The cloud deals and acquisitions heat up, Palantir files to go public and Alibaba extends its reach

July 9, 2020 | Posted by: Jin Woo

Published every Thursday, The Blue Print recaps the industry’s most intriguing news, unexpected shifts and developing trends that are defining the business and technology landscape.

SDxCentral: Alibaba Cloud Expands Global Reach With Equinix Deal
The cloud and data center interconnect giants today announced that Equinix will extend access to Alibaba Cloud in 19 global metros including nine in the U.S. Additionally, Alibaba Cloud’s API will integrate with Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric. The SDN-based platform allows enterprises to establish private connections between their network and Alibaba Cloud and maintain private clouds in Equinix data centers. China-based Alibaba is already the no. 4 public cloud infrastructure provider globally, and its growth continues to outpace the overall cloud market. And while it’s the biggest cloud provider in the Asia-Pacific region, it has had a tougher time winning market share from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure in the U.S. and Europe.

Why It Matters: The partnership with Equinix is a strategic move by Alibaba to increase its cloud footprint in the US and Europe even as there’s more scrutiny surrounding Chinese companies and its government regarding privacy.

Tags: Alibaba, Equinix, AWS, Amazon, Microsoft, Azure

Protocol: Nvidia’s Slow And Steady March Into The Cloud
Nvidia is nearing Intel in terms of market valuation after a 70% surge in its share price this year, as of the close of the stock market Tuesday. That’s a stunning reversal of fortune to anyone who has been following the chip market in the 21st century. The shift was made possible by Nvidia’s prescient decision to design and market its graphics chips for cloud-based artificial intelligence applications right as demand for those services soared and cloud makers needed help kitting out their data centers. Nvidia also announced a new deal with Google Cloud on Tuesday, making its newest Ampere graphics chips available to select customers. Those chips are already available on AWS and Microsoft, which means just about every cloud customer in the U.S. now has access to Nvidia’s technology.

Why It Matters: For the past decade Nvidia has been repositioning the company and laying the groundwork to become a relevant player in cloud computing. Nvidia’s focus on cloud-based artificial intelligence applications has now pushed its valuation over the last year to be competitive with Intel.

Tags: Nvida, Intel, Google Cloud, Ampere

New York Times: Palantir Technologies Files to Go Public
Palantir Technologies, a Silicon Valley data start-up, said on Monday that it had filed to go public, setting up one of the largest public listings of a technology start-up since Uber made its debut last year. Palantir is one of the tech industry’s most valuable private companies, with a valuation of $20 billion. Founded in 2003 by Peter Thiel, Joe Lonsdale, Nathan Gettings, Stephen Cohen and Alex Karp, who is its chief executive, the company began working with governments, law enforcement and the defense industry to analyze and process their data, but has expanded into other areas. Despite persistent speculation about its prospects as a public company, Palantir had avoided listing its shares, in part because of the secretive nature of its business. A public listing would reveal a fuller picture of Palantir’s work, particularly with government agencies, for the first time.

Why It Matters: An IPO by Palantir would require them to disclose information about its business relationships analyzing and processing data for government, law enforcement and defense agencies. Additionally, after a slowdown of tech companies going public due to COVID-19, Palantir represents a wave of companies that are gearing up to go public and is especially notable due to its high valuation.

Tags: Palantir Technologies, startup, IPO, Peter Thiel

Dark Reading: Microsoft Seizes Domains Used in COVID-19-Themed Attacks
Microsoft has quietly seized control of several domains that were used in COVID-19-themed attacks against its customers over the past several months. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had earlier granted the company permission to seize the domains after Microsoft had filed a civil complaint about the attacks causing it “irreparable and ongoing harm.” Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president, customer security and trust, today likened the attacks to a form of business email compromise that targeted customers in 62 countries. The attacks first began in December 2019 and involved phishing emails designed to look like they originated from the recipient’s employer or other trusted source.

Why It Matters: As COVID-19 related scams continue to spike Microsoft has filed a civil complaint against hosting sites Namecheap and GoDaddy, which cybercriminals are using to create fake web sites intended to steal PII after luring business users on Microsoft platforms with phishing scams. These types of attacks have forced enterprises to rethink cybersecurity strategies once again and are considering new architectural approaches such as zero trust.

Tags: Microsoft, scams, phishing, Namecheap, GoDaddy Cloud Is Red Hot in the COVID-19 Era
As the days tick by and the gloomy ramifications of COVID-19 become more apparent, one harsh truth has become crystal clear: Industries that have invested in digital transformation stand a better chance of recovery and survival than others. Everyone is looking to the cloud to reimagine businesses and make collaboration happen on an unprecedented scale, and the cloud has proven its ability to respond with speed while remaining robust.

Why It Matters: Companies investing in digital transformation initiatives are better positioned to succeed in today’s uncertain economic climate and cloud is a key enabler of scale, agility and a technology backbone to accelerate this journey.

Tags: cloud, digital transformation, COVID-19,

CNBC: Linux company SUSE outbids competitors for fast-growing start-up Rancher Labs
SUSE, a Linux distribution company controlled by private equity firm EQT, has agreed to acquire Rancher Labs, a start-up with technology that helps organizations run software in virtual containers across many servers. The companies announced the deal Wednesday but didn’t disclose the terms. Two people familiar with the deal said SUSE is paying $600 million to $700 million.

Why It Matters: As more enterprises adopt cloud-native strategies, container related startups such as Rancher Labs continue to get acquired.

Tags: SUSE, Rancher Labs, EQT, container, cloud-native Shift as Far Left as You Can to Protect Cloud Native Applications
Many, if not most, IT professionals are well aware of the importance of embedding security processes at the very beginning of the production pipeline. In this edition of The New Stack Makers episode, recorded for The State of Cloud Native Security virtual summit held on June 24, thought leaders from Palo Alto Networks discuss why the ‘shift left’ for security in the software production process is essential for DevOps today. The topics discussed include how the trend to shift left has its roots in DevOps, its integration with continuous delivery (CD), security’s role not only in software development processes but for the enterprise as well and, ultimately, how the shift left helps to ensure software is safe and secure.

Why It Matters: Security and compliance are fundamental components of building cloud-native applications that are safe and secure, and DevOps teams are increasingly embracing the need to build it earlier into the development process.

Tags: cloud-native, security, DevOps, Palo Alto Networks