Snowflake secures $479m in latest funding round alongside key Salesforce partnership

Cloud Computing News | February 10, 2020

Snowflake secures $479m in latest funding round alongside key Salesforce partnership
Cloud data warehousing provider Snowflake has announced the closure of a $479 million (£370.6m) funding round, taking the company’s overall funding to $12.4 billion. The funding, which represents the eighth round since 2012, was led by two new investors, in the shape of Dragoneer Investment Group and Salesforce Ventures. The latter is especially pertinent, as a strategic partnership with Salesforce was also announced. More details of the partnership will be announced at an event in June, but for now Frank Slootman, CEO of Snowflake, said the company was ‘looking forward to the positive impact our technologies and services will deliver to our customers and the broader market.’ Snowflake, which received two rounds of funding totalling $713m in 2018, has long since been a darling of the privately held cloud space. The company polled second, behind only Stripe, in Forbes’ most recent Cloud 100 list, with this publication noting at the time how B2B use cases were progressing significantly ahead of the consumer-based SaaS companies previously en vogue.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

IDTechEx Discusses 4 Challenges That 5G Open RAN Advocates Must Solve

IDTechEx | December 17, 2021

As of mid-2021, 5G is a reality in at least 78 nations. 5G is now being used in consumer sectors such as 5G smartphones, 5G broadband (fixed wireless access), and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR) games. In the foreseeable future, IDTechEx anticipates seeing widespread use of 5G in corporate areas such as industry 4.0, autonomous cars, and so on. 5G is a collection of optimized and updated mobile communication technologies, as well as new characteristics resulting from frequency changes (4G: 3 GHz 5G: 3.5-7 GHz (also known as sub-6 GHz) or > 24 GHz (also known as mmWave)) and larger bandwidth, which are the reasons why 5G can tackle so many industries that previous generations could not. The deployment of 5G infrastructure is critical to enabling widespread 5G adoption. South Korea launched the world's first 5G network in 2018, and nations such as China and the United States have since followed suit. According to IDTechEx's newly released market research analysis, "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032", legacy telecom system suppliers such as Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia control a sizable portion of the 5G infrastructure industry, with Huawei leading with 36.4 percent in 2020, followed by Ericsson with 26.7 percent. To eliminate the proprietary nature of the radio access network (RAN) system, diversify the vendor supply chain in the telecom industry, foster more innovation, and reduce the upfront and operational cost of RAN deployment telecom operators are pushing Open RAN development. But wait...what is Open RAN? Open RAN is one of the key topics when speaking of 5G network deployment. Open RAN is a network alternative to traditional legacy RAN that allows components (including hardware and software) with interoperable standards from various suppliers to work together smoothly. In Open RAN, there are two network architecture transformations: 1. Hardware decomposition (For example, a baseband unit is separated into three sections: the central unit, the distributed unit, and the radio unit). 2. Hardware and software separation. Overall, Open RAN allows telecom operators to choose from a variety of suppliers to get the equipment that best suits their needs. IDTechEx believes that Open RAN is an unstoppable trend. It is not a question of whether it will really take off, but rather of when there will be a large-scale deployment of Open RAN. As of 2021, there are already several small-scale Open RAN trials underway, showing that the initiative is gaining pace. Vodafone, for example, said in June 2021 that it will start to build 5G Open RAN development in the UK, focusing on rural areas first. This will be Europe's first Open RAN commercial deployment. Vodafone also mentioned that they will further expand the Open RAN networks to other Vodafone-operated countries, such as other European countries and South Africa. Vodafone is not the only telecom provider undertaking 5G Open RAN development in Europe. Its competitors, including Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, and Orange, have all stated a strategic intention to deploy 5G Open RAN networks before 2025. Japan is another important breeding ground for Open RAN; except for SoftBank, all the other Japanese telecom carriers are proactively embracing it. Rakuten, an early Open RAN pioneer, deployed their Open RAN 4G network in February 2019 and their Open RAN 5G networks in September 2020. NTT DOCOMO stated earlier this year that it will collaborate with Samsung on the development of 5G Open RAN networks. In China, where the RAN infrastructure market is immense, telecom operators such as China Mobile and China Unicom are also trailing Open RAN equipment. In the U.S., Verizon stated that it will work with Samsung to deploy its mmWave and C-band (sub-6 GHz frequency range) holdings based on Open RAN from this year. Nonetheless, there are several challenges with Open RAN networks that must be overcome before the bulk of telecom carriers adopt the technology. IDTechEx identifies 4 key challenges in their newly released "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032" report: Real Open RAN: For operators, the key to enabling true Open RAN is the interfaces. This requires mass adoption of, and participation in, open RAN interfaces and elements. Otherwise, the result is poor interoperability with inconsistent integration of equipment and software from multiple vendors. From conversations with some 5G Open RAN players, IDTechEx learned that while many firms claim to provide Open RAN solutions, not every company is giving this enough consideration. Efficient testing scheme: Providing efficient testing schemes for vendors to demonstrate the interoperability of their devices is important. RAN intelligent controller (RIC) development: RIC is Open RAN's brain and the secret to Open RAN outperforming traditional RAN. Nevertheless, the RIC development is still slow. Only very few vendors have RIC now and the functions that their RIC provides are also very basic. The value of Open RAN: Not every operator shows interest in the Open RAN. For example, T-Mobile U.S. shows some serious concerns towards Open RAN and is hesitant to move forward with it. One common concern among operators is the question of trust and liability: "Is the new equipment from this new provider dependable? Now that I have several suppliers supplying me with various pieces of equipment, who should I contact if an issue arises?" Advocates for Open RAN are working to solve these issues. NTT DOCOMO and Rakuten, for example, are building their own 5G Open RAN ecosystem to not only serve as a model for other operators who are still reluctant but also as a new business model which they can offer their "Open RAN package" to other telecom operators. Overall, Open RAN is still in its early stages, and it will take these pioneers years to demonstrate the reliability of their Open RAN networks. From IDTechEx's perspective, it will be at least 5 years before the Open RAN market begins to expand rapidly in the 5G infrastructure industry. In the "5G Technology, Market and Forecasts 2022-2032" report, IDTechEx examines more Open RAN disruption in the 5G infrastructure market, including the Open RAN business model, players, commoditization risk, Open RAN for private or commercial 5G networks, and legacy suppliers' (Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia) attitudes and strategies toward Open RAN. About IDTechEx IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its Research, Subscription and Consultancy products, helping you profit from emerging technologies.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Etihad selects Kyndryl to help accelerate the next phase of its digital transformation

