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5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

For the week ending Nov. 30, CRN takes a look at the companies that brought their 'A' game to the channel.

The Week Ending Nov. 30

Topping this week's roundup of companies that came to win is Amazon Web Services for making a bold move into hybrid cloud computing with its new Outposts systems.

Also making the list this week are Hewlett Packard Enterprise for its acquisition of Data-as-a-Service provider BlueData, Red Hat for expanding its container strategy with its NooBaa acquisition, D&H for an alliance with Fujitsu that will help partners expand their document management offerings, and Wind River, whose real-time OS technology played a pivotal role in this week's InSight landing on Mars.

Not everyone in the IT industry was making smart moves this week, of course. For a rundown of companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions, check out this week's Five Companies That Had A Rough Week roundup.

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Cloud Giant AWS Makes Move Into – Gasp! – On-Premises Computing

Recognizing that it's a hybrid-computing world, Amazon Web Services this week debuted AWS Outposts, a line of fully managed and configured compute and storage racks – built with AWS hardware – that can run in a customer's on-premises IT environment.

AWS said the new hardware will run AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) with the ability to seamlessly connect to AWS services running in the cloud. The integrated hardware will run either native AWS services or VMware services.

That also makes the announcements a win for VMware, which has been developing a tighter relationship with AWS of late. In addition to playing a critical role in AWS Outposts, VMware debuted its new VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts and VMware Cloud Foundation for EC2 offerings as part of the Outposts launch.

AWS Outposts product are expected to be sold through the AWS and VMware partner networks.

AWS Outposts is a significant gamble for AWS as it puts the cloud company into direct competition with IT hardware giants like Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Cisco. And the AWS Outposts systems aren't expected to hit the market until the second half of 2019.

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HPE Accelerates Big Data, AI Efforts With Acquisition Of BlueData

Hewlett Packard Enterprise made a bold move this week to inject big data software and artificial intelligence technology into its software-defined infrastructure when it struck a deal to acquire BlueData Software.

BlueData's Data-as-a-Service platform makes it simpler and more cost-effective to deploy large-scale business analytics and machine learning workloads. HPE plans to fold BlueData into its Apollo systems and professional services, leveraging the container-based platform to help customers improve agility and reduce infrastructure costs.

The move is also likely to create opportunities for HPE's channel partners who develop big data analytics, AI and machine learning solutions, particularly for customer digital transformation initiatives.

HPE also kicked its IoT edge computing efforts into high gear with this week's launch of its Edgeline OT Link platform.

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Red Hat Boosts Container Strategy With Acquisition Of Startup NooBaa

Red Hat may be in the process of being acquired by IBM, but the open-source software vendor isn't sitting still while that lengthy process plays out.

This week Red Hat acquired storage software startup NooBaa and will fold the company and its technology into the Red Hat storage portfolio with an eye toward enhancing its container technology strategy.

The ultimate goal is to use NooBaa's technology to bring a comprehensive set of data services to the Red Hat storage portfolio, including Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat OpenShift Container Storage.

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D&H Offers Partners Document Dominance With Fujitsu Deal

D&H Distributing signed an agreement with Fujitsu Computer Products of America this week that will create new document management sales and services opportunities for D&H channel partners.

Under the agreement D&H will distribute Fujitsu's line of sophisticated desktop scanners, including the flagship ScanSnap iX1500 and the iX500 color scanner, with Nuance PDF management software.

By offering VARs the chance to carry the Fujitsu technology, D&H is helping its channel partners stay competitive in the as-a-service arena and providing them with new document management service opportunities.

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Wind River Software Plays Key Role In Mars Mission

The successful landing of the unmanned InSight on Mars this week caught everyone's attention. And it also marked a triumph for IoT and embedded software developer Wind River.

InSight uses Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system. InSight's autonomous operations during its harrowing 12,300 miles-per-hour descent to the Martian surface called for making course adjustments based on real-time readings and required the ability to react in sub-milliseconds.

VxWorks has also been a critical component of other NASA excursions including the Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, and Deep Space 1, Cygnus and Juno.

Wind River was owned by semiconductor giant Intel for nearly 10 years before selling it to a private equity firm in June. This week's news provides a welcome boost to the company's future as an independent company.

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