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Posts Tagged ‘Sun Microsystems’

Article from SFGate.

“The solar power system Facebook Inc. plans for its new Menlo Park headquarters won’t just supply electricity. It’ll heat water for the showers, too. And maybe help clean dishes in the cafe.

The system will be designed and installed by Cogenra Solar, a Mountain View startup that uses the sun’s energy to produce electricity and hot water at the same time. The collection of solar cells, mirrors and pipes will sit atop Facebook’s 10,000-square-foot fitness center, powering the exercise equipment and churning out steaming water for the locker rooms.

The technology’s dual use makes it far more cost-effective than conventional solar systems that provide electricity alone, said Cogenra CEO Gilad Almogy. And while neither company will say how much the array will cost Facebook, Almogy said the social networking giant will recoup its investment in less than five years.

“It’ll be a shorter payback than any other form of renewable energy,” Almogy said.

Planting solar panels on the office or warehouse roof has become de rigueur for many Bay Area companies. By those standards, Facebook’s solar array will be relatively modest, generating 60 kw of electricity and thermal output, combined. A typical home solar system produces about 3 kilowatts of electricity.

The array will cover only one roof on the nine-building campus, which used to house Sun Microsystems. But Facebook could expand the system if it performs as advertised, possibly using the hot water in the existing cafe and another planned for the campus. John Tenanes, Facebook’s director of global facilities, said his company is taking the same approach to solar that it takes to its Web service – checking out a promising new idea to assess its potential.

“We try stuff and see if it works,” he said. “And that’s what this is. Cogenra is really our initial investment (in solar power), and we’re going to see how well it works.”

Cogenra’s technology is designed to use energy that other solar set-ups waste.

Photovoltaic panels absorb a small fraction of the energy the sun throws at them, typically 15 to 20 percent. The rest is wasted as heat.

Cogenra arrays, however, run fluid-filled tubes behind the solar cells, with the fluid absorbing some of the heat cast off by the cells. The fluid – a chemical compound kept in a sealed loop – then transfers the heat to water. Curved troughs of mirrors concentrate sunlight on the cells, while motors keep the troughs pointed at the sun as it arcs across the sky.

Cogenra has already installed a 272-kilowatt system at a Sonoma winery, which uses the hot water to clean barrels. The Sonoma Wine Co. array, however, is mounted on the ground. The Facebook array will rest on the rooftop and will weigh far less. The company also plans to install a rooftop version of its technology on a University of Arizona dormitory.

“Not all customers who need significant amounts of hot water have nearby land to use,” Almogy said.

Backed by Khosla Ventures, Cogenra also tries to keep costs down by using solar cells, inverters, mirrors and tracking equipment made by other companies. The company’s ability to take off-the-shelf gear and turn it into something new impressed Facebook.

“They mashed together all these different things, and it seems to work well together,” Tenanes said.”

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Article from GigaOm.

“Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, hired former HP CEO Mark Hurd and declared that as “Oracle continues to grow, we need people experienced in operating a $100 billion business,” and ever since, the technology world has waited to see what other acquisitions Larry Ellison might have up his sleeve. This past week, we saw strong reactions to the rumor that Oracle might make a bid to buy EMC, due to the acquisition’s outlandish nature and monetary mismatch. Oracle will need to more than triple its revenue to reach that $100 billion target, so anything is possible.

That said, the rumor whips up a bunch of financial questions, because EMC owns 80 percent of VMware. EMC has a market capitalization of around $43 billion, and VMware around $32 billion. Match that up with EMC’s annual revenues of around $15 billion and VMware at $2.4 billion, and it isn’t hard to figure out where most of the value is, as well as where Oracle might be able to get a good deal on the multiple leading storage platforms.

So yes, the idea of Oracle buying EMC and VMware is a little crazy. But the idea of buying EMC and not VMware is within the realm of possibility, at least on paper, with The Register estimating that the non-VMware portion of EMC could be worth as little as $7.9 billion.

This is where things get interesting. The industry appears to be pushing towards server, network and storage consolidation following the moves of HP, IBM, Cisco, and Dell. Even Oracle has pushed a complete hardware and software package with Exalogic and Exadata using technology from Sun Microsystems to deliver an integrated solution. EMC and Network Appliance remain the large pure-play storage companies that could add significant heft to a server vendor that wants to dominate integrated stacks. HP and IBM have too much product overlap, and Dell can’t afford EMC, so that leaves an opening for Oracle and Cisco.

It seems likely that Oracle could be considering an EMC-only bid. I’ve heard some speculate that the reason Oracle became so tied to NetApp for certain solutions was the fear of EMC data center account control. Make no mistake; EMC knows how to close big deals, as their revenue number proves. If the goal for Oracle is to reach $100 billion, NetApp wouldn’t help them as effectively. NetApp currently has an $18 billion dollar market cap and just over $4 billion in revenue.

