Category Archives: M&A

CenturyLink acquires Orchestrate to strengthen DBaaS offering

CenturyLink has acquired Orchestrate to strengthen its database-as-a-service proposition

CenturyLink has acquired Orchestrate to strengthen its database-as-a-service proposition

CenturyLink has acquired Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service provider specialising in delivering fully managed, high performance, fault tolerant NoSQL database technologies.

CenturyLink said that Orchestrate, which partners with AWS on public cloud hosting for its clients’ datasets, will help bolster its cloud-based database and managed services propositions.

“CenturyLink’s customers, like most enterprises, are expressing interest in solutions that help them meet the performance, scalability and agile development needs of large-scale big data analytics,” said Glen Post, chief executive officer and president of CenturyLink.

“The Orchestrate database service’s ease of use and ability to support multiple database technologies have emerged as key differentiators that we are eager to offer our customers through the CenturyLink Cloud platform,” Post said.

As for drivers of the acquisition, the company said growing use cases around the Internet of Things is creating more demand for fully-managed NoSQL technologies. Orchestrate offers a managed service that basically abstracts many of the underlying hardware and database-specific coding away and delivers an API that enables developers to store and query JSON data easily.

The acquisition will see the Orchestrate services team join CenturyLink’s product development and technology organisation, with Orchestrate co-founders Antony Falco and Ian Plosker as well as vice president of engineering Dave Smith joining the company.

“CenturyLink Cloud features one of the most sophisticated service infrastructures in the market, with a great interface and lots of options for managing complex workflow and third-party applications in the cloud,” Falco said. “Orchestrate’s database service takes the same approach to delivering cost efficiency and ease of use. Enterprise customers are increasingly expecting one global platform to provide these services.”

Telstra, Pacnet finalise acquisition deal

Telstra is buying Pacnet to bolster its presence in the Asia Pacific cloud and managed services market

Telstra is buying Pacnet to bolster its presence in China’s cloud and managed services market

Telstra’s acquisition of Pacnet has now come to fruition, with the Australian telco today announcing it has completed the purchase of the cloud, managed services and datacentre provider. As reported by in December, the valuation of the deal came in at $697m.

When initially announced, the deal came with the stipulation of agreement from regulatory bodies, as well as Pacnet financier approval. According to Telstra, all necessary approvals and agreements have now been confirmed, and the firm can now begin the full acquisition of Pacnet.

All that remains, it claims, is full regulatory approval in the United States, which it reckons is expected in due course and will not impact operations or the agreed purchase price.

Speaking on the acquisition, Telstra’s Global Enterprise and Services chief executive Brendon Riley said the integration of Pacnet will see its brand gradually retired, but that the Chinese market remains a big focus for the joint-venture.

“The addition of Pacnet’s staff, intrastructure, technology and expertise will position Telstra as a leading provider of services to multinational and large companies in Asia,” he said. “The completed acquisition will double Telstra’s customers in Asia, and greatly increase our network reach and data centre capabilities across the region. This includes the addition of the largest privately owned intra-Asia cable network, 29 data centres and the ability to further grow our China operations through existing joint venture.”

Riley concluded with a nod towards the Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), an elastic and on-demand network based on SDN architecture, pioneered by Pacnet. PEN was one of the first live SDN-based networks launched globally.

“The acquisition provides us greater specialisation and scale, including the delivery of enhanced services, such as software-defined networking and opens up significant incremental opportunities for our business,” he said.

Box eyes retail manufacturers, engineering, construction firms with Verold acquisition

Box is looking to bolster its pitch to niche verticals

Box is looking to bolster its pitch to niche verticals

Box has acquired Verold, a Toronto-based 3D modelling and WebGL specialist, in a bid to bolster its appeal to retail manufacturers, engineering and construction firms.

Verold, which was founded in 2010, offers WebGL-based 3D modelling technology that lets users preview and edit 3D content without much computational overhead.

As part of the acquisition Box will move to integrate Verold’s technology into its platform. Verold’s teams with also become Box employees.

