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Why Did Nvidia Buy Cumulus Networks? | Gestalt IT Rundown: May 6, 2020

Nvidia buys Cumulus Networks, Nutanix furloughs 25% of its staff, ransomware disclosures to the FTC spike, and Salt vulnerabilities are rapidly exploited. Tom Hollingsworth and Rich Stroffolino discuss these and all the IT news of the week on the Gestalt IT Rundown.

This week on the Rundown:

The Public Cloud in Q1

AWS, Azure, and GCP have all published earnings. In terms of growth, Azure grew revenue 59%, Google was up 52%, and Amazon grew 33%. While Amazon still has a substantial lead in overall revenue with $10 billion in the quarter, this was the 8th consecutive quarter the company has seen flat on declining AWS revenue.

ICANN Votes to Stop .org Sale

The board of ICANN voted to reject the sale of the .org registry to Ethos Capital, citing concerns on how Ethos would use the registry to pay down the $300 million in debt the acquisition would require. The Internet Society current manages the .org Public Interest Registry, and announced plans for the sale in November. The deal also faced scrutiny from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as well as several ICANN founding members.

Judge Rules FCC Must Handover Logs 

District judge Lorna Schofield ruled that the US FCC must provide copies of website logs related to the public comments made regarding its 2017 net neutrality rules repeal. The ruling was in response to a Freedom of Information request for the logs, which the FCC refused to release citing privacy concerns. The judge ruled that the agency didn’t show how anyone would be haarmed by releasing their IP address in the suit, and that the information would help show if the whole comment period could be vulnerable to corruption. There have been false allegations that the comment system was brought down by DDoS attacks, and some researchers believe many pro net neutrality comments were spam.

Intel Buying Moovit

Intel confirms it plans to acquire the transporation startup Moovit, which analyses urban traffic patterns and provides transportation recommendations, focused on public transit. Intel says service to existing Moovit customers and users will not change as a result of the acuqisition. Intel says it will use Moovit’s analytics to augment its Mobileye “mobility as a service” autonomous vehicle offering.

Salesforce Unveils

Salesforce unveiled, a suite of apps to help organizations manage the return to offices from COVID-19. Most components have yet to be released, with an Emergency Response Management platform available at launch. Other tools coming include private contact tracing apps, employee wellness assessments, workforce reskilling, and a workplaace command center to centralize information related to employee and organizations health. Each component on is a la carte paid service

Dev Conferences Go Remote

Microsoft opened registration for its virtual Build conference, making registration free for all attendees. The event will feature opening remarks by CEO Satya Nadella, the usual keynotes to start the conferencem with 48-hour workshops streamed on Twitch. Apple announced its first virtual WWDC will start on June 22 and will be free through its Developer app and Developer website. In the past, WWDC has been a paid event for most attendees after submitting for tickets through a lottery system.

Nvidia To Acquire Cumulus Networks

Nvidia announced it intends to acquire Cumulus Networks. This comes on the heels of Nvidia closing on Mellanox for just under $7 billion. In fact the two companies presented together at Networking Field Day a few years ago. The company gets the networking OS Cumulus Linux and lots of credibility in the open networking space.

Spike in Ransomware FTC Disclosures

Catalin Cimpanu at ZDnet reports that in the past 12-months, more than 1,000 documents mentioning ransomware as a credible and potential future risk for their operations. have been filed by companies to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. This includes 743 filed in 2020, compared to the 749 documents filed with the SEC listing ransomware in all of 2018. In February 2018, the SEC published formal guidance asking companies to improve disclosure of cyber-security risks, specifically referencing ransomware. According to a report by the ransomware incident response company Coveware, ransomware ransoms in Q1 2020 average $110,000, up from $10,000 a year ago.

Nutanix Furloughs 

Nutanix confirmed furloughs of about 25% of its staff, over 1400 workers, citing uncertain conditions due to COVID-19. These will come in the form of two seperate unpaid one-week furloughs occuring May 4 through July 26, followed by another round from Aug. 3 through Oct. 31. The company says these were structed to now impact any customer service and are temporary. Nutanix is out of the small startup phase, but doesn’t have nearly the financial muster of competitors like Dell EMC or HPE.

Salt Bugs Exploited

Servers running the infrastructure management platform Salt have recently come under what appears to be a coordinated cyber attack, with the servers of the mobile OS LineageOS and the node.js blogging platform Ghost successfully exploted. Both said that while master servers had been compromised, the attackers do not appear to have stolen information, rather used the attacks to install cryptominers. According to security researchers speaking to ZDNet, the attackers likely used an automated vulnerability scanner to look for the recently patched bugs, and automatically exploit systems before they updated. I know patch all the things is the order of the day, but these exploits occurred around 24 hours from the time SaltStack put out the critical warning. Is that realistic Tom?

The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on YouTube every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for the show each week.

About the author

Rich Stroffolino

Rich has been a tech enthusiast since he first used the speech simulator on a Magnavox Odyssey². Current areas of interest include ZFS, the false hopes of memristors, and the oral history of Transmeta.

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