Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending May 17, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their ‘A’ game to the channel including Palo Alto Networks, WekaIO, Alkira, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Kyndryl and Ampere.

The Week Ending May 17

Topping this week’s Came to Win is cybersecurity giant Palo Alto Networks, which is making a key technology asset acquisition that will boost the market position of its Cortex XSIAM platform.

Also making this week’s list are WekaIO and Alkira for completing very impressive nine-figure funding rounds. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is on the list for unveiling a new version of its HPE GreenLake for Block Storage with which the company looks to establish itself as a leader in hybrid cloud AI based storage.

IT infrastructure services powerhouse Kyndryl made a key acquisition this week that expands its hybrid cloud service portfolio. And chip designer Ampere Computing made a big move in the highly competitive server CPU space with the unveiling of a 256-core CPU this week set to arrive next year.

Palo Alto Networks To Acquire IBM QRadar Assets As Consolidation Heats Up

Palo Alto Networks this week reached a deal to acquire IBM’s QRadar software-as-a-service assets in a move that aids the cybersecurity giant’s drive to bring more customers onto its Cortex XSIAM platform.

XSIAM (extended security intelligence and automation management) is Palo Alto Networks’ AI-powered platform for security operations teams, which debuted in late 2022 and competes with SIEM (security information and event management) products. IBM, meanwhile, launched its QRadar Suite for security analysts a year ago.

The two companies said Wednesday they will “facilitate the migration” of QRadar SaaS customers to Palo Alto Networks’ fast-growing XSIAM platform once the acquisition closes, likely by September.

Industry analysts said the deal is the latest example of accelerating consolidation in the security operations market with XDR vendors expanding into the traditional SIEM space. The acquisition “signals a sea change for the threat detection and response market,” Forrester principal analyst Allie Mellen wrote in a blog post.

WekaIO, Alkira Report Impressive Funding Rounds

At a time when venture capital remains tight, two companies this week reported nine-figure funding rounds to fuel their continued growth.

Data management platform developer WekaIO raised $140 million in an oversubscribed Series E round of funding that boosts the company’s valuation to $1.6 billion.

WekaIO said the funding will “augment the company’s considerable cash reserves” and provide “ample options” for scaling up its business to meet what it described as “accelerating global demand” for its AI-native data infrastructure. The additional funding will also allow the Campbell, Calif.-based company to expand development work on its data platform software and provide “liquidity to Weka employees.”

On-demand network infrastructure vendor Alkira closed a $100 million Series C round of funding, with executives reiterating the company’s 100-percent channel go-to-market strategy as it sees customer demand grow amid uncertainty with legacy vendors and to take advantage of growing interest in AI.

CTO and co-founder Atif Khan told CRN in an interview that the new funding will go toward growing the company’s marketing, sales, engineering, operations and other teams to meet expanding demand overseas, especially in Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

HPE Aims To ‘Leapfrog’ Competitors With Hybrid Cloud AI Ops-Based GreenLake For Block Storage

Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week unleashed a new version of HPE GreenLake for Block Storage that’s designed to “leapfrog” competitors and establish HPE as a leader in hybrid cloud AI based storage, said Sanjay Jagad, HPE vice president of product management, cloud data infrastructure.

The fourth release of GreenLake for Block Storage marks a pivotal point in HPE’s bid to reshape the storage landscape with what the company is calling the industry’s first disaggregated, scale-out block storage offered as software-defined storage with AWS support, said Jagad.

The new offerings include HPE GreenLake Block Storage For AWS, which allows HPE partners to “seamlessly manage” block storage across on-premises GreenLake and AWS public cloud environments, according to HPE.

Partners told CRN that HPE has a multiple-year lead on competitors in the battle for hybrid cloud leadership with the release of HPE GreenLake for Block Storage.

HPE is also poised to launch a new AI Partner Ready Vantage pilot program with a select group of hand-picked partners that will take the lead on capturing the massive AI market opportunity.

Kyndryl Expands Cloud Services Portfolio With Skytap Acquisition

IT infrastructure services powerhouse Kyndryl this week acquired Skytap, a Seattle-based provider of specialized workload services, in a move to expand its hybrid cloud service offerings and help move and run more workloads on the Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud platforms.

Skytap’s technologies, combined with New York-based Kyndryl’s expertise, will help customers utilize cloud native services to accelerate the adoption of advanced analytics, AI and development, security and operations (DevSecOps), the companies said.

Skytap also has strong capabilities for transitioning complex workloads to support hyperscaler environments and has the technology to enable customers to move and run mission-critical systems in the public cloud with minimum change.

Ampere Reveals 256-Core Server CPU, AI Partnership With Qualcomm In Big Update

Chip designer Ampere Computing made a big move this week in the highly competitive server CPU space this week, unveiling a 256-core server CPU set to arrive next year.

Ampere said it plans to release new versions of its AmpereOne server CPU next year that will scale up to 256 cores and use TSMC’s 3-nanometer manufacturing process. The company debuted AmpereOne last year as a custom CPU design that maxed out at 192 cores and is compatible with the Arm instruction set architecture.

The company is releasing the update as its much larger x86 rivals, Intel and AMD, push to compete with Ampere’s “cloud-native” Arm-based server processors on super high core counts.

Ampere also said it’s working with Qualcomm on a joint system that handles AI inference for large language models. The system will include a Supermicro server that’s equipped with Ampere CPUs – Ampere Altra or AmpereOne – and Qualcomm’s Cloud AI 100 accelerator chips.