“At Verold, we believe interactive 3D web content has the power to transform a wide range of industries and applications, from manufacturing to ecommerce, and we believe the tools to build the 3D web should be broadly accessible,” said Ross McKegney, chief executive officer of Verold.

“Box’s incredible success in building an enterprise content platform that already reaches 45,000 businesses presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for us to bring the future of 3D content to millions of people around the world. We’re thrilled to be joining Box and can’t wait to get started,” McKegney said.

The cloud-based storage incumbent said the acquisition would enhance its ability to provide more solutions specifically tailored to various industries. Last year the company launched Box for Industries, a collection of Box offerings tailored to a range of niche verticals.

Box chief executive Aaron Levie discussed some of the drivers for the acquisition on the company’s blog, and hinted at where the next Box for Industries solutions might appear: “We’re finding that nearly every industry is experiencing information-driven transformation in unique ways, and the acquisition of Verold will allow us to go even farther than ever imagined.”

“Take for example a commercial construction contractor, faced with the challenge of collaborating on multiple projects at once with partners and contractors, or previewing detailed design drawings when in the field. Or an athletic wear retailer tasked with delivering the latest product design iterations across geographically dispersed teams. Being able to perform these workflows, right from a web browser, without having to download any additional software is a game-changing proposition in many industries,” he said.

The move comes just one month after Box’s latest acquisition. It recently purchased Subspace, a mobile security startup, for an undisclosed sum.

Percona buys Tokutek to mashup MySQL, NoSQL tech

Percona acquired Tokutek to strengthen its expertise in NoSQL

Percona acquired Tokutek to strengthen its expertise in NoSQL

Relational database services firm Percona announced it has acquired Tokutek, which provides a high-performance MongoDB distribution and NoSQL services. Percona said the move will allow it to improve support for non-relational database technologies.

Tokutek offers a distribution of MongoDB, called TokuMX, which the company pitches as a drop-in replacement for MongoDB – but with up to 20 times performance improvements and 90 per cent reduction in database size.

One of the things that makes it so performant is its deployment of fractal tree indexing, a data structure that optimises I/O while allowing for simultaneous search and sequential access but with much faster insertions and deletions (it can also be applied in MariaDB).

Percona said the move will position the company to offer the full range consulting and technology services to support MySQL and MongoDB deployments; Percona Server already supports TokuMX as an option but the move will see the later further integrated and ship standard with the former.

“This acquisition delivers game-changing advantages to our customers,” said Peter Zaitsev, co-founder and chief executive of Percona. “By adding a market-leading, ACID-compliant NoSQL data management option to our product line, customers finally have the opportunity to simplify their database decisions and on-going support relationships by relying on just one proven, expert provider for all their database design, service, management, and support needs.”

John Partridge, president and chief executive of Tokutek said: “Percona has a well-earned reputation for expert database consulting services and support. With the Tokutek acquisition, Percona is uniquely positioned to offer NoSQL and NewSQL software solutions backed by unparalleled services and support. We are excited to know Tokutek customers can look forward to leveraging Percona services and support in their TokuMX and TokuDB deployments.”

NoSQL adoption is growing at a fairly fast rate as applications shift to handle more and more unstructured data (espeically cloud apps), so it’s likely we’ll see more MySQL incumbents pick up non-relational startups in the coming months.


Hortonworks buys SequenceIQ to speed up cloud deployment of Hadoop


SequenceIQ will help boost Hortonworks’ position in the Hadoop ecosystem

Hortonworks has acquired SequenceIQ, a Hungary-based startup delivering infrastructure agnostic tools to improve Hadoop deployments. The company said the move will bolster its ability to offer speedy cloud deployments of Hadoop.

SequenceIQ’s flagship offering, Cloudbreak, is a Hadoop as a Service API for multi-tenant clusters that applies some of the capabilities of Blueprint (which lets you create a Hadoop cluster without having to use the Ambari Cluster Install Wizard) and Periscope (autoscaling for Hadoop YARN) to help speed up deployment of Hadoop on different cloud infrastructures.

The two companies have partnered extensively in the Hadoop community, and Hortonworks said the move will enhance its position among a growing number of Hadoop incumbents.

