Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?
Oct19

Talent-Gap Cure Or Just Cur-AI-ting IT?

Cisco originally pitched a story focused on its latest initiatives to address the ‘IT skills and knowledge gap’, which is a big and growing problem, and while the just-released AI-powered predictive services can be folded, spindled and mutilated into a ‘talent-gap cure’, it appears more to be just a really good set of business solutions. The costs and resources required to keep the datacenter lights on can account for 70-80% of IT budgets, said Bryan Palma, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Advanced Services, but while improving efficiencies and uptimes will pay a huge business dividend, that doesn’t mean those freed-up resources will translate into the IT skills and knowledge required to facilitate the new IT reality, digital transformation, which by one estimate will be worth $493.39 billion by 2022, and is speeding along at a CAGR of 19.1%. The new services, available immediately, fall into two categories — Business Critical Services and High-value Services — and are extensions of what the company has been providing for some time, said Palma. Services is the second largest business unit at Cisco, at $13 billion and 25% of revenues, with 90% of its services revenue recurring. A big part of the company’s competitive advantage is its installed base of 50 million networks, he told IT Trends & Analysis, and the telemetry data from that provides Cisco with a better picture of what’s going on in the IT environment than practically every other vendor. Professional services can leverage that data to help customers shift their focus from maintaining their datacenters and network infrastructures to finding new ways to improve customer services and generate revenues, he added. “At the same time we’re seeing that IT has been more defensive and they are looking to be more offensive, and that’s where we’re looking to take them.” Calling it a new portfolio of subscription services, Business Critical Services ‘deliver more capabilities including analytics, automation, compliance and security by Cisco Advanced Services’ technology experts’. “In the past it’s been called optimization,” said Palma, and as part of their ongoing focus on constant improvement, have made a number of improvements. “What we’re trying to do is give them the flexibility to move with their strategic options.” The new service benefits include helping minimize human error by: reducing complexity and cost through automation, orchestration, and technical expertise; accelerating business agility and transformation through advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities; and reducing risk with automated compliance and remediation services.The business outcome objectives are to help reduce downtime by 74%, resolve issues 41% percent faster and reduce operational costs by 21%. The other side of the services portfolio, Technical Services,...

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Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”
Oct12

Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”

Already one of the biggest players in the red-hot cloud infrastructure market (it grew 25.8% in the second quarter to $12.3 billion), Cisco Systems — in third place with 8.2% marketshare, trailing Dell (11.8%) and HPE (11.1%) — has a lot of credibility when it says cloud is transforming the datacenter. “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter,” said Tom Edsall, formerly a Cisco Fellow, SVP and GM, Insieme Business Unit, Cisco Systems. However, he told IT Trends & Analysis, the challenge is now you have an infrastructure that is basically a multi-vendor infrastructure. Rather than just a collection of hardware and software from different vendors, you have to throw in the various cloud providers like Amazon and Azure. He said organizations have part of their infrastructure running on different clouds, with different APIs, and are struggling to make the differences disappear. “The problems that we encountered 10 years ago are happening all over again,” said Edsall. “Then it wasn’t cloud, it was multi-vendor.” He added that the company has had strong success with on premise with its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) portfolio with over 4,000 customers. But while the customers really like the application-centric approach, they are frustrated because “they can’t get the same API at Amazon.” They want to know how do they get a common experience across these systems, said Edsall. Ever helpful, Cisco recently announced a management and automation platform for its Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems, Cisco Intersight. To be available 4Q17 in two versions — the Cisco Intersight Base Edition will be available at no charge, while the Cisco Intersight Essentials Edition will cost you — it is intended to simplify datacenter operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, instead of having to maintain ‘islands of on-premise management infrastructure.’ ‘The longer-term vision of Intersight is spot-on,” noted Matt Kimball, senior datacenter analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Not only does it address the issues IT organizations face today, but it also provides a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of tomorrow. If Cisco successfully executes this vision, it will firmly position itself as a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure orchestration and management.’ Unsurprisingly, a canned quote included in the Cisco release was equally ebullient: “Organizations that move to cloud-based systems management platforms will find that service delivery quality is significantly improved, the overall risk to the business goes down, and IT staff productivity is increased,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, IDC. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) –infused cloud-based management tools can offer deep insights into the state of the infrastructure, identify troubles before they become major issues, and enable quicker ‘root cause’ identification and analysis...

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Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

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Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success
Sep28

Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success

Last week Hitachi ($81 billion annual revenues and more than 800 subsidiaries, with products including consumer appliances, electric power generation as well as IT) announced it was combining its former storage/IT business unit Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), together with Pentaho (BI software) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services), into a new unit focused on the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. The new venture, Hitachi Vantara, also unveiled a number of products, services and partnerships focused on most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. So was this a bold move to combine assets that have a lot more potential upside in a US-based, IoT-focused business, or a desperate attempt to pump new life into stagnating segments? HDS may be the dominant member of the IoT troika, but with only a tiny share of a barely growing enterprise storage market, the grass looks much greener in an IoT market expected to reach between $1.2 to $2 trillion by 2021, with double-digit compound annual growth. The research data varies wildly, but it is certain that IoT is going to be a huge opportunity for the foreseeable future: –73% of executives are either researching or currently launching IoT projects; -manufacturing-based IoT connections grew 84% between 2016 and 2017, followed by energy & utilities (41%), transportation and distribution (40%), smart cities and communities (19%) and healthcare and pharma (11%); -the retail IoT market is forecast to surpass $30 billion by 2024; -the manufacturing IoT market is forecast to surpass $150 billion by 2024; -the IoT platform market (i.e. Vantara’s Lumada) is expected to grow 35% per year to $1.16 billion by 2020; and, -project-based IoT services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in 2016, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, approaching $30.8 billion, with the Americas (52.2%) and EMEA (34.4%) substantially outperforming Asia/Pacific (13.4%) last year. It would appear to be very good news — at least potentially — for Hitachi, because it’s name was nowhere to be found in key players in the Persistence Market Research study. The featured vendors were: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Google, General Electric, Samsung, Comcast, Intel, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fujitsu, Qualcomm Technologies, Honeywell International, Accenture PLC, ARM, Amazon Web Services, SAP SE, Zebra Technologies, and Texas Instruments. From Data Storage to Business Outcomes Vantara represents a change in how Hitachi, or at least some of its IT assets, are presented, said analyst George Crump, StorageSwiss. ‘It does not want to compete with Dell and HP for storage deals. It wants to compete with...

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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...

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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...

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