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Embattled Barracuda Networks looks for buyer – report

Barracuda Networks, with its back against the wall after a string of poor quarters and collapsing stock price, is reportedly looking for a buyer. According to Bloomberg, Barracuda engaged with Morgan Stanley to look for a buyer some months ago. The company provides data protection and security products for small and medium …
Chris Mellor, 2 Feb 2016
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UK govt right to outsource everything 15 years ago – civil service boss

The chief executive of the civil service, John Manzoni, has defended the government's decision to outsource everything 15 years ago, telling MPs it was "what everyone did at the time". Speaking at a Public Accounts Committee hearing yesterday, Manzoni said there was nothing wrong with outsourcing, but the government must now …
Kat Hall, 2 Feb 2016

Microsoft vs US.gov, Internet of Stuff, etc: What's up with 2015's legal cloudy issues?

Last year, I highlighted five legal issues for cloud firms and consumers to watch out for in 2015. Here’s a quick recap of how those topics developed during the year. 1. Microsoft and the US government go back to court Microsoft is taking a stand against the ability of US law to reach into its Dublin data centres and, against …

Google adds lots of cloudy flash, no sign of saviour

Google's a laggard in infrastructure-as-a-service: Amazon Web Services moved first and set agendas, then along came Microsoft with an unusually strong version 1.0 product that's just kept growing and adding features. IBM bought SoftLayer and is building cloud products at speed. The Alphabet subsidiary’s now third or fourth in …

Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Microsoft said it would push Windows 10 upgrades onto people's PCs much harder this year – and Redmond has been true to its word. From Monday, Windows Update will start making the upgrade to version 10 of the operating system a recommended update, rather than an optional one, a spokesperson for the software giant confirmed. …
Iain Thomson, 2 Feb 2016

Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

Alphabet, Google's new parent-holding-company-thing, has reported stellar end-of-year results: revenues in the final quarter of 2015 hit $21.3bn, and profit reached $4.9bn. The figures pushed Alphabet's stock price up eight per cent in after-hours trading, making it, for the moment, the most valuable company on the planet by …
Iain Thomson, 1 Feb 2016
EMC Cork's DSSD D5 unit

We've just stepped out of our time machine, and we can reveal ... EMC's new kit for early 2016

Analysis EMC has new storage products coming in both external shared array form and in its converged and hyper-converged systems lines of products, using new VSAN capabilities. These will be announced over the next two quarters and will change the shape of EMC's product lines. We think we now have an overall view of what the mainstream …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2016
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Safe Harbor crunch time: Today's the day to hammer out privacy deal

US and EC (European Commission) officials have until the end of the day today to reach a new Safe Harbor agreement or risk a breakdown of transatlantic e-commerce. Despite furious efforts over three months and, for the past few weeks, daily meetings between officials, the two sides are still reportedly at loggerheads over two …

How Symantec scuppered Veritas sell-off six ways to Sunday

A champagne bottle's crack, a splash, and cheers rang out as the good ship Veritas was launched on the banks of Symantec's river – sent off to steam the data storage seas own with a new owner: the Carlyle Group. It's had an inauspicious launch: Symantec had to cut the price tag for Veritas by $800m due to "uncertainties" and a …
Chris Mellor, 1 Feb 2016

Microsoft: Yes, we are going to kill off Enterprise Agreements

Microsoft has confirmed it is to gradually kill off Enterprise Agreements - volume licensing contracts so complex that a whole profit-making asset management eco-system sprang up off the back of them. As we exclusively revealed, first evidence of this comes on 1 July when new commercial customers with sub-500 seats will no …
Paul Kunert, 1 Feb 2016
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Oracle hires cloud 'success' pushers, denies EMEA customers are floating away

Oracle is expanding its platform-as-a-service cloud team in Europe, but denied it is a move to revive renewals. The database giant confirmed it is hiring 150 people across EMEA to join the firm’s Customer "Success" programme under Carmen Romero. Oracle told The Register the move is in response to growing customer demand and …
Gavin Clarke, 1 Feb 2016
Sharon White, new head of Ofcom, former Second Perm Sec at the Treasury

Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

Ofcom chief exec Sharon White has decided to tell everyone what she really thinks about the possible £10.5bn merger between O2 and Three – and it turns out the regulator-in-chief is not a fan. Hong Kong’s CK Hutchison announced its intention to acquire O2 from Telefónica last year. However, the European Commission has opened …
Kat Hall, 1 Feb 2016
Super-villain Dr Evil puts finger to lip in scheming manner, asks for one million dollars. Pic: New Line Cinema

Lincolnshire council IT ransomware flingers asked for ... £350

Lincolnshire County Council's IT is back up and running after the council shut everything down last week following a ransomware attack in which the attackers turned out to have asked for a mere £350. Despite the BBC reporting that the council had been hit by a £1m ransom, a spokesperson told The Register that it had only been …
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CSC boss Gossain is now an ex-exec

CSC UK chief Sanjiv Gossain has joined the not-so-selective club of ex-execs, leaving the ailing integrator less than two years into his tenure. In a wonderful blurt of business-speak, CSC sent us a statement on his departure, confirming Gossain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities as he transitions to the next chapter of …
Paul Kunert, 1 Feb 2016
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BT airs out new business structure as it digests EE

BT is to create a Frankenstein business unit on April Fools' Day worth £5bn out of old parts of BT Global Services focused on the UK, BT Business and EE's newly acquired business unit, it announced during "record" third quarter financial results. The major restructure plans come days after the outfit completed its £12.5bn …
Kat Hall, 1 Feb 2016

El Reg nips down to the Hewlett You Inn?

When readers recently decided that Hewlett Packard Enterprise's private London drinking club should be dubbed the "Hewlett You Inn?", we promised to knock up some artwork for the boozer and deliver it to the door of HPE's shiny new HQ at One Aldermanbury Square. Here are said premises during refurbishment last November, when …
Lester Haines, 1 Feb 2016
Microsoft's Project Natick underwater data centre

Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Microsoft has revealed that it's trialled an underwater data centre. Project Natick saw Redmond sink a capsule about a mile offshore from Seattle, an approach felt to have potential because about half of humanity lives on or near coastlines. Microsoft's thinking is that it's a good idea to put data centres near their users, …
Toshiba Satellite P series laptop

Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio may be about to merge laptop ops

From Taiwan, an advance on a tantalising rumour: Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio look to be seriously considering a merger of their laptop-making operations. Vaio, the laptop spin-off from Sony, publicly floated the idea in late 2015. At that time it was thought that Toshiba would probably like the idea, as relieving itself of its …

Seagate’s triple whammy: Disk numbers, costs, and flash

Peak disk has passed and Seagate has a triple problem set: disk build numbers; costs and pricing; and what to do about flash. Revenues for Seagate’s second fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 1, were $2.98bn, down 19.4 per cent on $3.7bn a year ago. Net income was $165m, representing an 82.3 per cent fall on Q215's $933m. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jan 2016
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Cloud growth? Take a number, Microsoft. Two engines have stalled

Microsoft’s second fiscal quarter showed a company at a dangerous stage in its transition. It also revealed a firm that is unable to rely on the certainties of old. Not so long ago, Microsoft could call on three engines of growth to drive its business – Office/personal productivity, server and tools, and Windows client …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jan 2016
IBM CEO 'Ginni' Rometty

Ginni Rometty to pocket $4.5m bonus for IBM leadership

What do you get if you preside over 15 straight quarters of shrinking sales, evaporating profit and a sliding share price? A seven figure bonus if you are Ginni Rometty, the chief exec at IBM. Her base salary for 2015 remained unchanged at $1.6m, but the bonus swelled by $1m to $4.6m. Oh, and the long term incentives package ( …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
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What’s new in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016?