“This acquisition enriches our leadership position by providing technology that automates the launching of elastic Hadoop clusters with policy-based auto-scaling on the major cloud infrastructure platforms including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and OpenStack, as well as platforms that support Docker containers. Put simply, we now provide our customers and partners with both the broadest set of deployment choices for Hadoop and quickest and easiest automation steps,” Tim Hall, vice president of product management at Hortonworks, explained.

“As Hortonworks continues to expand globally, the SequenceIQ team further expands our European presence and firmly establishes an engineering beachhead in Budapest. We are thrilled to have them join the Hortonworks team.”

Hall said the company also plans to contribute the Cloudbreak code back into the Apache Foundation sometime this year, though whether it will do so as part of an existing project or standalone one seems yet to be decided.

Hortonworks’ bread and butter is in supporting enterprise adoption of Hadoop and bringing the services component to the table, but it’s interesting to see the company commit to feeding the Cloudbreak code – which could, at least temporarily, give it a competitive edge – back into the ecosystem.

“This move is in line with our belief that the fastest path to innovation is through open source developed within an open community,” Hall explained.

The big data M&A space has seen more consolidation over the past few months, with Hitachi Data Systems acquiring big data and analytics specialist Pentaho and Infosys’ $200m acquisition of Panaya.

Citrix buys Grasshopper to strengthen cloud-based comms

Citrix is buying Grasshopper to bolster its cloud-based comms offerings for SMEs

Citrix is buying Grasshopper to bolster its cloud-based collaboration offerings for SMEs

Citrix has acquired Grasshopper Group, a provider of cloud-based communications services, for an undisclosed sum.

Grasshopper offers a cloud-based corporate communications suite that allows firms to set up corporate phone directories with toll-free numbers, voicemail and all. Users can add departments and employee extensions, and incoming calls can be forwarded to mobile or home phone lines or skype accounts.

The company’s pitch is that it can offer companies – particularly those that work across multiple offices without any particular HQ – the ability to stand up a corporate coms telephony system without having to invest in a PBX box or any other expensive legacy kit typically involved with such an endeavour.

Citrix said it Grasshopper will help the company expand its cloud-based collaboration offerings for SMEs.

“With the acquisition we expand the breadth of our communication and collaboration solutions for small businesses, including GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, GoToWebinar, ShareFile and OpenVoice,” said Chris Battlers, vice president of Citrix.

Don Schiavone, chief operating officer of Grasshopper said: “Our team shares the same vision and culture as Citrix, making Citrix the perfect home as we accelerate Grasshopper’s growth. This transaction will allow Grasshopper to align itself with a well-respected leader in collaboration solutions for small businesses.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year, and comes the same week Citrix’s virtualisation rival VMware announced the launch of an integrated collaboration suite.

Singtel buys Trustwave in managed security play

Singtel has acquired Trustwave, a cloud and managed security services provider

Singtel has acquired Trustwave, a cloud and managed security services provider

Singtel is to acquire IT security firm Trustwave in a move that will see the latter operate as the cybersecurity division of the Singaporean telecoms incumbent.

The deal will see Singtel acquire a 98 per cent stake in the American security services firm, which has an $850m equity value. Singtel said it paid around $810m for the company.

Following the acquisition more than 1,200 Trustwave employees will join Singtel to form a standalone cybersecurity services business unit.

Trustwave said it had three million business subscribers pre-acquisition and five security operations centres (in the US and Poland).

In canned remarks Trustwave chairman, chief executive and president Robert McCullen said: “This strategic partnership creates an unparalleled opportunity to combine Singtel’s robust information and communications solutions with Trustwave’s industry-leading security technologies and managed services platform to deliver cutting-edge solutions that will enhance our customer experience.”

“Singtel is the perfect partner for us as we continue to help businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risk, and the Trustwave team is thrilled to become a part of such a prestigious and innovative organization,” McCullen said.

Singtel said the move will allow it to build a stronger presence in the American and European cloud services markets as it combines its existing enterprise IT assets it already leverages in the Asia Pacific region.

Chua Sock Koong, Singtel Group chief executive said: “We aspire to be a global player in cyber security.  We have established a strong security business in the region, both organically and through strategic partnerships with global technology leaders.”

