Posts Tagged ‘Software’

Solar Monitor Draker Labs Lays Off Staff But Hopes For White Knight

August 28th, 2015

Draker Labs, one of the leading providers of monitoring systems and services for commercial and utility-scale solar power, had to “downsize” last Friday, according to the Burlington Free Press.

Sources indicate that most or all of the company’s employees were let go. Other sources suggest that Draker has left customers without monitoring capabilities and that Washington Gas & Electric was scrambling for a replacement.

Last month, Draker and monitoring firm Inaccess were set to merge. The two firms would have had a combined portfolio of 5 gigawatts of utility and commercial-scale solar power plants, according to the report Global PV Monitoring 2014-2018 by GTM Research and SoliChamba Consulting

That deal fell through.

Sources close to the deal suggest that Draker had a high cost structure and was being pressured by competitors such as Also Energy and Locus Energy.

But all is not lost?

Here’s the text of a letter from Draker Executive Chairman Everett S. McGinley sent to customers on Thursday saying that Draker had signed an agreement with “a leading solar industry solution provider.”

Valued Draker Clients

We are pleased to announce that Draker has signed an agreement with a leading solar industry solution provider for the continuation of Draker’s business and service to its clients. The agreement provides for the following:

Draker’s monitoring services will continue without interruption.
Key system management staff are being recalled to work immediately to ensure continuity of service.
Draker and the buyer intend to fulfill the installation, set-up and commissioning of previously-contracted business at new sites with the least schedule disruption possible.
Customers for new sites will be contacted individually within the next few days to confirm orders and discuss scheduling.
A closing of the acquisition is anticipated as early in September as practicable, with a target of mid-month. Resumption of service and support will begin immediately, however, prior to the acquisition closing.
The Draker team appreciates the support of its clients and looks forward to continuing to serve them in the future.

What vendor might want to acquire Draker?

Inaccess might want to reengage and we’ve heard talk of companies like SunEdison or SunPower taking an interest, although solar companies have a bit less buying power than they did a few weeks ago. Cedric Brehaut from SoliChamba Consulting, author of the GTM report, notes that “due to the business practice of selling monitoring software subscriptions 5-year up-front (mostly to leverage the ITC), the existing installed base is not necessarily seen as an asset but a liability.”

“The most likely scenario”, adds Brehaut, “is that a downstream company operating a large fleet of megawatt-scale PV plants picks up Draker for its software platform, in order to bring monitoring in-house and/or to replace internally-developed software with Draker technology.”

In the meantime, competitors like AlsoEnergy and Solectria are trying to migrate Draker’s customers to their platform.


Apple sends out invites for September 9 event; expected to unveil iPhones 6s, iPhone 6s Plus

August 28th, 2015

Apple has announced plans for a new product event on September 9 in San Francisco, where the giant tech company is expected to show off new iPhones and other gadgets.

The company has introduced a new iPhone model every year around this time. But in typical fashion, Apple is only dropping vague clues about its plans.

Invitations sent to reporters and analysts were headlined, “Hey Siri, give us a hint.” Apple has previously said it plans to expand the capabilities of Siri, its voice-activated personal assistant, in an upcoming version of its operating software for iPhones and iPads.

Industry insiders have also speculated Apple may introduce a larger iPad for business users, a new set-top box for televisions and possibly other products. The company, however, has not confirmed any plans.

While Apple usually holds such events on a regular schedule, they are still the subject of much anticipation in the tech industry, given that Apple products tend to be popular and influential.

Apple says the September 9 event will be held at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in downtown San Francisco. The auditorium seats up to 7,000 people, which is a much larger capacity than San Francisco’s 750-seat Yerba Buena Theater, where Apple often holds such events.


HDS unveils infrastructure solutions for VMware environments

August 28th, 2015

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., has announced new hyper-converged infrastructure solutions and software enhancements for VMware environments. The solutions help eliminate complexity, protect workloads and reduce operational expenses, and are particularly helpful for partners and customers who want to transform traditional data centers and embrace private and hybrid cloud environments.

The newly available Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL is a pre-built and fully optimized hyper-converged appliance that is designed for rapid, low-cost deployment of remote office, test and development, virtual desktop and similar virtualized solutions. Like the existing UCP family from Hitachi Data Systems, UCP 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL provides enterprise converged infrastructure solutions that easily support core-to-edge IT workloads and simplifies increasingly complex datacenters, and now remote offices.

Hitachi also announced new VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes support for the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) G1000. The Hitachi implementation of VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes allows customers to automate and take full advantage of granular VM control and policy-based management of VM growth and drive greater datacenter efficiency.

Hitachi UCP 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL offers optional integration with Hitachi Data Ingestor software that allows for “bottomless backup” on-premise with Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) or in the cloud with Hitachi Cloud Service for Content Archiving. Hitachi UCP 1000 for VMware EVO:RAIL provides customers with the flexibility and agility they need in remote office and other environments at a lower cost than other solutions.

A new release of Hitachi Virtual Infrastructure Integrator 3.0, a comprehensive data protection and management solution that is specific to VMware vSphere, simplifies data management for file and block storage and allows scheduled and instantaneous backup, recovery and cloning services. It also helps customers meet backup and recovery service levels at the VM level while improving resource utilization.

Hitachi Data Systems is also now offering stretched storage cluster capabilities on VSP systems using global-active device technology in conjunction with VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, allowing customers nondisruptive application mobility and improved recovery point objectives (RPO) and recovery time objectives (RTO) in the event of disaster. Hitachi Data Systems provides highly available, active-active clusters with automated recovery for Tier 1 business applications.


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