Kyndryl | December 15, 2021

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and Kyndryl, the world's largest IT infrastructure services provider, today announced a multi-year agreement to help accelerate the next stage of its digital transformation journey. Kyndryl will help Etihad modernize its IT infrastructure by facilitating the use of best-in-breed cloud platforms. Innovation and technology have been instrumental to Etihad's agility to adapt within the aviation industry and enhance its world-renowned guest experience. Previously, the airline has relied on a private cloud infrastructure – but to achieve further flexibility, it needed to adopt a cloud strategy that integrates various public cloud environments to support its workloads. Accordingly, Etihad will tap Kyndryl to work closely with leading cloud providers to select fit-for-purpose cloud platforms that are based on the specific requirements of Etihad's mission-critical workloads. Over the next three years, Kyndryl will also help migrate and manage Etihad's workloads across the new multi-cloud environment. Through a multi-cloud model, Etihad will have seamless access to advanced cloud services and be able to combine the capabilities that each cloud platform provides. This will enable more efficient operations and bringing innovation to market at a more rapid pace. "As Etihad continues to evolve, its ability to push the boundaries of innovation and digitalisation within the aviation industry is necessary to create the next generation travel experience. The airline looks forward to working with Kyndryl as their expertise in cloud environments will support Etihad in becoming a more agile and sustainable airline," Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad "Etihad is long known for embedding innovation into every aspect of its operations and continuously transforming to better serve its employees and guests," said Vickram Nagi, Managing Director, Kyndryl Middle East, Africa and Turkey. "We are proud to have been selected by Etihad to help facilitate the next phase of its digital transformation through the use of best-in-breed cloud platforms. This collaboration reaffirms our commitment to support mission-critical technology systems the world depends on every day and to forge strong relationships with leading technology innovators to serve our customers better." Kyndryl and Etihad signed the strategic agreement in November 2021. About Etihad: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, was formed in 2003 and quickly went on to become one of the world's leading airlines. From its home in Abu Dhabi, Etihad flies to passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America. Together with Etihad's codeshare partners, Etihad's network offers access to hundreds of international destinations. In recent years, Etihad has received numerous awards for its superior service and products, cargo offering, loyalty programme and more. Etihad is recognised as one of the world's leading airlines in response to COVID-19 and was the first airline in the world to fully vaccinate its crew on board. About Kyndryl Kyndryl is the world's largest IT infrastructure services provider. The company designs, builds, manages, and modernizes the complex, mission-critical information systems that the world depends on every day. Kyndryl's nearly 90,000 employees serve over 4,000 customers in more than 60 countries around the world, including 75 percent of the Fortune 100.

