All posts by Carly Page

SUSE acquires Kubernetes startup Rancher Labs


Carly Page

8 Jul, 2020

German-based Linux distribution company SUSE has announced plans to acquire Kubernetes management outfit Rancher Labs

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed, but two people familiar with the deal told CNBC that SUSE is paying between $600 million to $700 million to buy the Cupertino-based startup. 

Rancher Labs, which was was founded in 2014 and currently boasts more than 200 employees, provides open-source software that enables organizations to deploy and manage Kubernetes at scale.

The startup, which has raised more than $95 million in funding, claims Rancher is the “most widely used enterprise Kubernetes platform” with more than 30,000 active users. Its big-name customers include the likes of American Express, Comcast, Deutsche Bahn and Viasat.

The deal, SUSE and Rancher Labs claim, will deliver computing everywhere with the latest AI and seamless deployment of containerized workloads from the edge to the core to the cloud.

“This is an incredible moment for our industry, as two open source leaders are joining forces. The merger of a leader in Enterprise Linux, Edge Computing and AI with a leader in Enterprise Kubernetes Management will disrupt the market to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” said Melissa Di Donato, Suse CEO. 

“Only the combination of SUSE and Rancher will have the depth of a globally supported and 100% true open source portfolio, including cloud-native technologies, to help our customers seamlessly innovate across their business from the edge to the core to the cloud.”

Shen Liang, Rancher CEO, added that the merging of the two companies will “help organisations control their cloud native futures.”

“Our leading Kubernetes platform with SUSE’s broad open source software solutions creates a powerful combination, enabling IT and Operations leaders worldwide to best meet the needs of their customers wherever they are on their digital transformation journey from the data center to cloud to edge,” he added.

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of October 2020, following regulatory approvals. 

News of the takeover comes just weeks after Rancher Labs announced the launch of Rancher Academy, a new certification program that the open source software firm says will address the growing Kubernetes skills gap.

Apple’s ARM-based Macs won’t support Windows virtualisation


Carly Page

25 Jun, 2020

Users will no longer be able to run Windows virtualisation software once they switch to Apple’s upcoming ARM-based Macs, it has emerged.

In new developer support documents published by Apple, the company confirmed that the switch from Intel to ARM-based processors will prevent users from running Windows on the Mac.

In the document, Apple confirmed that Rosetta 2 – an emulation layer that will enable users to run old apps on new Mac devices – won’t be able to translate x86_64 virtualization apps, which could prevent the virtualisation of Windows environments using apps such as Parallels and VMWare Fusion.

“Rosetta can translate most Intel-based apps, including apps that contain just-in-time (JIT) compilers,” the document reads. “However, Rosetta doesn’t translate the following executables: kernel extensions, Virtual Machine apps that virtualize x86_64 computer platforms.”

In addition to these restrictions, Boot Camp, a popular tool that allows MacBook users to switch between Windows and macOS, will no longer be available for use on devices powered by Apple Silicon.

Although the tool will remain in macOS Big Sur, it will be an Intel-only feature. Non-Intel Macs will not be able to access the tool and the company has not yet announced a replacement.

In a statement, Microsoft confirmed that there’s no official way to install the operating system, telling The Verge that it “only licences Windows on ARM to OEMs”. When asked whether it plans to change this policy to allow Boot Camp on ARM-based Macs, and the company said “we have nothing further to share at this time”.

It remains unclear whether virtualisation companies are working on a solution for ARM-based Macs, though VMWare on Tuesday announced that Big Sur-compatible “tech preview” of Fusion will arrive in July.

What’s more, Apple showed off a Mac with an ARM-based A12Z Bionic SoC running a Linux distribution in Parallels during its WWDC keynote this week, suggesting that the company is working to support virtualisation software.

Microsoft will let end-users revoke encrypted emails in Office 365


Carly Page

12 May, 2020

Microsoft will soon give end-users the ability to revoke encrypted email messages sent using its Office 365 Message Encryption (OME) service.

The OME service is built on Azure Rights Management (Azure RMS) and lets businesses send encrypted emails to people inside or outside of their organisation using Outlook.com, Gmail and other email services with support for encryption.

Currently, only IT administrators can make use of the service’s ability to revoke encrypted emails that have already sent, but as first reported by Bleeping Computer, Microsoft is planning to expand this capability to end-users in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“As part of Office 365 Advance Message Encryption, we are extending the email revocation capabilities to the end-user,” Microsoft explains. “Previously, you had to be an admin to revoke an already sent message; with this update, end users will have this capability as well.”

Once an email is revoked, recipients will receive an error stating “The message has been revoked by the sender” when they attempt to access the encrypted message.

