All posts by Daniel Todd

Retail giant Schwarz Group snaps up Israeli cyber security startup XM Cyber

Daniel Todd

23 Nov, 2021

Schwarz Group has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Israeli cloud cyber security startup XM Cyber for a reported $700 million, as the EU retail giant looks to grow its digital business.

Headquartered in Tel Aviv, XM Cyber specialises in proactive prevention of cyber-attacks using the attacker’s perspective. By discovering critical attack paths across on-premises and multi-cloud networks, the firm’s solutions aim to help organisations close security gaps before systems are compromised.

Christian Müller, chief information officer of Schwarz Group, said the addition of XM Cyber adds a “deep technical understanding and innovation” that will compliment Schwarz’ existing portfolio for advanced cybersecurity services.

“Finding and closing security gaps from an attacker’s perspective is a disruptive approach to the way organisations can proactively protect their networks,” he said. “XM Cyber’s solution builds on our strong IT security to further protect our customers, partners, and ourselves as a company.“

Headquartered in Germany, Schwarz Group has become one of the world’s largest retailers, known particularly for its ownership of EU staples such as Lidl and Kaufland supermarkets.

The group said XM Cyber’s comprehensive knowledge in securing complex hybrid cloud networks was a driving factor behind the acquisition, with the startup set to boost the groups expanding digital venture.

Upon completion of the acquisition, XM Cyber will continue to operate independently with its current branding, full suite of products, and support structure, it added.

Noam Erez, co-founder and CEO of XM Cyber, says the move will provide its business with “immense potential” to further expand and develop its business model.

“We are thrilled to become part of the Schwarz Group,” he said. “With the backing and international footprint of the largest European retailer, we can accelerate innovation and growth and further strengthen our position in the global cybersecurity market.”

HP unveils new remote collaboration subscription offers

Daniel Todd

10 Nov, 2021

HP has announced new Z by HP, Teradici and Nvidia Omniverse subscription offers, designed to help support remote collaboration across multiple systems and applications, at the edge or in the cloud. 

The move means creators can now take advantage of a combined subscription for Teradici Cloud Access Software and HP ZCentral, as well as collaborate across apps with Nvidia Omniverse. 

Additionally, HP is also releasing its data science software stack for Linux in collaboration with Microsoft on the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2).

“Today’s designers, creators, and power users need to access their high-performance compute and workflows from wherever they get work done; location is no longer a limit,” commented Jim Nottingham, general manager and global head of Advanced Compute and Solutions at HP.

“Digital services such as workflow-as-a-service and compute-on-demand will shape the way commercial and SMB customers utilise high-performance computing in the future. At HP, we strive to offer the world’s most comprehensive solutions for remote compute and collaboration with ZCentral and Teradici.”

The combination of ZCentral Software and Teradici CAS is designed to offer a comprehensive remote solution that enables anywhere access to software that can handle graphics or compute-intensive projects. Teradici CAS provides secure access to the cloud and virtual machines, while ZCentral Remote Boost allows access to localised workstation performance, the firm said. 

A combined one-year subscription will include Teradici and ZCentral software for $240 per concurrent user and is expected to be available from the end of 2021.

HP is also collaborating with Nvidia to combine Teradici CAS and  Omniverse Enterprise, which it says will offer a platform for co-creation, real-time simultaneous collaboration, and true-to-reality simulation for design teams – ultimately removing location as a barrier for 3D collaboration.

HP is offering users a three-month free trial of Nvidia Omniverse Enterprise and Teradici CAS with qualifying Z by HP workstations. 

“Our customers can now run the most demanding visualisation workflows to exceed today’s design, creative, and scientific challenges, from anywhere —with Nvidia GPUs accelerating the performance of the already powerful Z workstations, Teradici opening up access to those who are remote, and NVIDIA Omniverse Enterprise providing a real-time collaboration platform,” said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at Nvidia.  