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APPLICATION INFRASTRUCTURE

Digi International to Showcase Innovations, Offer Demonstrations and Share Expertise During Smart Cities Panel at CES 2022

Digi International | December 28, 2021

Digi International a leading global provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, today announced it will showcase new innovations and share expertise at CES 2022, booth number 10239. Recently named a CES 2022 Innovation Awards honoree in the Smart Cities category, Digi will unveil the new Digi EX50 5G cellular router and demonstrate the capabilities of its interactive Digi XBee Earth Rover robot along with its technologies developed to advance precision agriculture. Harald Remmert, Digi’s CTO, Cellular Solutions, will be part of the IMC Smart Cities panel on Jan. 6 at 12 p.m. in the CES IoT Infrastructure Pavilion. “Connectivity has become the foundation of exciting new consumer products and industrial IoT applications that change the way we work, live and communicate,” says Remmert. “For over 35 years, Digi has been at the forefront of this evolution, developing connectivity and remote management solutions, including medical, retail, energy, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing. With CES expanding into new IoT and automation-driven categories, this is the perfect stage to present our innovative solutions and share our expertise and insights.” Digi’s CES 2022 lineup includes: Digi EX50 5G - Digi EX50 is the 5G go-to solution with 5G/4G dual connectivity and Wi-Fi 6 for organizations requiring fast, reliable, and secure primary or backup enterprise branch office connectivity. Integrating with Digi Remote Manager and Digi TrustFence, Digi EX50 5G with the power of 5G future-proofs the network and allows IT staff to easily deploy, monitor, and manage it. Digi TX64 5G - Digi TX64 is a high performance 5G router with dual redundant communications for complex transit, transportation and rail systems. This router combines dual 5G and 4G LTE-Advanced Pro cellular technology and dual Wi-Fi radios with enterprise-class routing, security, firewall, and integrated VPN. It also offers flexible connectivity to other onboard systems through USB, serial, Ethernet, dead reckoning GNSS and Bluetooth . Digi XBee Earth Rover - CES attendees will have an opportunity to control Digi’s robot via their smartphones. Through the Digi XBee cellular smart module, users can connect to the robot from anywhere in the world through 4G LTE-M cellular networks. Simple text commands move the robot, and sensors on the robot provide data for remote monitoring. In 2022, the Digi XBee Earth Rover will power STEM workshops for middle and high schools, simulating the challenge of communicating and collecting information from NASA’s Mars Rover, and challenging students to explore the tools and find innovative solutions. Precision Agriculture Demonstration - Increasingly, automation and IoT is entering the agriculture market, providing better information, improving crop yields and reducing the amount of farm labor required. Digi’s demonstration simulates a complete IoT ecosystem for precision agriculture powered by Digi wireless products. This end-to-end solution provides crop managers with real-time weather conditions, which they can use to provide the precise amount of water required for optimal yields, controlling many farms from a central location. New and innovative technologies to support IoT applications have redefined how, where and when businesses, machines, and people connect, transmit data, and perform processes, and complete transactions. These technologies are only as valuable as the networks they rely on, which is why Digi continues to develop the networking software and hardware that intelligent networks require. “This is an exciting time for Digi considering the tremendous growth we experienced in 2021,” Remmert adds. “In addition to Haxiot and Ctek, Digi acquired Ventus Holdings, a leader in Managed Network-as-a-Service (MNaaS) solutions that simplify the complexity of enterprise wide area network (WAN) connectivity. The acquisition the largest in Digi’s history enables us to provide software and subscription service plans and award-winning hardware to supply complete, high-value networking solutions. We envision 2022 to be even more exciting as we grow and expand into new markets.” About Digi International Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) is a leading global provider of IoT connectivity products, services, and solutions. It helps companies create next-generation connected products and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with high levels of security and reliability. Founded in 1985, Digi has helped customers connect more than 100 million things and counting.

