HDS Metamorphisis: From Storage 5th to IoT 1st
Sep21

HDS Metamorphisis: From Storage 5th to IoT 1st

LAS VEGAS: HDS is dead. Long live Hitachi Vantara. By combining its former storage/IT business unit (origins date back to 1979, but debuted as HDS in 1989) together with Pentaho (BI software acquired in 2015) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services, i.e. Vantara 1.0, formed in 2016: ), $81 billion Hitachi is repositioning HDS from a fifth-place finish in enterprise storage to first place in the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. In addition to launching the reorganization at Hitachi NEXT 2017 in front of more than 2,000 attendees and more thousands online, the new and improved IoT business unit draped itself in most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. Although HDS was recently upgraded from Challenger to Leader in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays, the hottest segment in enterprise storage, and the unit was contributing around 20% of Hitachi’s revenues, it has been on a downward trend the last couple of years. The overall enterprise storage market grew only 2.9% last quarter (to $10.8 billion), and fifth-place HDS accounted for only $413 million, down 3.8%, and well behind first-place HPE and second-place Dell EMC. A year ago it had 5.7% of the enterprise storage market revenues, while two years ago it had a 7.8% share of worldwide external storage revenue during the quarter.   While storage is stuck in commodity hell and HDS appears to be falling behind, IoT is experiencing exponential growth. Back in February Gartner predicted 8.4 billion things will be connected in 2017, up 31% from a year ago. That’s almost $2 trillion on endpoints and services this year, and we’re looking at 20.4 billion connected things by 2020,  with hardware spending expected to reach almost $3 trillion. IDC is not as optimistic, putting the IoT market at just under $1.4 trillion by 2021. That may be less than half of Gartner’s forecast, but it still represents an incredible opportunity for Vantara, which is pushing a more holistic approach than most of its competitors. “The true value of IoT is being realized when the software and services come together to enable the capture, interpretation, and action on data produced by IoT endpoints,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC.” The tagline for NEXT was ‘Lead What’s Next’, that was reinforced by another, more enduring Hitachi theme, ‘Double Bottom Line’, marrying the drive for business success together with social responsibility. The launch of Ventara “marks a monumental change for Hitachi”, said Hitachi, Ltd. president and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara, in his keynote on Tuesday. The company was...

Read More
Micro Focus HyPEs New Security Business
Sep14

Micro Focus HyPEs New Security Business

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)   Last week Equifax, a supplier of credit information, reported that a recent data breach could affect up to 143 million consumers in the U.S. It’s even worse for businesses: according to Cisco’s 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, only 66% of organizations are investigating security alerts, and businesses are mitigating less than 50% of attacks they know are legitimate. More than 150 years ago author Charles Dickens started off his novel ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ with “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, and that line is still timely when it comes to cybersecurity and the new and improved Micro Focus. The new company officially debuted on September 1 with the ‘spin-merge’ acquisition of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business valued at $8.8 billion, making it the world’s ‘seventh largest pure-play software company’, with annual revenue of $4.4 billion. Chris Hsu, formerly COO of HPE and EVP and GM of HPE Software, is now CEO of Micro Focus. Under the terms of the deal, HPE shareholders own 50.1% of the new company, which works out to approximately $6.3 billion, which is in addition to the $2.5 billion cash payment that HPE received. The deal involved the ArcSight security and Mercury Interactive application management assets, as well as the late and unlamented Autonomy Corp. plc, which HP acquired in 2011 for $11.1 billion (more than $16 billion for all three acquisitions), but ended up writing off almost $9 billion of the purchase price. According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, HPE’s software business revenue in the 12 months through Oct. 31, 2016 were $3.17 billion. ITOM (IT Operations Management) comprised 61% of the revenue; Enterprise Security Products (18%); Information Management and Governance (16%); and Big Data Analytics (5%). Revenue for all products broke down to: 28% license, 9% software-as-a-service (SaaS), 50% maintenance, and 13% professional services. On Tuesday the company refreshed its expanded security portfolio, with new and enhanced offerings, including: -ArcSight Data Platform (ADP) 2.2 (GA October) brings native, realtime log parsing, security data enrichment and normalization into the innovative Event Broker for security operations that scales to any data volumes, building the power of ArcSight’s connectors directly into the Event Broker; -a new partnership provides IT and security teams with data that has been enriched for better visibility and customization within powerful search dashboards of Elastic; –ArcSight Investigate 2.0 (GA October) with built-in security analytics displayed in pre-defined dashboards that are powered by Vertica to provide actionable intelligence for front-line analysts; -Change Guardian 5.0...