Microsoft is busy reshaping Windows server for the cloud era, and the Hyper-V hypervisor is changing accordingly. The first release of Hyper-V was with Windows Server 2008. It was a solid and reliable product from the beginning, but with limited features compared to its competition, especially VMware. The technology is …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jan 2016
Plate spinning routine by Henrik Bothe

Cloudbees banks on Jenkins 2.0 to help double revs this year

Cloudbees is looking to build out its services partner lineup as it banks on further growth in the enterprise space this year, when the Jenkins platform it bases its business on finally hits version 2.0. The continuous delivery specialist delivered an update yesterday in which it hailed the signing of 13 new partners in the …
Joe Fay, 29 Jan 2016

Redcentric slurps bit barn biz City Lifeline for £4.8m

IT managed services provider Redcentric has snapped up East London-based bit barn operator City Lifeline for £4.8m. The data centre biz, nestled in the heart of the capital's Tech City alongside the likes of cornflake 'restaurant' Serial Killer, adds 28,0002 ft of space and 600 racks to Redcentric's portoflio. "This is a low …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

WD notebook drive shipments plummet

WD revenues and profits are declining as it finds disks and SSDs a hard sell in what its CEO calls “an increasingly challenging global economic environment”. Revenues for the second fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Jan 1, were $3.3bn, which is 2.94 per cent lower than the $3.4bn recorded for its first quarter and a decline of 15 per …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2016
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Tech channel veteran De Sousa turns back on Outsourcery

It is back to the drawing board for troubled infrastructure and application cloud provider Outsourcery after it confirmed sales veteran Emma de Sousa has opted not to join them as MD after all. As exclusively revealed by us late last year, De Sousa quit her job as UK boss at reseller Insight to lead Manchester-based …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jan 2016

BT scoops £100m network provision deal from the BBC

Updated The BBC has picked BT to provide its internal network, in a £100m deal that will run for the next seven years. The broadcaster estimated the deal will save it tens of millions of pounds and will provide extra network capacity for major events. The deal will begin in April 2017, with the option of extending the contract for a …
Kat Hall, 29 Jan 2016
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Investors furious that Amazon only made $482m last quarter

Amazon is taking a beating on Wall Street as the retail and cloud giant posted numbers that, although strong, were short of analyst expectations. The house of Bezos saw its stock price fall 13 per cent after the release of its quarterly and full-year financials. However, Amazon noted large gains in key areas, including the AWS …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jan 2016
Satya Nadella

Microsoft on Cloud 9 after online biz boosts profits to $6.3bn in second quarter

It has proven a happy New Year for Microsoft, with profits of $6.3bn (up 8 per cent on the year) in its second financial quarter – driven largely by increasing revenues from its cloud business. "Businesses everywhere are using the Microsoft Cloud as their digital platform to drive their ambitious transformation agendas," said …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jan 2016

Puppet master investors tug on Citrix as 'wind turns'

Puppet master-cum activist investor Elliot Management appears to be pulling virtualisation vendor Citrix's strings in the right direction… for shareholders if not for some staff. Elliott Management upped its stake in Citrix last summer and made it known it wasn’t happy about the state of the business or share price, and …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
Sprint

Pivot3 pivots, buys NexGen

Analysis In a major pivot, all-flash and hybrid array startup NexGen is merging with hyper-converged infrastructure appliance software startup Pivot3 in a cash-free stock merger. When startups merge that’s generally a sign that the original mission is failing and/or the backing VCS are getting nervous. What makes this more surprising …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016
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Samsung: Is gadget lust still a thing in 2016? Nope

Samsung Electronics has forecasted weaker smartphone and tab sales for 2016 amid concerns consumers’ gadget lust is waning - well, if there’s no compelling reason to upgrade, folks don’t upgrade. “[We are] expecting challenges in 2016 to maintain earnings due to a difficult business environment and slowing IT demand,” the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

SanDisk struggles to fatten itself up ahead of WD takeover

A final growth quarter but revenue declines on the annual compare, amid falling annual revenues, end a tough year for SanDisk as it prepares to be acquired by WD. Final 2015 quarter revenues were $1.54bn, 11.5 per cent on the year-ago quarter, although they were 6.2 per cent higher than the third 2015 quarter. This beat Wall …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016
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Apple’s retail chief: ‘Touching customers’ key to retail success