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HYPER-CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE

TriStruX Announces New Investment from Huron Capital

TriStruX | December 27, 2021

TriStruX, a leading provider of telecom infrastructure services to wireless carriers, cable companies and OEMs, has been acquired by leading middle-market private equity firm, Huron Capital. TriStruX is the result of the 2020 merger of Telcom Engineering Group ("TEG"), Leone Electric Corporation ("LEC") and High Point Utilities ("HPU"). The founders of the companies, Francisco Pena, Nicholas J. Leone, Craig Langenbach and Scott Palmenberg, will remain with the company in key management roles and maintain minority equity stakes in the merged company. TriStruX is a national provider of telecommunications infrastructure services for macro cell towers and 5G wireless, underground and overhead fiber, and power and electrical services installation and maintenance services. The company's key clients include the largest leading US telecommunications and cable companies. Since the 2020 combination, the company has significantly expanded its business in the Northeast, California, Southeast and Midwest markets, grown company revenue significantly in 2021 over 2020 and prepared to open 4 new markets in 1Q 2022. "Huron's investment will help us grow to be one of the strongest Telecom services providers in the market. I am so proud of the quality company we have built, but we are stronger and more nimble with Huron's backing", said Nicholas J. Leone, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. "Our clients are telling us to grow faster and bigger but not lose the quality and "can do" success we bring to them. This combination with Huron ensures we can accomplish that and will result in more and better service to our clients." said Frank Pena, Chairman of the Board. "We are very pleased to launch a Telecom Infrastructure Services Platform with the acquisition of TriStruX", said Huron Managing Partner Jim Mahoney. "The Infrastructure Services market is very early in the investment cycle of building wireless telecom and fiber capabilities to deliver 5G services across the US. Huron is excited to support TriStruX's track record of high-quality service delivery and deep focus on safety with access to capital and management support." Industry veteran Gene Callahan will join the Company's Board of Directors. Randall P Muench, current CEO of TriStruX will continue to serve as CEO of the merged company. "Significant organic growth and crossing the $100M revenue level was an excellent year but we are just getting started." said Muench. "Our team is laser focused on delivering quality wireless site installations and hundreds of miles of fiber at the scale that our clients expect and building a great place to work for our team. I'm especially excited to be on this journey with Huron who brings deep expertise in building scalable businesses and accelerating growth through M&A." About TriStruX, LLC TriStruX, LLC provides comprehensive turnkey telecommunications service solutions across the continental United States. Our mission is to provide the highest level of quality and excellence as a turnkey solution provider, building telecommunications infrastructure (5G, fiber installation, macro tower services, DAS) in our key markets. As a national, scaled service provider, we successfully compete in the telecommunications, power/electrical, utility, venue and regional / state / local government space. In 2020, the principals of Telcom Engineering Group (founded in 1991), Leone Electrical Company (founded in 1977) and High Point Utility merged to create TriStruX. Visit www.tristrux.com to learn more. About Huron Capital Founded in Detroit in 1999, Huron Capital ("Huron") is an operationally focused private equity firm with a long history of growing middle-market companies through its proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. Huron prefers complex situations where it can help companies reach their full potential by combining its operational approach, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. An early pioneer of the buy-and-build approach, Huron has successfully established six private equity funds aggregating nearly $2.0 billion in committed capital and invested in over 235 companies, and its portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America.

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Management of IT infrastructure is a challenging task and is becoming tougher with the innovation and complexities involved in it. CoreIT RMM services facilitate streamlining IT operations through cost-effective methods and improve performance efficiency. Our competitive support team is successfully managing IT infrastructure across global ecosystem.

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