Roundup: Novell, Cray, Microsoft, Force10

Shares of Novell (NOVL) surge after a $2 billion takeover offer, Force10 Networks files for IPO, Microsoft and Cray collaborate on custom data center engineering, Christian Belady changes roles at Microsoft.

John Rath

March 4, 2010

2 Min Read
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Here’s a roundup of some of some of this week’s headlines from the data center and hosting industry:

Novell receives $2 billion bid. Shares of Novell Inc. (NOVL) soared recently as shareholder Elliott Associates LP made an unsolicited $2 billion takeover offer, signaling that investors expect a bidding war.  Elliott is a private equity firm that currently has an 8.5% stake in Novell. Last week the company reported its sixth straight quarterly sales decline, and CFO Dana Russell predicted "muted" revenue in the current quarter. Elliott has more than $16 billion under management and has been known to make investments to "crush the cash out of them and then leave the picked over bones for someone else to pick up," according to the Cyber Cynic blog at Computerworld. Other rumored bidders for Novell include IBM, Microsoft, HP and Cisco.

Cray and Microsoft collaborate on cloud computing. Supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (CRAY) announced its custom engineering group will work with Microsoft Research to explore and prototype a system that could provide a glimpse into the future of cloud computing infrastructure.  With a focus on the data center, Cray hopes to design a supercomputing architecture that dramatically lowers the total cost of ownership and reduce facility, power and hardware costs.  "Our goal is to work with partners such as Cray to accelerate changes in system designs for next-generation data centers," said Christian Belady, Director of Hardware Architecture in Microsoft's Extreme Computing Group. Belady discussed his move into Microsoft's Research group in a blog post Wednesday.

Force10 Networks files for IPO. Force10 Networks filed for a $144 million Initial Public Offering this week, to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FTEN.  Force10 recently claimed the highest port density in 10G Ethernet switching.  In April 2009 Force10 merged with Turin Networks.  The amount of shares and the price of the IPO were not disclosed.

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