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F5 acquires NGINX: What to expect from the deal

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Multi-cloud considered the foundation of digital efficiency
A recent survey conducted by F5 Networks finds high levels of interest in building digital foundations among IT managers and professionals, who are increasing adopting multi-cloud strategies to make it happen. Read more: http://zd.net/2DMHreL

Why would F5, best known as a high-end, enterprise Internet Service Provider (ISP), acquire NGINX, which most people know because of its high-speed, open-source web server, NGINX? 

When you describe it that way, this $670 million acquisition sounds like a great deal… for the 1990s. But both companies are far more than that, and together they hope to become the backbone for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud services and other net-based application delivery services. Now, that’s a 21st century deal.

Let’s make one thing clear immediately: While a speedy web server is all well and good, this deal is not about web servers per se — nor is it about what had long been seen as a rivalry between Nginx and the Apache HTTP Server. 

No, François Locoh-Donou F5’s CEO explained ahead of the deal’s completion that the two companies will be about providing DevOps for cloud networking. Specifically, the pair will bring together “the modern, open-source applications developed in and for the cloud and the traditional, mission-critical applications that are often the last to migrate out of the enterprise data center.”

NGINX CEO Gus Robertson assures NGINX customers that “F5 is committed to the NGINX open-source technology, developers, and community.” NGINX’s open-source heart will keep beating on in F5’s body.

As for NGINX’s commercial products, moving forward Robertson says they will be:

  • Infusing F5 security capabilities into NGINX products.
  • Extending NGINX Controller with additional control plane functionality to manage lightweight application delivery controller (ADCs) and load-balancers.
  • Enhancing the NGINX Controller API Management Module.
  • Accelerating the development of a new NGINX Controller Service Mesh Module for microservices and Kubernetes capabilities.

When you put it all together, you see the two joining forces to create an open-source-based, high-end network application services for today’s cloud-based IT world.

NGINX’s customers and partners like this idea. At Red Hat Summit in Boston, NGINX VP of Global Strategic Alliances and Partnerships Christine Puccio said: “We already have really good movement on on controllers. A lot of our security and management partners want to plug into out open APIs. With our partners, we’ve developed kind of a target list of features they need, and we already have designs in the pipeline.”

To make all this work and help integrate F5 and NGINX’s products together, Robertson, along with the company’s founders and its 250-employee team, will continue to run the NGINX business from its San Francisco home.

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Both Volkswagen and Tesla are preparing cheaper EVs

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A new report is going around that claims new, more affordable electric vehicles will be coming to market. According to the report, both Tesla and Volkswagen have given new EV programs the green light to create cars selling for between $25,000 and $30,000. That is a price point that will undoubtedly make transitioning to electric vehicles more affordable for people worldwide.

Pricing is one of the main concerns cited by vehicle shoppers for not choosing electric vehicles compared to a traditional car. Many have been waiting for EVs to reach price parity with similarly equipped traditional vehicles. That parity has been achieved in some parts of the luxury segment making EVs more popular in that part of the market.

Advancements in batteries have helped bring the price of electric vehicles down as the battery pack is one of the most expensive parts of the car. More drivers are interested in EVs as driving ranges have increased significantly in recent years. One barrier that remains in the way is the lack of charging infrastructure in many parts of the world.

Many also cite long charge times as a reason they’ve yet to adopt an electric vehicle. With new electric cars in the $25,000-$30,000 price range, one more barrier of entry will be removed. Tesla announced in September that it was planning a smaller long-range electric car using new battery technology that would start at $25,000. Elon Musk also noted that the vehicle will be fully autonomous and revealed a timeframe of about three years from now. The VW car is dubbed the Small Battery Electric Vehicle.

Volkswagen is aiming at a car about the size of its Polo. Volkswagen has offered no indication of when exactly its vehicle might come to market. Reports indicate that the 2024 through 2025 model range is a good guess for when the vehicles might arrive.

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Hyundai and Kia fined $210 million over vehicle recalls due to engine trouble

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced consent orders this week with Hyundai and Kia related to recalls of vehicles equipped with the Theta II engines. The automakers were hit with combined penalties amounting to $210 million. The NHTSA found that Hyundai and Kia conducted untimely recalls of over 1.6 million vehicles that used the Theta II engines.

The NHTSA also found that the automakers reported certain inaccurate information to it during the recalls. The consent orders establish monetary and non-monetary measures that will enhance Kia and Hyundai’s safety practices. Kia will create a new US safety office headed by a Chief Safety Officer. Hyundai will build a US test facility for safety investigations.

Both companies have promised to develop and implement a sophisticated data analytics program to better detect safety concerns. The agreements will also see each company retain an independent, third-party auditor who will directly report to the NHTSA. These auditors will conduct comprehensive reviews of the Safety Act practices and compliance with the consent order.

The NHTSA is also making both companies commit to substantial organizational improvements to enhance their ability to identify and investigate potential safety issues in the US while consistently and transparently communicating with the NHTSA. Hyundai is subject to a total civil penalty of $140 million with a $54 million upfront payment. It’s obligated to spend another $40 million on specified safety performance measures and an additional $46 million deferred penalty that will become payable if specified conditions aren’t satisfied.

Kia is subject to the total civil penalty of $70 million with a $27 million upfront payment. It’s obligated to spend another $16 million on specified safety performance measures with a $27 million deferred penalty payable if certain conditions aren’t satisfied. The consent orders don’t impact other ongoing investigations by the NHTSA regarding allegations of fires not related to crashes in Hyundai and Kia vehicles equipped with the Theta II engines.

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The NHTSA is opening an investigation into the Tesla Model S and Model X

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The NHTSA announced this week that it was opening a preliminary investigation into potential safety concerns raised by owners of Tesla Model S and Model X cars. The agency has received 53 complaints alleging failures of the left or right front suspension fore links. Of those 43 complaints, 11 incidents occurred while driving.

In its statement issued about the investigation, the NHTSA says that the complaints appear to indicate an increasing trend with 34 complaints received in the last two years, with three of them occurring at highway speeds. The agency intends to assess the scope, frequency, and consequences of the alleged fault.

The investigation will cover Tesla Model S cars ranging from 2015 through 2017 model years and Tesla Model X SUVs made from 2016 through 2017. As these vehicles age, they could be prone to defects that didn’t surface when they were newer. As of now, there has been no official statement from Tesla on the investigation.

There is also no indication that a recall has to be issued at this time. Tesla vehicles have had their share of issues with fire potential from battery damage during accidents. Several fatal accidents have also been blamed on inattentive drivers and Tesla Autopilot driver assistance systems not recognizing hazards in the road.

On Wednesday of this week, Tesla announced that it was issuing a recall on over 9000 Model Y and Model X vehicles due to issues with bolts. The Model X also had an issue where roof trim could detach over time, leading to potential accidents or road hazards. Despite the recalls, Tesla shares are booming, having gained more than 600 percent in 2020 despite the pandemic.

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