Daily Tech Briefing: April 25, 2014

In the past, Federal Communications Commission officials have said defending net neutrality was a high priority. However, following its courtroom defeat to Verizon in January, the FCC has made new proposed rules on the topic that seem to suggest it may be more willing to compromise on the issue than net neutrality proponents are willing to accept. The new draft of the Open Internet Notice on Proposed Rulemaking prevents Internet service providers from slowing down Web traffic, but it also allows companies to pay extra for a bit of a speed boost. Consumer advocacy groups have expressed frustration with this proposal, claiming that it could open the door to discrimination and pay-for-priority schemes.

The Linux Foundation has called on IBM, Intel, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Microsoft and other tech industry leaders to help prevent another security flaw on the scale of the Heartbleed Secure Sockets Layer bug from showing up in important open-source software components. The tech giants have joined the Core Infrastructure Initiative and have committed to contributing funds to developers who are building core infrastructure projects like OpenSSL. The initiative is not aimed at imposing direction on developers or open-source projects, but rather is aimed at working with them.

IBM has introduced new Power Systems servers, based on its POWER8 chips. The systems allow data centers to tackle big data in high-performance environments with an open-server platform. IBM released detailed technical specifications for its POWER8 processor, meaning that both collaborators and competitors have the opportunity to innovate on the processor and server platform.

Finally, Equinix, a data center operator, recently began offering Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute to select customers. This is part of the company's plan to expand the offering to 16 markets across four continents. ExpressRoute gives companies the ability to link public and private cloud infrastructures to launch hybrid clouds that can seamlessly scale to meet their computing and storage requirements. According to Equinix, companies will also have the ability to bridge their cloud and data center strategies and reap the benefits of full integration between cloud services and internal applications.

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