Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Meta deepens relationship with AWS as a strategic cloud provider

 Meta (formerly Facebook) has deepened its relationship with AWS as a strategic cloud provider to complement its existing on-premises infrastructure. 

Meta confirmed that it plans to broaden its use of AWS compute, storage, databases, and security services to provide privacy, reliability, and scale in the cloud. Meta will run third-party collaborations in AWS and use the cloud to support acquisitions of companies that are already powered by AWS. It will also use AWS’s compute services to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) research and development for its Meta AI group. In addition, Meta and AWS will work together to improve the performance for customers running PyTorch on AWS and accelerate how developers build, train, deploy, and operate artificial intelligence/machine learning models.

The companies will help machine learning researchers and developers by further optimizing PyTorch performance and its integration with core managed services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon SageMaker (AWS’s service that helps developers and data scientists build, train, and deploy machine learning models quickly in the cloud and at the edge) for building, training, and deploying artificial intelligence models at scale. 

“Meta and AWS have been expanding our collaboration over the last five years,” said Kathrin Renz, Vice President of Business Development and Industries at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “With this agreement, AWS will continue to help Meta support research and development, drive innovation, and collaborate with third parties and the open-source community at scale. Customers can rely on Meta and AWS to collaborate on PyTorch, making it easier for them to build, train, and deploy deep learning models on AWS.”

“We are excited to extend our strategic relationship with AWS to help us innovate faster and expand the scale and scope of our research and development work,” said Jason Kalich, Vice President of Production Engineering at Meta. “The global reach and reliability of AWS will help us continue to deliver innovative experiences for the billions of people around the world that use Meta products and services and for customers running PyTorch on AWS.”

Amphenol acquires Halo Technology - optical components

Amphenol has acquired Halo Technology Limited for approximately $715 million.

Halo, which is based in Tustin, California with operations in North America and Europe, is a supplier of active and passive fiber optic interconnect components for the communications infrastructure markets with expected 2021 sales of approximately $250 million.

“We are excited to welcome the entire Halo Technology team to the Amphenol family,” said R. Adam Norwitt, Amphenol’s President and CEO. “Halo’s product offerings are very complementary to our existing high-speed and fiber optic interconnect solutions and represent a significant long-term growth opportunity for Amphenol. In particular, Halo’s high-technology products strengthen our offering to IT and data communications, mobile networks and broadband customers, all of whom are upgrading their systems and networks to manage increased data traffic. We look forward to working closely with Halo’s experienced management team to deliver a broader range of interconnect solutions to our customers around the world.”

Separately, Amphenol also announced the closing of the sale of the MTS Test & Simulation business to Illinois Tool Works. Since the closing of the MTS Systems Corporation transaction earlier this year, Amphenol has reported the Test & Simulation business as a discontinued operation and therefore the closing of the sale will have no impact on Amphenol’s financial results from continuing operations or fourth quarter guidance.

Halo acquires 2 more companies: ARIA and Solid Optics

 Halo Technology Group has further broadened its optical portfolio by acquiring two companies: ARIA Technologies, an designer, manufacturer, and provider of fiber optical connectivity solutions headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Solid Optics, a global provider of fiber optic transceivers, high-speed cabling, and passive and active networking technology headquartered in Almere, Netherlands. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The ARIA product offering includes fiber cable assemblies, rackmount enclosures, wall mount enclosures, and fiber optic and copper-based network components.

Solid Optics is a global provider of compatible transceivers, high-speed cabling, multiplexers, and OADMs, serving data centers, service providers, telecommunications providers and commercial organizations throughout UK, Europe, and the US.

Halo Technology Group, which was created by London-based Inflexion Private Equity Partners, develops and markets optical networking solutions including transceivers, multiplexers, ROADMs, EDFAs, and high-speed cabling. The company is based in Irvine, California.

"We are thrilled to add the incredibly talented teams from ARIA Technologies and Solid Optics to the Halo Group," said Matt McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of Halo. "Our mission has been clear since the beginning—to be the global leader in optical solutions and deliver exceptional value to our customers. With the addition of ARIA and Solid Optics, we enhance our global footprint, particularly in key markets such as Germany and France, and further strengthen our product offerings, as well as our technical and commercial capabilities."

"Coupled with Halo's strong organic growth, these acquisitions demonstrate that Halo is the growth platform of choice in the third-party optoelectronics industry," said Al Aguirre, Chairman of the Halo Group Board of Directors.

Halo acquires Skylane Optics for its transceivers

Halo Technology Group has acquired Skylane Optics, a leading provider of transceivers for optical communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Skylane offers a range of optical solutions including optical and copper transceivers, DACs, AOCs, multiplexers, and coding boxes (TCS) for a broad range of applications. The company has offices in Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, and the U.S.

Halo said the acquisition adds improved technical reach and enhanced operational power to its portfolio, including Skylane's CFP-DCO coherent products. Operationally there will be a benefit of improved production capacity, automation and manufacturing efficiencies with Skylane's patented Anaconda production system. 

Halo Group, which is based in Irvine, California, develops and markets optical networking solutions including optical transceivers, multiplexers, ROADMs, EDFAs, high-speed optical cabling, in addition to other supporting optical connectivity products. With manufacturing and distribution centers in the US, UK, and India, Halo serves the networking needs of a broad spectrum of enterprise, service provider and telecommunications customers globally.

