5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending March 13

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include a converged infrastructure startup that scored big in venture capital, another startup that emerged from stealth mode and threatens to disrupt the traditional data center technology market, a key Hewlett-Packard hire in its critical data storage business, the first deliverables from a Cisco-Microsoft alliance and a telecom company's channel program launch.

SimpliVity Raises $175 Million In Financing, Takes Aim At Midmarket

The converged infrastructure arena has been a battle among both established companies and startups. This week, startup SimpliVity stunned its hyper-converged infrastructure competitors when it raised $175 million in series D financing. That brings its total investment to an eye-popping $276 million and valuation to more than $1 billion.

Investors included such top-name venture capital firms as Waypoint Capital, Accell Partners, and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers.

SimpliVity sells 100 percent through the channel. The company plans to use the funding to finance its rapid growth, enable its channel partners to reach more midmarket customers, and develop its technology to meet a wider range of customers.

Vapor IO Emerges From Stealth To Disrupt The Data Center

SimpliVity wasn't the only market disrupter making news this week. Vapor IO, an Austin, Texas-based startup, exited stealth mode and unveiled its technology -- under development for nine months -- which the company said will power the data centers of the future.

The company's product line includes a hyper-collapsed server rack, management and analytics software, and open-source server monitoring tools. The vision, according to founder and CEO Cole Crawford, is that a new generation of cloud data centers will be built within dense urban areas that require smaller footprints and demand less power. Such data centers, located at the edge of major networks, will power the emerging Internet of Things.

Vapor IO's goal is to become the supplier of the compact, low-touch data analytics platforms that such data centers will require.

HP Hires Former NetApp Exec To Manage Its Storage Business

Hewlett-Packard has hired an experienced NetApp veteran to run the HP Storage business. Manish Goel started this week as the new senior vice president and general manager of HP storage.

The hire is an indication that HP is ready to take its storage business to the next level. While that business has been growing, HP partners said the company has been more focused on products rather than storage solutions. Partners said that will likely change with Goel joining the company.

Cisco And Microsoft Join Forces For New Cloud Platform

Cisco and Microsoft this week rolled out a package of cloud software that links Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technology with Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform. The new offering, the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform, is the first tangible result of a three-year deal the companies struck last year to improve integration across their data center product portfolios and jointly market their technology.

The joint architecture is a win for solution providers who partner with either -- or both -- vendors. As customers build cloud systems that incorporate products from both vendors, the Cisco-Microsoft initiative will reduce the amount of integration work solution providers have to do.

Telco Systems To Rely On The Channel For Up To 40 Percent Of Sales

Telco Systems, a developer of "edge telecom network" systems and services, this week launched a channel partner program that is expected to generate as much as 40 percent of the Mansfield, Mass.-based company's sales.

The new Open Edge Alliance program will help technology and channel partners develop applications that become fully certified components of Telco's systems. Company executives said the program is a direct response to the wants and needs of customers who require broad solution suites.