Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

HP Spending $1 Billion On Big Data This Year

Hewlett-Packard is planning to invest close to $1 billion this year in R&D and marketing for its big data software portfolio. HP Software chief George Kadifa told CRN about $800 million is going to Vertica and Autonomy, with the rest being spent on joint projects between HP Software and the storage team in HP's Enterprise Group.

"We believe that’s a huge number, especially compared to our competition in the marketplace," Kadifa told CRN in a recent interview. "That’s in addition to the $11 billion we spent on [acquiring] Autonomy and Vertica."

Amazon Slashes EC2 Pricing Again For Virtual Linux Servers

Amazon often cuts pricing for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) virtual servers and did so once again this week, lopping up to 28 percent off the cost of EC2 Reserved Instances running Linux/UNIX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

"With this price reduction, Reserved Instances will provide savings of up to 65 percent in comparison to On-Demand instances," Jeff Barr, senior evangelist for Amazon Web Services, said in a Monday blog post.

IBM Cozies Up To OpenStack With New Management Tools

IBM unveiled its first private-cloud management tools based on OpenStack this week at its Pulse conference in Las Vegas. IBM executives gushed about how this will make it easier to deploy, monitor and control cloud services in hybrid cloud environments.

"History has shown that open source and standards are hugely beneficial to end customers and are a major catalyst for innovation," said Robert LeBlanc, IBM senior vice president of software, in a statement. "Just as standards and open source revolutionized the web and Linux, they will also have a tremendous impact on cloud computing."

Storage Startup Actifio Scores $50 Million VC Investment, Mulling IPO

Storage startup Actifio scored a $50 million venture capital round that brings its total funding to date to nearly $108 million. Understandably chuffed by this turn of events, Actifio's executives are now openly discussing an IPO, which they say could happen within the next 14 to 24 months.

"In this market, a leader has to be a public company," Ash Ashutosh, CEO of the Waltham, Mass.-based storage vendor, told CRN. "There is a cachet about going public, and questions about future survivability go away."

ShoreTel Sets Sights On iPad With New UC, Collaboration Tools

ShoreTel rolled out a new unified communications offering specifically aimed at iPad users. ShoreTel explained that it's focusing on the iPad, rather than Windows 8- or Android-based tablets, because the iPad is pretty much top dog in terms of driving the BYOD trend in the enterprise.

"The Apple iPad has quickly become the most popular tablet brought by users into the workplace," said Peter Blackmore, CEO of ShoreTel, in a statement. "ShoreTel transforms the iPad into a true multimodal business communications device for placing and receiving calls just like a desk phone, for sending and responding to instant messages, and for easily collaborating with other PC, Mac and iPad users."