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Hot Air in the Clouds, June 7th 2013

After Months of Speculation, IBM Acquires Softlayer

IBM to acquire Softlayer
IBM announced this week their intent to acquire Softlayer, one of the world’s largest cloud infrastructure providers. This acquisition unifies IBM’s cloud strategy, which seems to have needed an injector boost and SoftLayer’s 21,000 or so customers who are comfortable with public cloud combined with highly automated dedicated hosting and 13 global locations. Alongside the rumors was the possibility that IBM would’ve looked to purchase Rackspace itself – but the price tag may not have been justified. Quora User and Linux Sys-Admin Joseph Marhee had this to say about the deal on Quora,

“By investing in Softlayer, rather than Rackspace (IBM Eyeing A $2 Billion Acquisition?), from a business standpoint, the significance is that IBM is building up a competing platform, rather than acquiring a similarly established one that is already publicly traded.”

The acquisition, which will close in Q3 2013, will form part of a new IBM segment called IBM Cloud Services.

NSA Data Center Expansion Revealed

The National Security Agency has growing needs to store more and more data, a good portion of it which is most likely personal information captured from PRISM – and has recently started building a new $860 million data center in Maryland to expand their capabilities. The news this week that the NSA is secretly tapping phone call metadata from Verizon, and in conjunction with the FBI capable of extracting audio, video, photos, personal messages such as e-mails and other documents from tech darlings such as: Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Dropbox gives this data center expansion a slight twist towards the eery. At more than 600,000 square feet, the data center is schedule for completion in 2016. This is the next stage of expansion following the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, which was launched in 2008, and has already contributed to a $1.5 billion dollar data center construction plan in Utah.

OpenStack Innovator Mirantis Raises $10M for Fuel

Openstack integrator Mirantis has just raised another $10 million to help development of its Fuel project, a start-up kit to help businesses deploy and manage their own clouds. Their goal is to make transitioning to OpenStack clouds a smooth process. Their technology is already being used by firms such as SAP and Ericcson, with a release of Fuel Enterprise slated for later this year.

President Obama to Bolster Internet for Educational Institutions

Educational resources have long been in need of investment from the United States. President Barack Obama announced yesterday a commitment to connect more American schools to high speed internet. Currently, only about 20% of high schools have access to high speed broadband. The funding, dubbed ConnectED, will be managed by the FCC, with goals to provide schools with at least 1 gigabit of bandwidth. Let’s raise a toast to the school IT administrators, as they can master and control the delicate balance between student’s Reddit usage and good grades.

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