5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 2

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include some key strategic alliances, including a deal between HP and Foxconn in the hyperscale server arena and a partnership between CSC and Amazon in the cloud computing market. Also making the list is a key storage acquisition by Red Hat, an effort by Cisco and EMC to clear up VCE channel confusion, and EMC's move into software-defined storage.

HP, Foxconn Alliance Seeks Server Price-Performance Boost

Hewlett-Packard and Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology struck a strategic commercial agreement this week to develop a line of servers the companies said would deliver dramatic breakthroughs in server price-performance.

The project will disrupt traditional hyperscale server design, according to the companies, creating new cloud-optimized servers specifically targeted toward service providers. HP and Foxconn, already major players in the server arena, are angling to grab an even bigger share of the market for hyperscale servers that IDC forecasts will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15 percent to 20 percent through 2018.

Acquisition Expands Red Hat's Open-Source Storage Lineup

Red Hat this week said it's shelling out $175 million to acquire Inktank Storage, lead developer of the open-source Ceph distributed file system and data storage platform.

Red Hat is best known for its open-source Linux, JBoss middleware and virtualization software. The company established a beachhead in the storage technology market when it acquired Gluster, developer of the GlusterFS scale-out NAS file system. The Inktank acquisition should accelerate Red Hat's growing presence in the open-source storage arena.

CSC Accelerates Cloud Push With Amazon Partnership

CSC is teaming up with Amazon Web Services to create what the systems integrator calls the CSC Global Cloud Center of Excellence, an Austin, Texas-based operation that will help enterprise and government customers develop cloud processes, migrate them to AWS or CSC's BizCloud private cloud service, and integrate various private and hybrid cloud systems.

CSC has been aggressively expanding its cloud computing business, including acquiring enterprise cloud management company ServiceMesh in October. CSC's goal is to be a cloud solutions leader rather than simply having cloud services as just another portfolio offering.

EMC Makes A Move In Software-Defined Storage

Looking to get a jump on the virtualized storage movement, EMC this week unveiled its Project Liberty initiative to develop a software-defined version of its VNX array that can run in hosted or cloud environments. The company disclosed its plans on the eve of its EMC World conference in Las Vegas.

EMC aims to be a leader in the software-defined storage market, leveraging its majority ownership in VMware to develop software-defined data center technologies. The company hopes to bring a software-defined VNX array to market in the next one to two years, the company said.

Amazon Reportedly Aims To Design Its Own Server Processors

Amazon apparently isn't happy just running its own data centers. The company has hired several chip engineers from Calxeda, the defunct developer of ARM-based servers, and is recruiting CPU and system architect engineers for a new chip design center for its Amazon Web Services cloud business in Austin, Texas, according to a report from the Gigaom news site.

If the report is true, it could bring considerable price pressure against Intel and possibly drive down the cost of computing, the CEO of a CRN Solution Provider 500 company told CRN. "Amazon has the money and manpower to get it done," he said.