With Oracle, and potentially Cisco, interested in looking at a the EMC part of the equation, there could be impetus to move this deal forward. Even though Sun had plenty of great storage technology, they never had the commercial product success and storage revenues of EMC. If consolidation between servers and storage is the future, EMC better get cozy with someone soon.”

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Article from SF Gate.

“Hewlett-Packard Co., Oracle Corp. and IBM Corp. are leading an acquisition spree that has propelled the value of U.S. technology deals 24 percent to more than $50 billion this year and broken down decades-old barriers between industries.

The companies are using purchases to become one-stop providers of products from computers to software to networking gear, rather than focusing on a niche. A plunge in computing-industry stocks last week, spurred by concerns that demand is slowing, makes some companies more affordable.

HP, Oracle, IBM, Cisco Systems Inc. and Dell Inc., with a collective $100 billion in cash, have said they plan to keep making acquisitions. Buyers will probably scoop up targets in areas such as storage, software and security, helping them cater to corporate customers building data centers to handle a Web traffic boom, said Charles King, principal analyst at research firm Pund-IT in Hayward.

“A lot of tech leaders are repositioning themselves,” said Drago Rajkovic, head of technology mergers at Barclays Capital in Menlo Park. “Tech merger and acquisition activity is going to remain very strong this year and going into next year.”

Companies have announced $51.9 billion worth of technology and Internet takeovers in the United States this year, up from $41.8 billion in the same period in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The buyers are pursuing a vision of cloud computing, which lets customers store their software in massive data centers, rather than in the computer room down the hall. Record low borrowing costs have helped spur the deals.

To build up its data-center technology, Hewlett-Packard agreed to spend $2.35 billion last month for the money-losing Fremont storage maker 3Par Inc., after an 18-day bidding war with Dell more than tripled 3Par’s stock price. Shares of other potential targets, such as Riverbed Technology Inc., Isilon Systems Inc. and Fortinet Inc., have each climbed more than 25 percent since the bidding for 3Par was made public.

Project California

Cisco’s expansion into computing hardware has put pressure on HP, IBM and Dell, the leaders in that industry, to respond. Cisco, the world’s biggest maker of networking equipment, introduced its own line of servers in March 2009. The effort, originally code-named Project California, is beginning to gain acceptance from big customers, says Dominic Orr, chief executive officer of one of Cisco’s networking rivals, Aruba Networks Inc.

“That’s creating a lot of nervousness,” Orr said. “Nobody wants to be Californicated by Cisco.”

The acquisitions are a boon to the largest investment banks. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has advised companies in more than 30 percent of U.S. technology deals this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Morgan Stanley and Barclays Capital ranked second and third.

The price HP paid for 3Par was about 10 times the company’s revenue over the past four quarters. The premium reflected a growing urgency to use acquisitions to fuel growth and underscores the dearth of affordable runners-up.

“The public markets are pricing in premiums that, frankly, are going to prevent some deals from happening,” Cisco Senior Vice President Ned Hooper, who handles corporate business development, said. “The companies that are winning in the market are responsible players.”

Oracle, the world’s second-largest software company, snapped up almost 70 companies in the past five years. In January, it bought Sun Microsystems Inc., marking a foray into computer hardware. Last month, it used the acquisition to introduce high-end servers designed to run Oracle programs faster than competing machines.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has pledged to acquire more hardware companies, especially in the chip area. While HP and Dell use processors from Intel Corp. in their servers, Oracle plans to build out Sun’s proprietary chip technology.”
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We all know that mergers are not easy. Here is some news in regards to the Oracle/ Sun merger from Daily Finance.

“As expected, the E.U. raised objections to the Oracle (ORCL) buyout of Sun (JAVA) at about the same time that the Department of Justice approved the deal. The E.U.’s objection is based on the large market share that the two tech companies would have in the MySQL software business.

European authorities have been deviling American companies for years. In 2001 they killed the GE (GE) deal to purchase Honeywell (HON), which would have been the crowning achievement of Jack Welch’s tenure at the world’s largest conglomerate. The E.U. has troubled Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) over antitrust concerns, and now it has brought up similar issues with Oracle’s plans.

The aggressive stance of the Europeans could threaten other deals in the works, starting with the planned joint venture in the search industry betweenYahoo! (YHOO) and Microsoft. Action on the merger could bring Google’s (GOOG) huge market share in the search industry under scrutiny. Even the Kraft (KFT) deal with Cadbury might be aggressively reviewed — if it ever happens. That transaction would give Kraft a huge portion of the gum and chocolate businesses in Europe.”

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Here is a possitive article from Green Energy Reporter.

