Check out the latest in deals, development and disruptive technology in the data center industry for October 29, 2019:
- Alphabet Makes Bid for FitBit: Reuters is first reporting that, Alphabet Inc (parent company of Google) seeks to acquire Fitbit Inc, a trendy U.S.-based wearable device maker. Sources tell Reuters that Alphabet has been looking to grab a slice of the market for fitness trackers and smart watches. “While Google has joined other major technology companies such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. in developing smart phones, it has yet to develop any wearable offerings,” writes Reuters. “There is no certainty that the negotiations between Google and Fitbit will lead to any deal, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The exact price that Google has offered for Fitbit could not be learned. Google and Fitbit declined to comment.”
- Amazon Lands Major Tax Breaks for Expansion in Eastern OR: Amazon will build their seventh data center in Eastern Oregon, after landing a major, requisite tax break. “There are four operations at various stages of construction or completion in Umatilla County, and three others in neighboring Morrow County,” writes local Oregon news outlet KUOW. “The Hermiston City Council and the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners held separate votes last week, at which they unanimously gave Amazon a total exemption from property taxes for 15 years for a new data center campus on the south side of Hermiston. In exchange, the company agreed to pay community service fees for fire protection, schools, local government and other special taxing districts, albeit at a much lower rate. Hermiston Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan said it is hard to estimate the net value of the tax break.”
- Lousiana Cloud Computing Degree Program Makes First Step: Grambling State University is looking to create a degree program in Cloud Computing and after recent steps is well on its way. According to ArkLaTex, the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System have approved the university’s letter of intent to develop a Bachelor of Science curriculum. “The academic program, in collaboration with Amazon Web Services, will equip graduates with the technological skills needed to address advanced workforce needs,” writes ArkLaTex. “The program’s curriculum will immerse students in cloud computing, computer science, cybersecurity, math and science, and general education.”
- Databricks’ Growth Draws $400 Million USD Series F Investment and $6.2 Billion USD Valuation: Databricks, a leader in unified data analytics, has announced a $400 Million USD investment to continue powering its market-leading growth and rapid customer adoption. This Series F round, led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Late Stage Venture Fund, is intended to accelerate innovation and scale across the globe, and values Databricks at $6.2 Billion USD. Andreessen Horowitz is joined by major new investors including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Inc., funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and Tiger Global Management. The company has grown annual recurring revenue well over 2.5x over the past year and has gone from almost no revenue to a $200 Million USD revenue run rate in less than four years.
- Spectra7 Announces Broad Availability of 400G Active Copper Interconnects from Tier One Cable Partners: Spectra7 Microsystems, a high-performance analog semiconductor company delivering unprecedented bandwidth, speed and resolution to enable disruptive industrial design for leading electronics manufacturers in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, and data centers, has announced that four Tier One Cable Partners are now supplying 400G QSFP-DD Active Copper Cables to the North American Data Center market for qualification as deployment of higher capacity network equipment begins. The suppliers include Molex, Foxconn Interconnect Technologies, Luxshare-ICT and Leoni. Hyperscalers are the first to require this higher bandwidth. Initial 400G deployments are in the core of the switching network where thousands of switches are cross-connected with hundreds of thousands of cables. Additionally, Top-of-Rack switches will use 400G break-out interconnects to connect to 4-8 servers each. Finally, Artificial Intelligence servers are now being designed that will need dedicated 400G interconnects.
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