"We are incredibly excited about adding Skylane's cutting-edge product offering and their very talented team to our group," said Matt McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of Halo. "Halo is committed to growing the Skylane business and to continue to meet the demands of its sophisticated and diverse customer base. With the added strength and capabilities derived from our platform, we expect Skylane to thrive as part of the Halo Group."

"Halo has become the global market leader in compatible optics with the expertise to meet the needs of virtually any network architecture requirements, whether enterprise, hyperscale data center or multinational telco," said Al Aguirre, Chairman of the Halo Technology Board of Directors. "The Skylane transaction enhances the group's abilities and further proves the value of the platform as a global growth vehicle."

Google Cloud activates Santiago cloud region, expands near Tel Aviv

Google Cloud announced operational status for its new Santiago cloud region. The new infrastructure is Google's first cloud region in Chile and second in South America, complementing São Paulo, which opened in 2017. 

Google also announced that its forthcoming Google Cloud region in Israel will be located near Tel Aviv.  Recently, Google Cloud was selected by the Israeli government to provide public cloud services to all government entities from across the state, including ministries, authorities, and government-owned companies.

Google also announced second cloud region in Germany will be located in Berlin-Brandenburg, complementing our existing cloud region in Frankfurt. Once launched, our cloud region in Berlin-Brandenburg will strengthen our safe and secure platform for customers in Germany, including both public sector organizations and businesses like BMG, helping them scale and adapt to changing requirements.

Last year, Google unveiled plans to deploy and operate a cloud region in Saudi Arabia, while a local strategic reseller, sponsored by Aramco, will offer cloud services to businesses in the Kingdom. The location for this region will be in Dammam.

Credo intros 3.2Tbps DSP chiplet with 56Gbps lane rates

Credo released its new 3.2Tbps BlueJay retimer chiplet for providing system-level connectivity with 64 lanes of 56Gbps PAM4 LR DSP connectivity. 

BlueJay communicates with the MCM system-on-chip (SoC) core on the host side using an ultra-low-power Bunch of Wires (BoW) die-to-die interface. The wide-bus BoW interface is optimized for the TSMC CoWoS packaging technology designed for high-performance computing applications. On the line side, the chiplet has 64 lanes of low-power 56G PAM4 LR SerDes to deliver a robust, off-package interface for the MCM, which allows for easy integration in various system-level configurations.

“Integrating chiplets allows our customers to accelerate ASIC designs with increased performance to support advanced switching, storage, high-performance computing, AI, machine learning, and service provider applications. These data intensive applications place a wide range of architectural demands on next-generation ASICs,” said Michael Girvan Lampe, Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Credo.

"BlueJay is the second Credo 3.2Tbps retimer chiplet to enter production this year. All of Credo's silicon-proven chiplets, with 56G and 112G lane rates plus SerDes DSP IP, provide ASIC designers with diverse options to achieve their time-to-market and performance objectives,” Lampe continued.

Credo's unique SerDes technology allows the BlueJay chiplet to be manufactured in TSMC's 28nm process.

8x8 to acquire Fuze for cloud communications

8x8 agreed to acquire Fuze, a provider of cloud-based communications for the enterprise, for approximately $250 million in stock and cash.

Fuze has global operations dedicated to a seamless customer experience between unified communications and contact center. Fuze is based in Boston.

8x8, which is based in Campbell, California, said the deal will accelerate its XCaaS (eXperience Communications as a Service) innovation and expand its enterprise customer base and global presence. 

“The migration to cloud-based communications and engagement is accelerating as organizations worldwide shift to hybrid work models, creating a multi-billion dollar opportunity,” said Dave Sipes, CEO at 8x8. "Our XCaaS strategy is defining and shaping the future of the cloud communications industry as we drive innovation to help our customers meet their changing business requirements. The acquisition of Fuze expands our operational scale and extends our global presence as we meet enterprise demand for our XCaaS integrated UCaaS and CCaaS solution.”

“Enterprise customers recognize the importance of an integrated UCaaS and CCaaS solution. 8x8’s industry-leading XCaaS solution for an integrated employee and customer experience enables customers to advance their cloud transformation efforts as they move off legacy on-premises systems,” said Brian Day, CEO of Fuze. “Combining resources and expertise with 8x8 is a natural fit, bringing with it needed scale and accelerating the pace of product innovation with differentiated solutions that capitalize on this massive opportunity, all of which will serve to benefit our enterprise customer base.”

Snowflake cloud data revenues rise 110% to $334 million

Snowflake, which offers a cloud data platform, reported revenue of $334.4 million for its third quarter of 2021, representing 110% year-over-year growth. 

Product revenue, which is primarily derived from the consumption of compute, storage, and data transfer resources, for the quarter was $312.5 million, representing 110% year-over-year growth. Remaining performance obligations were $1.8 billion, representing 94% year-over-year growth. Net revenue retention rate was 173% as of October 31, 2021. The company now has 5,416 total customers and 148 customers with trailing 12-month product revenue greater than $1 million. See the section titled “Key Business Metrics” for definitions of product revenue, remaining performance obligations, net revenue retention rate, total customers, and customers with trailing 12-month product revenue greater than $1 million.

“Snowflake saw momentum accelerate in Q3, with product revenue growing 110% year-on-year to $312.5 million. Continued international expansion during the quarter resulted in product revenue from the EMEA and APJ regions up 174% and 219% year-on-year, respectively,” said Frank Slootman, Chairman and CEO, Snowflake. “Our vertical industry focus is an important evolution of our selling motion and Snowflake continues to see broad industry adoption.”