Additionally, HP is also releasing its data science software stack for Linux in collaboration with Microsoft on the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2. Pre-installed on select Z by HP workstations, WSL 2 enables users to launch an Ubuntu environment without rebooting or running a virtual machine, enabling the smooth running of CLI tools, utilities and applications.

Amazon to offer cyber insurance to UK SMBs

Daniel Todd

28 Sep, 2021

Amazon has partnered with Superscript to start offering insurance to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, with companies soon able to order cyber insurance via the tech giant. 

It’s Amazon’s first push into the country’s insurance market, as it looks to offer businesses an alternative to the traditional players.

According to broker Superscript, members of Amazon’s Business Prime Programme will be able to purchase its various plans, which include cyber insurance, contents insurance, and professional indemnity insurance. 

These will be underwritten by “major UK insurers”, the firm says, and will be discounted by 20% in comparison to current rates.

As reported by Reuters, a recent Capgemini survey of 12,000 people found that more than 50% of customers are already prepared to buy insurance from non-traditional outlets such as big tech or insurance technology companies. 

“The (insurance) industry needs to bridge the divide between insurers and customers by providing a quick, smooth buying process that is customer-centric,” Cameron Shearer, Superscript co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Superscript says its cyber insurance is designed to cover the risks that come with storing and handling data when running a business. This includes accidental privacy breaches, cyber crime, as well as hacking, extortion and ransomware. Malware is also covered, as is lost income and restoring data, and denial of service attacks.

Essentially, the broker’s cyber insurance covers compensation businesses may have to pay due to data or security breaches, media content liability such as intellectual property infringement, GDPR defence costs, and penalties, credit or debit card breaches unauthorised usage of systems, and data breach response services.

Superscript also currently offers IT contractors and consultants insurance and software developer insurance via its own website.

Amazon’s foray into UK business insurance with Superscript follows US insurtech firm Next Insurance’s announcement back in March that it would be offering insurance to US small businesses via Amazon Prime.

“As businesses come out of the pandemic and gradually resume normalcy, we want customers to have the best-in-class tools to run their business,” Molly Dobson, country manager for Amazon Business UK & Ireland, said in a statement.

HP buys remote software specialist Teradici

Daniel Todd

28 Jul, 2021

HP has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Teradici, a specialist in remote computing software that enables users to securely access high-performance computing from any PC, Chromebook or tablet. 

The tech giant says the purchase will enhance its capabilities in the Personal Systems category, helping it to deliver new compute models and services tailored for hybrid work. 

“Teradici’s cutting-edge technology has long been at the forefront of secure, high-performance virtual computing,” commented Alex Cho, president of Personal Systems at HP. 

“Their world-class talent, industry-leading IP, and strong integrations with all major public cloud providers will expand our addressable market, and meet growing customer needs for more mobile, flexible, and secure computing solutions. We look forward to welcoming the Teradici team to HP.”

HP will pair the new acquisition with its ZCentral Remote Boost software, which is designed to provide remote access to physical workstations. The idea it is to enable remote and hybrid work for professionals that require high-performance computing – such as engineers, animators and editors. 

Teradici’s Cloud Access Software (CAS) leverages the firm’s PC-over-IP (PCoIP) protocol to deliver high performance, security and deployment flexibility to more than 15 million users around the world.

With Teradici’s focus on cloud PCs and virtual workstations, HP said the new combined offering will enable it to offer a broader remote compute platform that spans on-premise and cloud solutions from any type of device – including macOS, public clouds, as well as iPadOS and Android tablets. 

The transaction is expected to be finalised in Q4 2021, subject to regulatory review and customary closing conditions.

“We have long admired HP as one of the world’s most innovative technology companies and we are thrilled to be joining the team,” said David Smith, Teradici CEO. 

“HP’s strong culture of innovation, customer-centricity and corporate values aligns extremely well with our mission at Teradici and this deal will significantly expand our global reach and drive new sources of innovation.”

Jim Whitehurst stands down as IBM president

Daniel Todd

6 Jul, 2021

IBM president and former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has decided to step down, following a spell of just 14 months in the role. 