“A widely used catch phrase – or some variation of it – appearing in the media since the official start of the crisis this fall,  goes something like this: “the global economic crisis, has left the [add required sector, in our case clean tech] reeling, unable to tap crucial funding…. ” This generic phrase and its variations have been used over and over to describe a harsh reality, specifically  how the credit crunch has left industries across the board at a standstill, unable tap financing to support their growth.

Then there is Khosla Ventures, the Sand Hill Road clean tech-focused venture fund, which will be announcing sometime this week the closing of two funds totalling $1 billion, all dedicated to supporting early clean tech investments. This is impressive, considering that most don’t expect this sort of capital raising to happen until well into 2010.

But it seems that Khosla Ventures, founded by Silicon Valley veteran Vinod Khosla, can afford shortcuts.  For one,  Khosla is a co-founder of Sun Microsystems and a former partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, two leading Silicon Valley pioneers. Also, back in 2004, when clean tech was an afterthought and social media  à la MySpace was all the rage,  he launched Khosla Ventures, one of the sector’s first clean-tech focused VC fund.

Forbes.com reports Khosla is on the verge of announcing two new funds: a $250 million vehicle for seed-stage investments and a $750 million fund for larger deals dubbed “KVIII.” One fund has closed already, and the other could close soon, Forbes reports, citing people with knowledge of the funds. Khosla himself is expected to invest $150 million of his own money in the new funds. Other reported investors include CalPERS, the pension giant with $179.2 billion in assets.”

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Here is article from USA Today. As the crisis starts to ebb out, the downsizing has produced piles of cash at some companies.

“SAN FRANCISCO — There could be a thaw in the months-long stagnant market for tech mergers and acquisition.

Data-storage companies EMC (EMC) and NetApp are dueling to buy Data Domain for at least $1.8 billion. Last week, chipmaker Intel (INTC) said it would buy testing and development software maker Wind River Systems for $884 million.

The quarter’s big catch was when Oracle (ORCL) snapped up Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion.

While hardly a buying spree, the uptick could signal a break for what has been a sluggish tech M&A market since the third quarter of last year.

So far, $17.9 billion has been spent on tech mergers in the U.S. in the current quarter — more than the previous two quarters combined, according to market researcher Thomson Reuters.

The activity reflects one byproduct of a sour economy: Big tech companies sitting on piles of cash are willing to spend some of it to aggressively pick up innovative start-ups as well as rivals with customers and market share.

The deals come at a time when venture capital funding is scarce for start-ups and there are scant initial public offerings.

“People historically make their money when they invest consistently, even during downturns,” says Keith Larson, vice president of Intel Capital, the company’s venture-capital arm. The company has said that it will spend $7 billion over two years to build advanced manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

“Almost the worst thing you can do is pull back during a downturn and miss out on buying opportunities,” Larson says. “We have a multiyear road map on the technology side.”

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers, who has navigated the venerable network-equipment maker through several downturns, has said companies willing to take calculated risks often emerge stronger from recessions.

A few established companies with ample cash reserves this year have bolstered their war chests with the intention of snapping up companies.

Cisco (CSCO), which sold $4 billion in bonds in February, has about $33.5 billion in cash reserves. It acquired Pure Digital Technologies, maker of the popular Flip video camera, for $590 million.

“If you have cash, it is a good time to fortify product lines and fuel growth,” says Cynthia Ringo, managing partner for VC firm DBL Investors.

So far this quarter, there have been 239 deals in the U.S., including the Oracle-Sun blockbuster. In the first three months of this year, there were 313 deals.”

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Building on the trend of Apple, Nokia and others – Sun makes the move into a independent Appstore deployment. As Apple has shown that it is a viable business model, it only makes sense – end-users like to shop around, and are willing to pay for smaller apps. As Google Android starting to make its way into mobile phones, and Nokia “opened” up Symbian – the end-user community developer trend will create a business eco-system worth spending some research on. The project is codenamed Vector but will likely be called “Java Store” after its official launch.

Here is some quotes from Jonathan Schwartz by way of Washington Post.

“Candidate applications will be submitted via a simple web site, evaluated by Sun for safety and content, then presented under free or fee terms to the broad Java audience via our update mechanism. Over time, developers will bid for position on our storefront, and the relationships won’t be exclusive (as they have been for search). As with other app stores, Sun will charge for distribution – but unlike other app stores, whose audiences are tiny, measured in the millions or tens of millions, ours will have what we estimate to be approximately a billion users. That’s clearly a lot of traffic, and will position the Java App Store as having just about the world’s largest audience.”

“The store will be for all Java devices. Initially, the PC desktop will get the most attention from developers and customers, but there’s plenty of Java-enabled phones and developers will be pleased to have another distribution channel, especially one with the power of Sun behind it.”

Read the full article here. Read Jonathan Schwartz blog entry here.

Other bloggers covering this topic include: OStatic, Mobile Marketing Watch, Mobile Blogs, IndicThreads.

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