Daily Tech Briefing: Oct. 17, 2014

Supercomputer maker Cray is unveiling the second of its appliances designed to address big data in the high-performance computing space.

In December, the company will begin selling the Urika-XA appliance, a system that comes integrated with Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark frameworks to for big data analytics applications that use those open-source technologies.

Ramesh Menon, vice president of analytics products at Cray, explained that Urika-XA, offers an open and flexible platform that can be used with future analytics workloads, and is a natural next step in the company's efforts in the analytics field.

Microsoft recently announced the release of Skype 5.6 for iPhone. Skype product marketing manager Lara Kingwell explained that this app update brings a scaled and optimized user interface to the larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ screen sizes.

This is not the only Apple-related move Microsoft has made recently. Last week, the company released the Skype 7.0 desktop client for Mac.

Hewlett-Packard is broadening its network virtualization efforts with the unveiling of the company's Distributed Cloud Networking (DCN) system, which cloud service providers and large enterprises can deploy to automatically launch cloud networks across a distributed infrastructure.

This is a task that used to take months, but which HP claims can now take minutes. The DCN allows network administrators to control the distributed networking environment through a central point and over public, private or hybrid clouds, according to HP officials.

VMware and Hewlett-Packard are joining their talents to bring a new converged enterprise mobile management package into the market.

VMware contributes to the mobile management package with technology from its February acquisition of Airwatch, and HP provides the global mobile enterprise services that VMware lacks.

Jeff Carlat, HP director of Converged Systems Product Management, explained that the new capabilities create more choices for users by adding on-demand cloud delivery to the existing HP managed cloud and on-premises options.

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