Whitehurst joined the tech giant as part of its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat back in 2018, having played a “pivotal role” in the integration. 

Announcing the shock decision, IBM did not give offer up the reasons for Whitehurst’s sudden departure, but the firm did reveal that he will continue as a senior advisor to chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna.

“In the almost three years since the acquisition was announced, Jim has been instrumental in articulating IBM’s strategy, but also, in ensuring that IBM and Red Hat work well together and that our technology platforms and innovations provide more value to our clients,” Krishna said in a statement.

“Jim has decided to step down as IBM President, however I am pleased he will continue working as senior advisor to me and the rest of the Executive Leadership Team as we continue to evolve our business.”

Following IBM’s Red Hat acquisition, Ginni Rometty called time on her stint as IBM CEO back in April 2020, with Krishna subsequently taking the reins.

He then appointed former Red Hat CEO Whitehurst on his first day in the role, leading many industry observers to view him as Krishna’s heir apparent.

At the time of Krishna’s appointment as CEO, he also announced that Bridget van Kralingen had agreed to stay on to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

She has now also decided to step down from her current role as senior vice president of Global Markets, replaced by Rob Thomas. However, she will remain SVP of Special Projects for a year before which time she will retire from IBM. 

Elsewhere, IBM announced a host of other leadership changes. Among them, the company confirmed that Tom Rosamilia will become SVP of Cloud and Cognitive Software, while Ric Lewis takes on the role of SVP of Systems. 

“I believe we are at a watershed moment in our journey,” Krishna said. “As the world begins to reopen, IBM has a unique opportunity to be positioned for a new and exciting era of growth, continue to accelerate the rate and pace of execution of our strategy, and strengthen our client-centric culture and our ability to provide technical expertise.”

HPE acquires Zerto for $374 million

Daniel Todd

2 Jul, 2021

HPE has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire cloud data management and protection specialist Zerto for $374 million.

The move expands HPE GreenLake and continues HPE Storage’s shift to a cloud-native, software-defined data services business, the company said.

Zerto’s journal-based continuous data protection (CDP) technology includes disaster recovery, backup, and data mobility in a single platform that spans on-premises, hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

Zerto will be available as a service through HPE GreenLake and Data Services Cloud Console.

“Zerto’s market-leading cloud data management and protection software expands HPE GreenLake cloud data services, allowing customers to protect their data and rapidly act on insights, from edge to cloud,” commented Antonio Neri, president and CEO of HPE.

The solution is designed to help customers recover quickly from ransomware, cyber attacks, and other planned data downtime, returning data to its pre-attacked state.

Zerto also easily replicates and migrates data between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments, as well as natively to AWS and Microsoft Azure.

“Customers continue to face significant issues managing data complexity across hybrid and multi-cloud environments,” said Tom Black, senior vice president and general manager of HPE Storage.

“Zerto further positions HPE to help solve these customer challenges and become the leader in data management and protection through HPE GreenLake cloud services.”

Founded in 2009, Zerto is co-headquartered in Herzliya, Israel and Boston. The firm’s 500 employees serve more than 9,000 customers – including enterprises and 350 MSPs.

HPE says the addition of Zerto will “significantly accelerate” its transformation to become a leading data management and protection provider, while Zerto will benefit from HPE’s global scope and presence.

The acquisition is expected to close during HPE’s fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Zerto’s management team will join HPE following the close of the transaction, with the company organised under HPE Storage.

“The HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud strategy and strong leadership is a perfect match for Zerto,” commented Ziv Kedem, CEO of Zerto.

“Coupling Zerto’s industry-leading cloud data management and protection software platform with HPE’s cloud data services and go-to-market reach will offer an unparalleled experience for our collective customers and partners.”

HPE acquires cloud intelligence platform CloudPhysics

Daniel Todd

26 Feb, 2021

HPE has doubled down on its commitment to data-driven insights with the acquisition of cloud analysis platform provider CloudPhysics, as well as the release of its new Software-Defined Opportunity Engine (SDOE).