The feature, which will help companies to prevent leaks and enterprise data theft, will be available to users whose business is signed up to an Office 365 subscription with Advanced Message Encryption. This is offered as part of Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5, Office 365 E5, Microsoft 365 E5 (Nonprofit Staff Pricing), Office 365 Enterprise E5 (Nonprofit Staff Pricing), and Office 365 Education A5.

As part of Microsoft’s wider efforts to improve its services as employees continue to work from home during the pandemic, the company also announced this week that it has started rolling out a new feature that will protect users from reply-all email storms. The Reply All Storm Protection tool for Office 365 will block subsequent replies to an email thread for four hours when it detects 10 reply-all emails to over 5,000 recipients within 60 minutes.

Prior to that, the company upgraded its Microsoft Teams collaboration platform to support up to nine people in participant view, and also made its the Yammer Communities app available in Teams.

Cisco and Google Cloud join forces to improve SD-WAN integration


Carly Page

22 Apr, 2020

Google Cloud and Cisco have joined forces to develop the “industry’s first” application-centric multi-cloud networking fabric.

The jointly developed automated solution, called Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud, combines Cisco’s SD-WAN services with Google’s software-defined backbone to ensure application performance is optimized and secured across the enterprise network.

The two firms claim this new service, which is aimed at those who have or are planning to deploy a hybrid multi-cloud strategy, will guarantee applications and networks have shared service-level agreement settings, compliance, and security coverage, as well as provide reliable application performance and optimized user experience.

Google notes that customers will be able to automatically provision a reliable, global network that grows with their businesses needs and be able to publish all of their services in a single place with the ability to define the intent of how the network should treat those services in an automated fashion.

“With tighter integrations between Cisco and Google Cloud, this solution will bring an end-to-end network that adapts to application needs, and that enables secure and on-demand connectivity from a customer’s branch, to the edge of the cloud, through Google Cloud’s backbone, and to applications running in Google Cloud, a private data centre, another cloud or a SaaS application,” said Shailesh Shukla, VP of Products and GM of Networking for Google Cloud.

“We believe by combining the core technology strengths of both Cisco and Google Cloud, we can provide best-in-class, cloud-delivered enterprise networking solutions that make network management easy for our customers and allow them to meet their business needs with agility,” Shukla added.

Cisco and Google Cloud intend to invite select customers to participate in previews of this solution by the end of 2020. General availability is planned for the first half of 2021. To learn more, read Cisco’s blog and visit our partnership website.

The partnership builds on Cisco’s and Google’s earlier efforts to make their products work better together. Back in 2017, the two companies announced a hybrid cloud partnership that will allow IT managers and application developers to use Cisco tools to manage their on-premises environments and link it up with Google’s public IaaS cloud.

IBM appoints former Bank of America CTO as head of cloud business


Carly Page

7 Apr, 2020

IBM has hired former Bank of America chief technology officer (CTO) Howard Boville to head up its cloud business.

Boville, who will join the company as senior vice president of Cloud Platform, replaces Arvind Krishna, who was promoted to CEO earlier this year after Ginni Rometty stepped down from the role

In a LinkedIn post shared with employees, Krishna wrote that Boville, who spent eight years at Bank of America designing and running the company’s cloud services, “is a proven strategist and expert in the realm of cloud and has played a critical role in developing the financial services ready public cloud with IBM.”

Boville’s appointment comes after IBM last year announced it had designed a financial services-ready public cloud by collaborating with Bank of America. IBM said it would enable independent software vendors and Software as a Service (SaaS) providers to focus on deploying their core services to financial institutions with the controls for the platform already put in place.

In his LinkedIn post, shared on his first day as CEO, Krishna also said told IBM staff that in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, “now is the time to build a fourth platform in hybrid cloud.”

“An essential, ubiquitous hybrid cloud platform our clients will rely on to do their most critical work in this century,” he said. “A platform that can last even longer than the others.

“The fundamentals are already in place. Our approach to hybrid cloud is the most flexible and the most cost effective for our clients in the long term. Coupled with our deep expertise, IBM has unique capabilities to help our clients realize the potential of a hybrid cloud business model.”

He added that IBM has “to win the architectural battle in cloud”, noting that “there’s a unique window of opportunity for IBM and Red Hat to establish Linux, containers and Kubernetes as the new standard.

“We can make Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud in the same way that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default choice for the operating system.”

Krishna also announced other leadership changes. Jim Whitehurst, in his new role as president, will head IBM Strategy as well as the Cloud and Cognitive Software unit, and Paul Cormier will lead IBM’s open-source software company Red Hat as its new president and CEO.