Apple’s retail supremo Angela Ahrendts has handed down pearls of wisdom on how to make retail staff feel loved, in a valuable lesson for anyone running customer-facing sales teams. Getting new staff to stay the course in tech sales can often be difficult, with a consequent knock-on effect on the ability to build customer …
Joe Fay, 28 Jan 2016
Grinning man in suit points at a calculator meaningfully. Pic via Shutterstock

Europe: Go on. Ask us to probe the £130m 'sweetheart' deal HMRC made with Google

The EU's Competition Commissioner has said Europe would probe Google's £130m sweetheart deal with the UK government "if asked" - following growing calls for Brussels to scrutinise the deal. The Scottish Nationalist Party has today written to Brussels to investigate the arrangement. Stewart Hosie MP said: "The truth is that we …
Kat Hall, 28 Jan 2016
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EMC Federation to reveal new hyper-hyper converged appliances

EMC, VMware and VCE will soon announce a new range of hyper-converged appliances that EMC II CEO David Goulden says are game-changers. “For the last several months EMC and VMware partnered very closely to develop a new next-generation hyper-converged appliance family that uniquely leverages technology from EMC, VMware and VCE …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2016
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Juniper turns around in 2015, worried about 2016

Juniper Networks has managed to disappoint Wall Street with revenue growth, a turnaround from loss to profit and earnings per share better than analyst forecasts. The problem? It doesn't like next year's outlook. Its Q4 2015 revenue of US$1,319.6 million was 20 per cent better than Q4 2014 and six per cent ahead of Q3, with a …

This EMC is bereft of expansion, it is formerly increasing ... it is ex-growth

Analysis EMC is now an ex-growth stock. It pulled out its traditional hard-selling fourth quarter, but it achieved 0.7 per cent less than the year-ago quarter. Full-year results, published on Wednesday, were ahead in the annual compare by just 1 per cent. It's been a hard year for the world's number one storage supplier. Fourth …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016

Glum Commvault vaults out of the well it's been stuck in for months

All the hard work over the past few quarters at Commvault has paid off with a return to profits and increased revenues. In its third fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Dec 31, 2015, its revenues of $155.7m were up 11 per cent sequentially, 2 per cent year-over-year, and 6 per cent on a year-over-year constant currency basis. GAAP net …
Chris Mellor, 27 Jan 2016
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Apparently we have to give customers the warm fuzzies ... How the heck do we do that?

Analysis “The customer is king” is up there with some of the most overused corporate mantras. But it has now been translated into a new buzzword – Customer Experience, or CX – and a whole industry is evolving on the back of it. The purveyors of enterprise software, cloud services and digital devices would have you believe you can …
Rachel Willcox, 27 Jan 2016
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Profits sink at Logicalis, UK captain no where to be seen

Not having a permanent UK leader in place amid the wider senior personnel changes at Logicalis is still - unsurprisingly - taking a toll on the bottom line. The company is now recruiting a boss for the British subsidiary following the resignation of Ben Gales, who quit after six weeks - it took seven months to recruit him. …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
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400 jobs to go as Texas Instruments calls time on chip fab in Scotland

Texas Instruments is to shutter its semiconductor plant in Scotland with the ultimate loss of 400 jobs, the company has confirmed. Staff were this afternoon informed by the chip maker about the plans to “phase out our manufacturing facility in Greenock” that are set to happen “over the next three years”. TI issued a statement …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016

Opinion

Merlin Data Center Interior

Trevor Pott

Enterprises want them, but they're still a pain in the ASCII
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Vinod_Khosla

Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
ZenPad_RealRacing
Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Cornwall's win over BT should be a cautionary relationship tale
Zombie rising from the grave

Features

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The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
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Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0
Follow the money – or, at least, our projections
Boats storm girl photo via Nikolina Mrakovic Shutterstock.com