HP Buys 3Com to Play Cisco’s Server Game

hplogoUpdated: HP (s hpq) said today that it plans to buy router and switching gear maker 3Com (s coms) for $2.7 billion — a deal that seeks to put HP on better competitive footing against Cisco (s csco) and its server efforts. HP and the rest of the computing industry have struggled to come up with an answer to what Cisco calls unified computing systems, which combine servers and networking into one box, and in doing so have tended to lean on partnerships with networking providers such as Brocade (s brcd) and Juniper (s jnpr).
With its No. 2 line of Pro Curve networking gear, HP  was seen by the industry as being in the best position to compete, so this deal looks like an admission from HP that it has some holes in its networking portfolio that Cisco could exploit.  The boards of both companies have approved the deal. HP will pay $7.90 per share in cash for 3Com. My question is: Why didn’t it buy Brocade?
Update: Cisco has posted a comment in response to the deal, basically saying that HP is welcome to follow its industry leadership in unified computing.
Update2: Dan Primack over at peHUB has raised some legitimate questions about the price HP paid, and noted how 3Com’s stock has been steadily rising in the last couple of weeks. He pulled some Bloomberg data that shows how trading volume shot up today before the deal was announced, leading him and other blogs to suspect insider trading may be at work.

Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

datacenterDell (s dell) today said it’s agreed to resell gear from Juniper Networks (s jnpr) as the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker attempts to fill the networking hole in its product line. It signed a similar agreement with Brocade in August in the face of an onslaught of competition around unified computing systems (UCS) ignited by Cisco’s (s csco) launch of its own brand of servers in the spring. HP (s hpq), with its line of networking gear, is similarly forcing Dell to think outside the server box. Read More about Dell Plays the Networking Field With Juniper Deal

YouTube’s AdWords-Like Product Now Part of AdWords

YouTube (s GOOG) this morning said it is making its “Promoted Videos” advertising product available through Google AdWords. “This integration will provide a single destination for your overall Google ad buy, and will give YouTube advertisers access to campaign tools in AdWords,” according to an emailed announcement.

Rather than contextual text advertising shown next to videos, Promoted Videos are contextual video advertising. Advertisers use them to drive views to their own videos amidst the crowd of content on YouTube.

YouTube first rolled out the program for search and then added Promoted Videos to its home page, video watch pages and the broader AdSense network.

YouTube — being characteristically vague with its stats — said clicks on promoted videos are up 500 percent since January, driving “millions of video views per week.” Alongside the launch, YouTube extended Promoted Videos from just the U.S. to Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

Will Xerox’s $6.4 Billion Bet on the Cloud Pay off?

imagesXerox (s xrx), the document management company, said today it will buy Affiliated Computing Systems (s acs) in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $6.4 billion. The combination of the two companies highlights the convergence of corporate documents and the cloud as with the ACS buy, Xerox will now manage not only both paper and digital data, but corporate data centers and other IT services. The trend is clear as hardware vendors look at the large-scale computer outsourcers and see in them a captive audience of customers for their gear, but also a growth opportunity in delivering data and information technology assets via the web. Read More about Will Xerox’s $6.4 Billion Bet on the Cloud Pay off?

Opera Mini 5 Beta Out– Cranks Up the Mobile Browser Wars

Opera is on a tear recently with the release of Opera 10 and now Opera Mini 5 Beta. Opera Mini 5 is Java-based, so it can run on any phone that supports Java, and it is a solid evolution of the mobile browser. Opera Mini renders web pages on the server side for speed, and has been a good mobile browser since the previous version 4.2.
Opera Mini 5 Beta
Opera Mini 5 cranks things up a notch, with tabbed browsing, speed dial and a password manager.  Opera’s goal with the new mobile version was to bring things more on par with the desktop version, and it looks like it has come a long way toward that goal.
To download Opera Mini 5 just visit m.opera.com/next using your mobile browser. You can also download it on your computer.

IBM Fires Juniper-Loaded Salvo at Cisco

juniper-logoIBM (s IBM) said today it will resell switches and routers made by Juniper (s jnpr) under the IBM brand to compliment Big Blue’s server products aimed at data centers. The move is a direct response to Cisco’s (s csco) creation of its own brand of servers it calls the Unified Computing System, as well as efforts by Hewlett-Packard (s hpq) to bring that company’s ProCurve networking gear closer to its servers. They’re all part of a larger attempt to keep pushing the boundaries of virtualization beyond hardware and into the network itself. Read More about IBM Fires Juniper-Loaded Salvo at Cisco

HP Buys IBRIX to Keep Up With Storage Trends

[qi:gigaom_icon_cloud-computing] HP (s hpq)  said today that it has agreed to buy IBRIX, a Billerica, Mass.-based maker of software that allows customers to build out scalable storage clouds. Terms of the deal, which will augment HP’s sales to businesses requiring high-performance computing, were not disclosed. Like Caringo and Parascale, IBRIX offers customers a way to create large storage clouds inside their data centers quickly using cheap, off-the-shelf gear. Read More about HP Buys IBRIX to Keep Up With Storage Trends

Unisys Offers Enterprises a Security Blanket in the Cloud

Unisys (s uis), the IT services company, today became the latest with a set of products aimed at helping customers create their own internal clouds. And in a month it will offer a true Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that will deliver computing and storage on demand and on a per-instance basis. Like many of the traditional IT vendors, Unisys is investing in a hybrid cloud strategy, which will involve customers revamping their own data centers through heavy virtualization to create an on-demand environment for IT workloads, while Unisys provides a pool of compute resources that a customer can dip into when needed.

To distinguish its offerings from those of other vendors such as  Sun Microsystems (s Java), IBM (s IBM) or Microsoft (s msft), Unisys is pitching security. CSC says it is doing the same thing, although it will be a while before we see widespread product deployments from many of these vendors. Read More about Unisys Offers Enterprises a Security Blanket in the Cloud

Oracle’s Ellison Rethinks Clouds as Economy Tumbles

larry_ellison_bigOracle (s orcl) CEO Larry Ellison is rethinking his earlier disdain for software as a service and all things cloud, according to a report today in The Wall Street Journal. Maybe a dismal economy and a drop in Oracle sales are forcing him to change his position. The Journal quotes comments made on Oracle’s earnings call yesterday, when Ellison was asked by analysts if the software company would embrace cloud computing. First off, software as a service isn’t cloud computing, but perhaps I’m being too picky here. Anyhow, Ellison said Oracle would be getting “a little bit” into cloud computing, according to the Journal.

But is this really a far cry from Ellison’s early mocking of cloud computing as being driven by whims of fashion? Read More about Oracle’s Ellison Rethinks Clouds as Economy Tumbles