F5 acquires NGINX for $670M to move into open-source, multi-cloud services

Multi-cloud architecture is a huge trend in enterprise, and today F5 made a big move to bring its own business closer to it. The company, which provides cloud and security application services, announced that it has acquired NGINX, the commercial company behind the popular open-source web server, for $670 million.
We’d actually been hearing murmurs of this acquisition for a while, with a price tag of around $700 million. On top of that, our sources say NGINX was shopping itself around, and other companies that had been looking at it included Citrix. That deal fell apart on price.
NGINX had last raised money nine months ago, a $43 million round led by Goldman Sachs to fuel expansion, and had positioned itself as a strong alternative to F5 in recent years. (It had not disclosed its valuation in that round.) F5 itself, by coincidence, was said to have retained Goldman Sachs in 2016 to


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Linus Torvalds on Why ARM Won’t Win the Server Space

Linus Torvalds: I can pretty much guarantee that as long as everybody does cross-development, the platform won’t be all that stable. Or successful. Some people think that “the cloud” means that the instruction set doesn’t matter. Develop at home, deploy in the cloud. That’s bullshit. If you develop on x86, then you’re going to want to deploy on x86, because you’ll be able to run what you test “at home” (and by “at home” I don’t mean literally in your home, but in your work environment). Which means that you’ll happily pay a bit more for x86 cloud hosting, simply because it matches what you can test on your own local setup, and the errors you get will translate better. This is true even if what you mostly do is something ostensibly cross-platform like just run perl scripts or whatever. Simply because you’ll want to have as similar an environment


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“Catastrophic” hack on email provider destroys almost two decades of data

Enlarge / Toshiba MK1403MAV – broken glass platter (credit: Raimond Spekking)
Email provider VFEmail said it has suffered a catastrophic destruction of all of its servers by an unknown assailant who wiped out almost two decades’ worth of data and backups in a matter of hours.
“Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone,” VFEmail founder Rick Romero wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning after watching someone methodically reformat hard drives of the service he started in 2001. “It will likely not return. I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they’d want to completely and thoroughly destroy it.”

Yes, @VFEmail is effectively gone. It will likely not return.
I never thought anyone would care about my labor of love so much that they’d want to completely and thoroughly destroy it.
— Havokmon (@Havokmon) February 12, 2019

The ordeal started on Monday when he noticed all the servers for his service were down.


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1455129

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Glide helps you build mobile apps from a spreadsheet without coding

The founders of Glide, a member of the Y Combinator Winter 2019 class, had a notion that building mobile apps in the enterprise was too hard. They decided to simplify the process by starting with a spreadsheet, and automatically turning the contents into a slick mobile app.
David Siegel, CEO and co-founder at Glide, was working with his co-founders Jason Smith, Mark Probst and Antonio Garcia Aprea at Xamerin, a cross-platform mobile development company that Microsoft acquired for $500 million in 2016. There, they witnessed first-hand the difficulty that companies were having building mobile apps. When their two-year stint at Microsoft was over, the four founders decided to build a startup to solve the problem.
“We saw how desperate some of the world’s largest companies were to have a mobile strategy, and also how painful and expensive it is to develop mobile apps. And we haven’t seen significant progress on that 10 years after the


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Idera acquires Travis CI

Travis CI, the popular Berlin-based open source continuous integration service, has been acquired by Idera, a company that offers a number of SQL database management and administration tools for both on-premises and cloud applications. The move comes at a time where other continuous integration services, including the likes of Circle CI, seem to be taking market share away from Travis CI.
Idera, which itself is owned by private equity firm TA Associates, says that Travis is complementary to its current testing tools business and that the acquisition will benefit its current customers. Idera’s other tools in its Testing Tools division are TestRail, Ranorex and Kiuwan. “We admire the business value driven by Travis CI and look forward to helping more customers achieve better and faster results,” said Suhail Malhotra, Idera’s General Manager for Travis CI .
Idera clearly wants to move into the DevOps business and continuous integration is obviously a major building block. This


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AWS launches Arm-based servers for EC2

At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, AWS today announced the launch of Arm-based servers for its EC2 cloud computing service. These aren’t run-of-the-mill Arm chips, though. AWS took the standard Arm cores and then customized them to fit its needs.The company says that its so-called AWS Graviton Processors have been optimized for performance and cost, with a focus on scale-out workloads that can be spread across a number of smaller instances (think containerized microservices, web servers, caching fleets, etc.).
The first set of instances, called A1, is now available in a number of AWS regions in the U.S. and Europe. They support all of AWS’s standard instance pricing models, including on-demand, reserved instance, spot instance, dedicated instance and dedicated host.
For now, you can only use Amazon Linux 2, RHEL and Ubuntu as operating systems for these machines, but AWS promises that additional operating system support will launch in the future.

Because


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Amazon Comprehend adds customized language lists to machine learning tool

Last year Amazon announced Comprehend, a natural language processing tool to help companies extract common words and phrases from a corpus of information. Today, a week ahead of its Re:invent customer conference, Amazon announced an enhancement to Comprehend that allows developers to build lists of specialized words and phrases without machine learning domain knowledge.
“Today we are excited to bring new customization features to Comprehend, which allow developers to extend Comprehend to identify natural language terms and classify text which is specialized to their team, business or industry,” Matt Wood, GM for deep learning and AI wrote in a blog post announcing the enhancement.
The key aspect of this is that Amazon is handling all of the complexity, allowing developers to add customized lists without having deep machine learning or natural language processing background. “Under the hood, Comprehend will do the heavy lifting to build, train, and host the customized machine learning


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Amazon’s Move Off Oracle Caused Prime Day Outage in One of its Biggest Warehouses, Internal Report Says

Amazon is learning how hard it can be to move off of Oracle’s database software. From a report: On Prime Day, while the e-retailer was dealing with a major website glitch that slowed sales, the company was also dealing with a technical problem in Ohio at one of its biggest warehouses, leading to thousands of delayed package deliveries, according to an internal report obtained by CNBC. The problem was in large part due to Amazon’s migration from Oracle’s database to its own technology, the documents show. The outage underscores the challenge Amazon faces as it looks to move completely off Oracle’s database by 2020, and how difficult it is to re-create that level of reliability. It also shows that Oracle’s database is more efficient in some aspects than Amazon’s rival software, a point that Oracle will likely emphasize during this week’s annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

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Microsoft Announces Project Xcloud For Streaming Games To PCs, Consoles, and Mobile Devices

Microsoft has unveiled “Project xCloud,” its new game streaming service designed to work across consoles, PCs, and mobile devices. “Scaling and building out Project xCloud is a multi-year journey for us,” explains Microsoft’s cloud gaming chief Kareem Choudhry in a blog post. “We’ll begin public trials in 2019 so we can learn and scale with different volumes and locations.” The Verge reports: Microsoft has built custom hardware for its datacenters, as The Verge previously exclusively reported, so that existing and future Xbox games will be compatible with the services. Games will be streamed to devices, and Microsoft has been testing the xCloud service with Xbox wireless controllers connected to consoles, mobile devices, and PCs. Microsoft says its research teams are “creating ways to combat latency” via advanced network techniques combined with video encoding and decoding. This should make game streaming viable on 4G networks, too.

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