Read More
Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?
Jun15

Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?

SAN FRANCISCO: There were a number of product announcements, some fascinating market research, and insights into the future provided at, and leading up to, this week’s Pure//Accelerate 2017, the second annual customer/partner event from enterprise flash storage market light-heavyweight Pure Storage, Nearing the $1-billion revenue mark, the company is comfortably in the top five flash vendors and offers an interesting perspective on where the market is, and where it might be going. The company’s marketing slogan — or at least one of them — is software-driven, hardware-accelerated, so it’s appropriate that there were more than 25 software announcements, all delivered in evergreen, all seamless upgrades. “Our core DNA is software,” said Scott ‘Dietz’ Dietzen, CEO of Pure Storage. The announcements included: Pure1 META, it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for delivering on the vision of self-driving storage; its vision for the data platform for the cloud era; major updates to its flagship software, Purity, Purity for FlashArray 5.0, and Purity for FlashBlade 2.0; and Purity CloudSnap, which extends Purity’s Snapshots to FlashBlade, NFS, and the public cloud. In April Pure announced FlashArray//X, the first mainstream all-NVMe FlashArray,  a new protocol for communicating with flash that provides the ‘low-latency and parallelism that promises to take the potential of flash to new heights,’ blogged Max Kixmoeller, Pure’s VP, Products. A month later it launched the NVMe Now promotion, an extension to the company’s TB-for-TB trade-in program Evergreen Storage. Through October 31, 2017, organizations using VMAX and XtremIO can upgrade to FlashArray//X, providing customers a “total cost of ownership savings of close to 50 percent over six years.” When asked how Pure’s portfolio now compares to the competition, storage guru Mark Peters, ESG Practice Director and Senior Analyst (Storage), Enterprise Strategy Group, gave them a solid ‘B’ and said they are now comparable, with the following caveats. It depends on how your define their competition and how you define their portfolio, he explained. “Assuming you are comparing to other AFA folks and just on the product rather than all the consumption and support choices, then they are now (at last) at least on par… maybe even with some nice advanced differentiators. If you compare to a broader storage, HCI or IT provider, clearly they have a long way to go.” If you assume it’s by how you define their portfolio, he views it as an iceberg. “To date we are only seeing a small % above the water (hence the solid “B”….but their architecture and approach means that their portfolio has immense extensibility — we are just not exposed to it all yet (so maybe an A’).” At least one competitor appears concerned about...

Read More
HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”
Jun08

HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is in Sin City this week, holding its annual customer and partner event (HPE Discover 2017), accompanied with the usual flurry of product announcements and preceded by another troubling financial report. HPE’s Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, believes the company is heading for an upswing, “accelerating out of the turnaround”, according to a recent interview. “I can feel it,” she said. “It is just smarter, easier, simpler. You cannot underestimate the accountability. There is nowhere left to hide at this company. I see a perfect place. There is nowhere left for partners to hide. There is no place for HPE employees to hide. It just makes things far easier and, frankly, more fun because you can get stuff done faster.” Faster, maybe, but better? HPE’s commodity hardware businesses and primary revenue generators — servers, storage, and to a lesser extent, networking — all took hits in the most recent quarter, with the to-be-expected impacts on revenues and margins. Second quarter FY17, announced on May 31, included a 13% year-over-year drop in GAAP net revenue ($7.4 billion vs $8.5 billion), and a more than 50% drop in GAAP operating margin (2.4% vs 2016’s 5.3%). While Whitman is predicting a speedy upturn, the current performance is not reassuring: -Enterprise Group revenue was $6.2 billion, down 13% year over year, down 7% when adjusted for divestitures and currency, with an 8.8% operating margin; -servers revenue was down 14%; -storage revenue was down 13%; and, -networking revenue was down 30%. Overall IT spending is expected to inch up 1.4% this year, to $3.5 trillion, with the datacenter segment pegged at a very anemic 0.3% growth. “We are seeing a shift in who is buying servers and who they are buying them from” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in the cloud from companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This has created a reduction in spending on servers which is impacting the overall data center system segment.” Vendor revenue for the global server market declined 4.6% to $11.8 billion in 1Q17, but HPE took a much bigger hit, with a 15.8% YoY decline in sales. Second-place Dell — 20.1% vs HPE’s 24.2% market share — grew its revenues 4.7%, while Cisco, IBM, and Lenovo were statistically tied for third place, and all saw revenue declines (3%, 34.7% and 16.5%, respectively). Storage was worse. 4Q16 enterprise factory revenue was down 6.7% YoY, to $11.1 billion, with Dell holding down top spot, courtesy of its EMC acquisition, and with HPE tied with...

