Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

CenturyLink Acquires Cloud Provider Savvis For $3.2 Billion

Telco CenturyLink swaggered up to the bar this week, ordered a double shot of whiskey and announced its intention to cloud provider and hosting operator Savvis for $3.2 billion.

The deal, if approved, would instantly vault CenturyLink into a position of strength in both hosting and cloud. It also serves as an emphatic response to other recent megadeals in the service provider space, including Verizon's $1.4 billion acquisition of Terremark and Time Warner Cable's $200 million buy of hosting provider NaviSite.

"We are creating a premiere managed hosting and managed services provider," CenturyLink CEO Glen F. Post III said this week, adding that Savvis will operate as its own entity.

Apple Plunks Down $4.5 Million For iCloud Domain Name

Apple is building a big data center in North Carolina and has also been reportedly working on an update to its MobileMe cloud storage offering. This week, Apple purchased the domain from Xcerion, a Sweden-based desktop-as-a-service company, for $4.5 million.

This is pocket change for Apple, which is sitting on a $65 billion mountain of cash. What it really shows is that Apple isn't scared off by all the industry hysteria around cloud computing, a thoroughly beaten-to-a-pulp buzzword, and plans to carve out its own similar-but-different interpretation of what a cloud service should be.

Fortinet's Profit Triples In Q1 On Raging UTM Sales

Security vendor Fortinet's profit tripled and revenue grew 36 percent in the company's fiscal Q1, and company executives were quick to attribute this to the market's zeal for regulatory compliance and unified threat management (UTM) solutions.

Fortinet's growth extended to large enterprise customers -- the company inked 111 deals of more than $100,000, with 18 of those deals surpassing $500,000. The company's services business also gained traction with a 26 percent year-over-year increase to $49 million from $39 million. Investors liked what they saw, and Fortinet's stock zoomed up more than 15 percent in the wake of the earnings report.

Citrix Rides Cloud, Desktop Virtualization Sales To Solid Q1

Citrix's profit jumped 55 percent, revenue rose 18 percent and operating margin grew 25 percent in Q1. investors reacted to the news like schoolkids being told their field trip includes a stopover at Dairy Queen. Citrix shares rose 9 percent in the wake of the news and are now at their highest level since 2000.

Citrix said it's Netscaler and XenDesktop business did especially well during the quarter and are helping companies, including many service providers, figure out the nuances of cloud infrastructure. It's another reflection of how virtualization and cloud computing are surging forward with momentum that shows no signs of waning. Wall Street, obviously, loves this kind of stuff.

Polycom Busts Free Of Underdog Status With Awesome April

Polycom's Q1 profit jumped nearly sevenfold and the company is giving Cisco a run for its money in the enterprise videoconferencing space.

Earlier this month, Polycom updated its Choice Program, adding more investment in Polycom specializations and enabling partners to earn rebates for the types of sales they make behind Polycom's UC Intelligent Core, the company's UC platform.