Have you stayed awake late at night, staring at the ceiling, wondering, "What is Facebook's Wedge technology, and what does it mean?"

Well, Rayno Report has the answer for you. I have released our latest free report, a 5-page Strategic Brief on Facebook's own data-center swtich, the Wedge, as well as the whole Open Compute Project (OCP), which was started by Facebook. This is Facebook's own initiative to drive new technology standards for Webscale data centers to lower costs and improve interoperability. 

If you haven't heard, open technologies are taking over the data center. Virtualization technologies such as OpenStack, KVM, and OpenFlow – as well as many others – are being used as the foundation for new data-center architectures. Facebook wants to take this a step further with OCP, which is creating a series of specs in hardware and data center design, for everything from power supplies to mechanical systems. This follows the concept of disaggregation – the ability to build entire data centers based on open, interchangeable parts. Think of it as Lego blocks for cloud computing. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 14:54 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN.
Keywords: Facebook, Wedge, SDN, Open Compute Project, SDN Revolution

You might have heard of something called the Internet of Things (IoT). This is the concept of the world's millions of devices being connected via IP networking, which can provide value in many ways by analyzing the data collected by the networked devices.

As the world becomes increasingly networked, analytics tools will become more important in creating new applications for the smarter, connected world. The Rayno Report will be hosting an IoT and analytics social chat on Tuesday, Sept. 16 (tomorrow) at 11 AM EDT.

Tomorrow's #iotanalytics social chat can be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #IoTanalytics, or by using CrowdChat, an exciting new platform for following social conversations. You can mark the event on your calendar and follow on CrowdChat by going to the CrowdChat page here

Guest speakers on the #IoTanalytics chat will include Tate Cantrell, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Verne Global, a data center operator based in Keflavik, Iceland; and Craig Sowell, SVP of Marketing at Datapipe. We're also asking any users of IoT and analytics technology to join in the conversation. I'll be moderating the chat. The event is sponsored by Verne Global. 

This is part of a series of social chats produced by Rayno Media Inc., including #SDNChat. If you are interested in sponsoring an event please contact me at scott@rayno.com

This entry was posted on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 13:34 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: IoT, Analytics, Tate Cantrell, Verne Global, CrowdChat

The legendary band U2 came on stage at the end of the Apple Extravaganza this week, introducing the world to a pair of iPhone 6 models (big and freaking huge I think are the product names), Apple Pay and the Apple Watch. The band’s had a rough go of it recently. Their last release, No Line On The Horizon, disappointed both fans and critics and it seemed like they might have lost their relevance.

This is a band that has defied age and found ways to make themselves new again and again. Had time finally caught up with the band? Potentially, and it frightened them. Bono was quoted saying U2 didn’t want to be a heritage act. Being contemporary was much more important, he said. But it wasn’t easy. “To be relevant is a lot harder than to be successful,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. So making money isn’t the way the band judges itself. After all, U2’s latest tour broke records in terms of attendance and revenue, yet they still craved relevancy. 

This entry was posted on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 15:11 pm and is filed under Mobile, Digital Media, Investing.
Keywords: Apple, Apple Watch, Tim Cook, U2, Bono, Apple Pay

365 Data Centers, a provider of hosting services and co-location facilities that is planning an expansion, has raised $16 million in Series B funding in addition to a $55 million credit line.

Existing investors, including Crosslink Capital and Housatonic Partners, invested in the Series B venture round. Fortresss Credit Corp., a unit of the well known hedge-fund Fortress Investment Group, provided the credit line. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 15:37 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Applications, Investing.
Keywords: 365 Data Centers, Cloud Services, Cloud Computing, SMBs

Wait, what? The Apple Watch (AAPL) doesn't work without an iPhone? Isn't that like requiring me to operate my oven in order to use my toaster?

As Apple states simply in promotional materials: "The Apple Watch will require the iPhone to work." Yes, you can tell the time with it, but most of the advanced features, and anything requiring cellular connectivity, will require you to pair it with an iPhone.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 14:02 pm and is filed under Mobile, Digital Media, Investing.
Keywords: Apple, Apple Watch, iPhone, Jony Ive, Samsung

Big telecom players are once again eyeing data-center acquisitions. Word on the street -- or at least on Bloomberg -- is that CenturyLink (CTL) is looking to acquire Rackspace holdings (RAX). The hosting provider rose 5% on the news that it could be acquired, before backing off a bit today.

The rumored deal makes sense because the larger telecoms have been on an M&A binge to beef up their hosting and cloud services portfolio. CenturyLink and Verizon have been the most active in this area, making a flurry of deals since 2011 when CenturyLink merged with Qwest.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 09, 2014 at 15:39 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Digital Media, Investing.
Keywords: Data Centers, PAAS, Cloud Services, Verizon, CenturyLink

The long speculated tensions among Cisco (CSCO), EMC (EMC) and VMware (VMW) may finally becoming to a head. 

