Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

AMD And ARM: No Guts, No Glory

AMD, which a few years back made itself into a powerful rival to Intel with the introduction of its advanced Opteron server processors only to see its share of that market drop to single digits, this week showed real cojones with its decision to embrace the ARM processor design which not only competes with Intel processors but with the Opteron.

AMD's decision to launch 64-bit ARM processors in 2014 shouldn't have been a complete surprise given AMD's February move to acquire SeaMicro, a developer of low power consumption servers which already use low power consumption Xeon and Atom processors from rival Intel.

Asus: The Mobile World Does Revolve Around Surface Or iPad

Given all the hoopla around Microsoft's new Surface tablet PC and Apple's new iPad Mini, one could be forgiven for forgetting that there are still a few notebook PCs and tablet PCs with neither moniker floating around the market.

Asus certainly didn't forget. The company said it shipped 5 million PCs, mainly notebook models, making it one of the few vendors to see rising shipments. Asus also sold 2.3 million tablet PCs in the third quarter, nearly triple the 800,000 units shipped in the second quarter.

Big Switch: Big Bucks For Soon-to-be-Big SDN Business

Big Switch, a startup developer software-defined networking (SDN) technology, secured a $25-million round of funding, bringing total investment in the company to $39 million.

The new investment in Big Switch may seem a lot given the immaturity of the SDN market. But when compared to VMware's $1.2 billion acquisition of Nicira, another SDN startup, that $25 million starts to look like pocket change.

OPNET: Removes $1B From Riverbed's Coffers

Application performance management (APM) specialist OPNET Technologies struck gold with the news that it would be acquired by Riverbed in a deal valued at $1 billion.

Not bad for a company with 2012 revenue of $173 million and falling profits.

For Riverbed, the acquisition is an opportunity to quickly get up to speed in a market in which it had little presence but which has the potential for fast growth, especially in cross-sell situations with its core WAN optimization technology.

EMC: Expanding Its Security Portfolio

Just when you get settled in on the idea that EMC remains the leader in storage and virtualization technologies, the company puts out a reminder that it is also playing to win in the security market as well.

EMC did so again this week with the acquisition of Silver Tail Systems, a supplier of Web fraud detection software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Silver Tail will become an independent business unit in EMC's RSA security division to presumably extend the capabilities of RSA's Identity Protection and Verification products.