The acquisition adds CloudPhysics’ SaaS-based, data-driven platform for analysis of on-premises and cloud setups, bringing detailed insights to customers and partners across most IT environments, the firm said. 

CloudPhysics’ solution monitors and analyses IT infrastructures, estimates costs and viability of cloud migrations, as well as model a customer’s IT infrastructure as a virtual environment. 

Quick to deploy, the solution can generate insights in as little as 15 minutes, HPE says, while its data capture includes over 200 metrics for VMs, hosts, datastores and networks.

“Through increased visibility and understanding, CloudPhysics transforms the procurement process to be a win-win for both customers and partners,” commented Tom Black, Senior Vice President and General Manager of HPE Storage.  

“Our partners will benefit from shorter sales cycles, an increase in assessed to qualified opportunities and higher close rates. More importantly, our partners become trusted advisors to accelerate the transformation agendas of our customers.”

The CloudPhysics solution will be integrated into HPE’s freshly unveiled Software-Defined Opportunity Engine (SDOE), which is designed to provide customers with data-backed customised sales proposals. 

Powered by HPE InfoSight, the SDOE solution uses intelligence and deep learning to generate holistic technology recommendations for businesses to optimise their infrastructure and accelerate digital transformation.

The platform auto-generates a quote with the best storage solution for a customer in as little as 45 seconds – a dramatic reduction on a process that could take weeks previously.

HPE says SDOE will enable businesses to work as trusted partners with their customers as they build a detailed understanding of their workloads, configuration and usage patterns. On average, the streamlined tool also eliminates five meetings from the current sales process, the tech firm added. 

“By utilising software and data-driven analytics, HPE Storage is transforming the sales and customer experience with real intelligence – removing complexity and guesswork, and turning it into a simple and data-driven decision-making process, based on the preference and specific needs of the customer,” Black added. 

Palo Alto Networks to acquire Bridgecrew for $156 million

Daniel Todd

17 Feb, 2021

Cyber security specialist Palo Alto Networks has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bridgecrew, a developer-first cloud security provider, for $156 million.

The firm said the acquisition will enable “shift-left” security, with its Prisma Cloud offering becoming the first cloud security platform to cover the full application lifecycle. 

The platform will now be able to provide developers with security assessment and enforcement capabilities throughout the DevOps process. Ultimately, Prisma customers will benefit from a single platform that can deliver cloud security from build time to runtime, seamlessly connecting security and DevOps teams, Palo Alto added.

“Shift left security is a must-have in any cloud security platform,” commented Nikesh Arora, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks. “Developers don’t want to wait until runtime to find out their security is not working, and the CISO charged with protecting the entire organisation certainly values higher security from fixing issues earlier in the development lifecycle.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bridgecrew, and its widely adopted and trusted developer security platform, to Palo Alto Networks. When combined, Prisma Cloud customers will benefit from having security embedded in the very foundation of their cloud infrastructure.”

A pioneer in shift-left, Bridgecrew focuses on infrastructure as a code (IaC), which sees infrastructure configuration codified during development. The provider’s IaC platform offers developers and DevOps teams a systematic way to enforce infrastructure security standards throughout the development lifecycle. 

Additionally, Bridgecrew’s open source IaC scanner Checkov has gained significant early traction with developers, surpassing one million downloads in 2020 – its first full year of availability. The firm’s full security platform is also seeing strong early traction across many cloud-first organisations and several industries. 

Palo Alto said it will continue to invest in Bridgecrew’s open-source initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to DevOps security.

The acquisition will also see Bridgecrew co-founders, Idan Tendler, Barak Schoster and Guy Eisenkot, join Palo Alto Networks along with their teams.

“We have dedicated ourselves to building developer-first tools that bridge the gap between developers and cloud security,” said Idan Tendler, co-founder and CEO of Bridgecrew. “By joining Palo Alto Networks, we will be able to bring codified cloud security to the developer community on a wider scale. We look forward to working together to continue shifting cloud security left.”