“Our extensive customer reach and strong suite of ICT services, together with Trustwave’s deep cyber security capabilities, will create a powerful combination and allow Singtel to capture global opportunities in the cyber security space,” Koong said.

The acquisition will see Singtel move into an area that seems to be constantly on the up – cyberattacks like DDoS and man-in-the-middle attacks are becoming more frequent and cheaper to procure on the black market according to nearly every report out there, and other IT-focused telcos (i.e. Verizon) making moves to broaden their enterprise services to include cloud security and managed security services. According to Gartner the managed security industry is estimated to generate approximately $24bn by 2018, up almost 75 per cent from $14bn in 2014.

Cisco to buy Embrane in NFV automation play

Cisco is consolidating its NFV portfolio with an increasing focus on automation

Cisco is consolidating its NFV portfolio with an increasing focus on automation

Networking giant Cisco announced its intent to acquire network function virtualisation (NFV) and Cisco tech specialist Embrane for an undisclosed sum this week, a move intended to bolster the company’s networking automation capabilities.

“With agility and automation as persistent drivers for IT teams, the need to simplify application deployment and build the cloud is crucial for the datacentre,” explained Cisco’s corporate development lead Hilton Romanski.

“As we continue to drive virtualization and automation, the unique skillset and talent of the Embrane team will allow us to move more quickly to meet customer demands. Together with Cisco’s engineering expertise, the Embrane team will help to expand our strategy of offering freedom of choice to our customers through the Nexus product portfolio and enhance the capabilities of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI),” he said, adding that the purchase also builds on previous commitments to open standards, open APIs, and playing nicely in multi-vendor environments.

Beyond complimenting Cisco’s ACI efforts, Dante Malagrinò, one of the founders of Embrane and its chief product officer said the move will help further the company’s goal of driving software-hardware integration in the networking space, and offer Embrane an attractive level of scale few vendors playing in this space have.

“Joining Cisco gives us the opportunity to continue our journey and participate in one of the most significant shifts in the history of networking:  leading the industry to better serve application needs through integrated software-hardware models,” he explained.

“The networking DNA of Cisco and Embrane together drives our common vision for an Application Centric Infrastructure.  We both believe that innovation must be evolutionary and enable IT organizations to transition to their future state on their own terms – and with their own timelines.  It’s about coexistence of hardware with software and of new with legacy in a way that streamlines and simplifies operations.”

Cisco is quickly working to consolidate its NFV offerings, and more recently its OpenStack services, as the vendor continues to target cloud service providers and telcos looking to revamp their datacentres. In March it was revealed Cisco struck a big deal with T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom’s enterprise-focused subsidiary, that will see the German incumbent roll out Cisco’s OpenStack-based infrastructure in datacentre in Biere, near Magdeburg, as well as a virtual hotspot service for SMEs.

NTT America and Verio to merge, keeps NTT America brand

The Verio brand will be no more under the proposed merger with NTT America

The Verio brand will be no more under the proposed merger with NTT America

NTT America and American cloud service provider Verio have announced a merger that will see the Verio brand absorbed into NTT America.

“Upon the merger, NTT America, the surviving company, will be taking over the whole existing services of Verio in the Cloud and Web hosting business domain,” the company said in prepared remarks.

“The intent of the merger is to maximize the competitiveness of NTT Com group’s cloud services within the rapid-changing business environment. NTT America and Verio will further improve the operational efficiency with the aim to strengthen cloud services for its enterprise customers.”

The move comes nearly fifteen years after NTT Com acquired Verio in an all-cash $5.5bn deal, a move aimed at leveraging expansion to the US in its dealings with large multinationals, which at the time were predominately in Asia.

At the time the acquisition was the subject of an investigation by the US government on national security grounds, but months after the initial deal was announced the Clinton-led government declined to intervene.

Over the past few years NTT Com has moved aggressively to bolster its cloud presence globally, with many of the NTT brands and sub-brands (DiData, Gyron, and Digital Port Asia) on hiring sprees. It also recently acquired e-shelter, a German hosting and cloud services provider.