Read More
CA Levels The Playing Field
Jun01

CA Levels The Playing Field

SAN JOSE: CA Technologies has a storied past that began with the mainframe back in 1976, but it’s looking to reinvent itself as the architect of the ‘modern software factory’ which will make Digital Transformation a reality. It’s all about rapid — and frequent — change, levelling the playing field, and the keys include a focus on business agility, a high degree of automation and reducing time to market, all while securing that software lifecycle, said CA President and Chief Product Officer Ayman Sayed. DT is a business phenomenon, as much as it is driven by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security. But technology enables that phenomenon, he said. “Every business strategy is a technology strategy.” The good news for CA, is that while technology may be the foundation of DT and the next industrial revolution, this will be a software-driven revolution. “I think the time is right… our portfolio is well positioned,” added Sayed. The challenge is that many people still think of CA as it used to be 5-10 years ago, a vendor of legacy software, and not the supplier of the tools and methodologies for today’s emerging ‘app economy’. “The key thing is that we need to see that perception catches up to reality,” said Sayed. The company has been around for quite a few decades, established a reputation, and people see CA in a specific way that doesn’t actually apply to who it is today, agreed CA’s Otto Berkes, EVP and Chief Technology Officer. Management wants to drive awareness that CA has a new and interesting story to tell, one based on technology transformation and business transformation. The company’s current value proposition is helping its customers reinvent their businesses, transform their businesses, said Sayed. We do this by giving them the tools, technology and expertise to become the modern software factory, enabling them to build the modern software factory. CA is building in analytics, machine learning and intelligence, and security in everything it creates, he added. “Transform or die, disrupt or be disrupted. It’s an ongoing journey, not a checkmark,” explained Sayed Once you’ve established these elements of digital engagement there are lots of ways to transform the business, he said. “The new world is one that levels the playing field.” Technology and DT level the playing field, give you much larger scale and reach, added Sayed. There is a gap between current capabilities and desired objectives, said Berkes. “Enterprises don’t have efficient mechanisms for turning ideas into software,” but CA’s portfolio, built around agile, DevOps, and security, “an end-to-end value proposition,” delivers maximum value...

Read More
Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank
May18

Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank

LAS VEGAS: The second Dell EMC World is over, a variety of products and services have been unveiled, 13,500 customers, partners and staff have gone home — including me, so ignore the address above — and now comes the $60-billion-plus question, what comes next? For the ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’ like HPE’s Meg Whitman, the company is struggling to stay afloat with $50 billion in debt, it’s mired in hardware-based, commodity hell and is quickly becoming obsolete as everything moves to the cloud and IT as a Service. The reality is far different: Dell is a leader in 15 of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants; it is the largest enterprise storage vendor; it is the third largest PC vendor, but unlike many of its competitors, is growing market share and increasing ASPs. All told, the combined entity — including Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, RSA, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware — is bringing in $75 billion a year, which is not too shabby. “It’s all about show me the money,” said Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, and the company is “laughing all the way to the bank,” posting solid numbers as it closes in on its first year following the EMC acquisition. According to a recent interview with David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, the company’s focus is a long-term game, looking three to five years in the future, where they see an even more consolidated industry than today and where they are uniquely positioned as an essential infrastructure, broad-based platform. Organizations are looking to have fewer information technology suppliers, and they want the ones they retain to be strategic and more capable, he pointed out. DEW17 was all about transformation — digital, IT, workforce and security — and I reached out to a number of analysts and asked them for their views on where Dell EMC is in its own transformation, and what it should focus on for the immediate future. Their responses follow: Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, the Enderle Group: The IT market is hell bent on transformation at the moment and thanks to the promise of lower taxes and a huge ramp in valuations firms are investing in capital projects at an impressive rate so the opportunity, to quote President Trump, is HUGE! Their performance is good, the merger set them back far less than most expected largely because the execution literally set the bar for efforts like this and their old VCE unit was on the forefront as the most successful converged and hyper-converged provider. And it is these concepts that appear to be having the biggest impact on firms that truly want to change. Jaguar/Land Rover was...

Read More