The deal is expected to close during Palo Alto Networks’ fiscal third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions. 

HPE launches HPC as a service through HPE GreenLake

Daniel Todd

10 Dec, 2020

HPE has announced it is offering its High-Performance Computing (HPC) solutions as a service through HPE GreenLake, which include a range of fully managed, pre-bundled HPC cloud services.

These new HPE GreenLake cloud services will allow customers to combine the power of an agile, elastic, pay-per-use cloud experience with proven, market-leading HPC systems, the tech firm said. 

Compatible on-premises or in a colocation facility, the as a service platform has been designed to tackle demanding compute and data-intensive workloads, power AI and ML initiatives, speed time to insight, as well as create new products and experiences.

“We are transforming the market by delivering industry-leading HPC solutions in simplified, pre-configured services that control costs and improve governance, scalability and agility through HPE GreenLake,” commented Peter Ungaro, senior vice president and general manager, HPC and Mission Critical Solutions (MCS), at HPE.  

According to Intersect360 Research, the HPC market will grow by more than 40%, reaching almost $55 billion by 2024. The tech is designed to support ongoing data growth, including data from emerging applications and endpoints such as AI training models and edge devices, to efficiently process and analyse data.

HPE said its HPC as a service offering will dramatically simplify the experience by speeding up the deployment of HPC projects by up to 75% and reducing capital expenditures by up to 40%.

Enterprises can deploy the fully managed services in any data centre environment, the firm added, allowing them to pay for only what they use, focus on running projects to increase time-to-insight and accelerate innovation.

HPE will initially offer an HPC service based on HPE Apollo Systems, combined with storage and networking technologies, which are purpose-built for running modelling and simulation workloads. The firm then plans to expand the rest of its HPC portfolio to as-a-service offerings in future. 

GreenLake for HPC is available in small, medium or large options that can be ordered via a self-service portal, with the service then ready in less than 14 days. 

As part of the offering, customers will also gain access to HPE GreenLake Central, HPE Self-service dashboard HPE Consumption Analytics, as well as HPC, AI & App Services.

“These HPC cloud services enable any enterprise to access the most powerful HPC and AI capabilities and unlock greater insights that will power their ability to advance critical research and achieve bold customer outcomes,” Ungaro added.

Cisco acquires container security startup Banzai Cloud

Daniel Todd

18 Nov, 2020

Cisco has announced plans to acquire Hungarian container security startup Banzai Cloud, as the networking giant looks to further expand its portfolio of cloud-native technologies. 

The deal is expected to close at the end of this quarter for an undisclosed sum and follows hot on the heels of Cisco’s takeover of cloud-native security company Portshift back in October.

Founded in 2017, Budapest-based Banzai Cloud offers a Kubernetes-based platform that is designed to help businesses develop and deploy cloud-native applications.

The firm’s assets and employees will now become part of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation group, which focuses on incubating new projects for cloud-native networking, security and edge computing environments for modern distributed applications. 

In a blog post, Liz Centoni, SVP of Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation group, explained that the move would help the company address the challenges presented by modern cloud-native applications and their environments. 

“This team has demonstrated experience with complete end-to-end cloud-native application development, deployment, runtime and security workflows,” Centoni said. 

“They have built and deployed software tools that solve critical real-world pain points and are active participants in the open-source community as sponsors, contributors and maintainers of several open-source projects.”

The acquisition is the latest move in Cisco’s push to grow its cloud security portfolio, following its acquisition of Israeli startup Portshift last month for a reported $100 million.

The Tel-Aviv-based business provides a Kubernetes-based platform to secure containers and serverless applications and will also fall under Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation umbrella. 

“These two cross-border acquisitions are a testament to the globalisation of the cloud-native ecosystem and underscore our commitment to hybrid, multi-cloud application-first infrastructure as the de facto mode of operating IT,” Centoni added. 

“The Emerging Technologies and Incubation team’s mission is to incubate impactful technologies and to attract, foster and grow the global talent needed to drive innovation and support our customers’ digital transformation initiatives.”