It's VMworld week, which means lots of fun in the world of virtualization -- where conflicted partnerships can turn into messy divorces. And the back channels are chattering about the buzz of VMware's new initiatives, notably the intro of EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK, which pose new threats and questions about its relationship with both Cisco and VMware's majority owner, EMC. 

EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK look a lot like a hardware platform, with VMware and partner software loaded on top of servers and network applicances to create a sort of virtualized and distributed "god box" that handles storage, computing, and networking. This is what they are calling in the biz a "converged infrastructure." The partners include Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, NetONe, and SuperMicro. That's a big list of Cisco competitors -- remember that Cisco is in the server business. This has been VMware's most aggressive foray onto the hardware side, where it's starting to put together a broader story for disaggregation and Software Defined Networking (SDN) with the hardware manufacturers that can help make it happen. 

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 28, 2014 at 16:08 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Cisco, VMware, EMC, EVO:RAIL, M&A, Nicira, SDN, Virtualization, VCE, Vblock

This week is the week of VMworld, VWware's conference baby, the show where the world gathers to see the future of data center and virtualization technologies. I wasn't able to make it to VMworld this year, but I can marvel from a distance at all the strategic prancing and positioning around the explosion of open virtualization technologies. 

Let's get one thing straight: Open, meaning both interoperability and open source, is the big trend in all software and IT. You've heard about Software Defined Networking (SDN) here, which hopes to translate the more open and virtualized technology of the modern data center into networking. And maybe you know about OpenStack, Linux and Docker, too: They are all open-source communities for building respective cloud-computing platforms, OSes, and distributed applicaitons.  The question is: If you are a proprietary software or hardware vendor, what do you do about it? You hedge your bets. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 16:02 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: VMware, VMworld, SDN, Linux, Dell, Cumulus, Docker

Amazon (AMZN) has announced it is buying Twitch, a live video platform for gamers, for a mere $1B in cash, beating out Google (GOOG) in a bid for the company. 

Twitch is a fascinating story in itself. Originally known as justin.tv, which was founded in 2007, it was part of a crop of video-sharing platforms carving out a niche after YouTube achieved the leadership position.Twitch emerged as the more popular site focused on gaming content and the company rebranded itself as Twitch, as the Justin.tv population was migrated there. Justin.tv was actually shut down on August 4th of this year. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 14:49 pm and is filed under .
Keywords: Amazon, Google, Video, User-generated Content, M&A

Hewlett-Packard's strong cash flow provides the ammunition for it to go out and make some high-profile tech acquisitions other than the much-speculated Rackspace, according to a new report from Raymond James. 

Who's on the list? In addition to Rackspace, which is apparently coveted by many companies, Raymond James sees a number of companies in the security, big data, and software defined networking (SDN) space that could be attractive to Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). These include Actifio, Adara Networks, Arista Networks, Cumulus Networks, Fireye, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Hortonworks and Sumo Logic, among others, according to Raymond James. 

"Following several consecutive quarters of strong cash flow generation, HP’s balance sheet is in the best condition in years, and the company has a $5 billion net cash position (excluding financing debt and receivables)," writes the Raymond James technology team in a research note issued this morning. "As a result, HP management has indicated its readiness and willingness to make acquisitions following a three-year hiatus that can only be described as an Autonomy hangover."

This entry was posted on Monday, August 25, 2014 at 13:46 pm and is filed under Infrastructure & SDN, Investing.
Keywords: Hewlett-Packard, HP, M&A, Arista, Fortinet, Cumulus, SDN, Security

Workpop Receives $7,000,000 Series A Funding Round
  • Company: Workpop
  • Description: Our mission is to help everyone find a job they love. Our mission starts with supporting the health and happiness of our own employees and their families. We offer great salaries, generous equity offers, healthy meals, family friendly outings and encourage our team members to take the time they need for parental and/or personal needs.
  • Website: www.workpop.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $7,000,000
  • Round: Series A
  • Purpose: Proceeds purposes were not disclosed.
  • Investors:

Chobolabs Receives $1,300,000 Seed Round
  • Company: Chobolabs
  • Description: Chobolabs is developing a platform shooter that's going to keep you on the edge of your seat. That's going to make you sweat. That presents the kind of challenge that skilled hardcore gamers crave for. Copying game designs from PCs and consoles doesn't work. Mobile demands original thinking.
  • Website: www.chobolabs.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $1,300,000
  • Round: Seed
  • Purpose: Proceeds purposes were not disclosed.
  • Investors:

ClassPass Garners $12,000,000 Series A Funding
  • Company: ClassPass
  • Description: ClassPass is a membership program for fitness classes across multiple gyms and studios, making working out more accessible. Since launching in early 2013, ClassPass has facilitated over 60,000 reservations at 1,000+ different classes in the New York market.
  • Website: www.classpass.com
  • Type: Venture Equity
  • Amount: $12,000,000
  • Round: Series A
  • Purpose: The company has grown from four full-time employees to 40 currently, with more hires in the wings.
  • Investors: