCloud is already part of the VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) and has VMware Ready™ status for VMware Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). VMware vCloud® NFV™ brings together the core virtualization and management components required to accelerate NFV deployment enabling Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to deploy a unified, multi-vendor and multi-function NFV platform that supports any application at all stages of cloud evolution.

“VMware vCloud NFV is an integrated, modular and multi-tenancy NFV platform which enables wireline and wireless service providers to deploy an elastic business model for cross-cloud services and service enablement while simplifying networks and reducing TCO,” said Gabriele Di Piazza, vice president of solutions, Telco NFV Group, VMware. “As part of the VeloCloud SD-WAN Technology Partner Program, VMware and our mutual customers are leveraging the VeloCloud API, SDK and VNF framework to enable Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN and advanced security in the data center, cloud and network-wide.”

Recognizing the strong demand for interoperability with existing and future security solutions, VeloCloud established a scalable framework that allows enterprises to seamlessly integrate their preferred security technology with Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN. Technology Partners have access to the extensible VeloCloud Technology Partner SD-WAN API (orchestration, control & data) and SDK, along with the VeloCloud VNF framework. Partners can also enable integration and service insertion with the VeloCloud VNF-ready Platform Development Framework supporting integrated security VNF. For more information or to join the SD-WAN Security Ecosystem, see [insert URL].

“QOS Consulting is in the process of implementing VeloCloud SD-WAN integrated with security and SIEM services for some of our highly distributed enterprise customers,” said Frank Cittadino, CEO of QOS Consulting, a VeloCloud channel partner. “Our strong operational experience with security integration enables us to immediately recognize the importance and value of this VeloCloud initiative for accelerating SD-WAN adoption.”

Working with VeloCloud, Forcepoint enables the insertion of advanced cloud security services for enterprises while providing an interoperable solution with SD-WAN deployments.

“In today’s zero perimeter world, businesses rely on secure multi-cloud environments to enable employees to get their job done from anywhere, on any device,” said Marc Padovani, Senior Director Product Management, Cloud Security at Forcepoint. “Cloud security and protecting networks from the most advanced threats are essential in this ecosystem. Forcepoint joined the VeloCloud SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program to deliver our enterprise, system integrator and service provider customers yet another layer of confidence they are implementing a secure SD-WAN interoperable with their most business critical cloud services.”

“TPx Communications has been at the forefront of network, cloud and services technology,” said Jared Martin, Vice President, ITx Managed Services for TPx Communications, a VeloCloud channel partner. “TPx Communications is taking a leadership role, again, as a VeloCloud Powered SD-WAN provider and by delivering cloud security services based on best of breed technologies from the VeloCloud SD-WAN Security Technology Partner Program.”

VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables Enterprises to securely support application growth, network agility, and simplified branch and end-point implementations while delivering optimized access to cloud services, private data centers and enterprise applications. Global Service Providers are able to increase revenue, deliver advanced services and increase flexibility by delivering elastic transport, performance for cloud applications, and integrated advanced services all via a zero-touch deployment and operations model. Both Enterprises and Service Providers benefit from the multi-tenant cloud gateway architecture and the ability to support real-time applications over private, broadband, and wireless links continuing to demonstrate that The Cloud is the Network.

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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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