5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending June 12

This week's roundup of companies that came to win include Nutanix's hypervisor challenge to VMware; Sophos' acquisition of email security developer Reflexion Networks; Dell's alliance with software-defined networking vendor Pluribus Networks; startup Arcadia Data's answer to Hadoop challenges; and rapid growth for solution provider Trace3.

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.

Nutanix Unveils Own Hypervisor, Signals Its Competitive Ambitions

Nutanix has been making waves in the industry with its hyper-converged infrastructure systems. But the company, which held its first customer conference in Miami this week, unveiled its own KVM server hypervisor and management software that it pitched as a way for customers to save money on VMware vSphere licensing costs.

Going even further, Nutanix debuted its "App Mobility Fabric" technology that automatically converts virtual machines from VMware format to KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V. That puts Nutanix on a competitive collision course with VMware in the business of managing virtual workloads.

We may have just seen Nutanix's first move in what could be an epic battle with VMware for control of the data center.

Sophos Acquires Email Security Vendor To Aid MSPs

Sophos this week officially announced that it had acquired Reflexion Networks to bolster its offerings around cloud-based email security. The acquisition fills a gap in Sophos' product portfolio, and could provide for better integration with professional service automation and remote management and monitoring platforms such as Autotask and ConnectWise.

CRN first reported the pending deal last month. Besides providing a competitive advantage for Sophos, the acquisition is also a win for Reflexion Networks' reseller and MSP partners by giving them access to higher-value services in web security, antivirus software and unified threat management. Both Sophos and Reflexion sell exclusively through the channel.

Dell Goes On SDN Offensive With Pluribus Alliance

Dell took another competitive swing at Cisco this week, forging a partnership with Pluribus Networks through which Pluribus will support its Pluribus Open Netvisor Linux operating system on Dell's open networking switches.

The move gives Dell a software-defined networking solution the company can use to go head-to-head against Cisco in the fast-growing SDN market, competing with what the vendor said is a lower-priced alternative. Dell also makes the argument that customers are seeking choice and alternatives to Cisco's proprietary hardware and software.

Arcadia Data Launches Visual Analytics For Hadoop, Raises $11.5M

Anyone in the business analytics world will tell you: It's not easy getting information and insights out of Hadoop. This week, startup Arcadia Data offered an answer to that conundrum when it debuted technology that can directly access data stored in Hadoop clusters and data visualization tools everyday business workers can use to derive value from that data.

Arcadia Data, which has been in stealth mode since its 2012 founding, made a splash this week when it unveiled the fruits of its development work and announced $11.5 million in Series A venture funding.

The market for software that works with Hadoop is becoming very crowded. But Arcadia Data is determined to stand out.

Solution Provider Trace3 Rides Cloud, Big Data To Impressive Growth

Solution provider Trace3 is having a very good year. This week, in an interview with CRN, CEO Tyler Beecher said the solution provider's sales are up more than 20 percent over this time last year, and the company is on track to record sales of $500 million by the end of the year.

Trace3, No. 68 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500, has bet big on cloud services and big data integration. Beecher thinks his company is two or three years ahead of the competition in those areas. The solution provider also has deepened its relationship with Cisco, which bestowed its Innovation Partner of the Year award on Trace3 last year.