Compuware: Mainframe Showtime or Showdown?
Jul06

Compuware: Mainframe Showtime or Showdown?

In an industry that can best be characterized by “What have you done for me lately?”, the continued existence of the mainframe is somewhat perplexing. While rumors are circulating that the IBM zSystems (mainframe) division is up for sale, Compuware is continuing its quarterly release cycle cadence with a set of new products and announcements intended to keep Big Iron relevant. Hardware may be mainly about Moore’s Law and smaller, faster and cheaper, but after more than half a century (52 years young, but who’s counting), the mainframe continues to chug along. Almost all Fortune 100 companies – 90% according to IBM – are mainframe users. In addition: -71% of all Fortune 500 companies have their core business on the mainframe; -23 of the world’s top 25 retailers use a mainframe; -92% of the top 100 banks use a mainframe; -10 out of 10 of the top insurers use a mainframe; -more than 225 state and local governments worldwide rely on a mainframe; and, -9 of the top 10 global life and health insurance providers process their high-volume transactions on mainframe. However, the world, especially IT, has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, and today everybody is talking about mobile, cloud, analytics and social, and that means more changes, more frequently. Seeking to bring continuous delivery and DevOps to the mainframe, the Compuware has announced code deploy capabilities in its mainframe SCM solution, ISPW, to  help facilitate and speed the SCM-to-production pipeline. It also announced an integration with XebiaLabs, which will encompass the mainframe as part of cross -platform, continuous delivery efforts; and an integration with ConicIT, to help IT operations teams identify and resolve application performance issues rooted in the mainframe. Asked how these announcements position the mainframe against newer — and less-expensive — platforms, Compuware CEO Chris O’Malley told IT Trends & Analysis “It definitely levels the playing field… in the critical first steps the customers has to take to bring DevOps to the mainframe.” He said the first steps include addressing the accelerating release frequency — instead of 6, 12 or 18-month software release cycles, organizations are dealing with monthly, weekly and shorter timeframes; testing the new code; and managing the code to be more agile. In addition, there is also making the whole process accessible to a broader audience, so that the issue of a highly skilled mainframe workforce that is at or nearing retirement does not become an insurmountable barrier. “When you get to that point, the mainframe is now equal to any other platform,” said O’Malley. “I’m trying to make big aggressive statement in the market, it’s showtime!” In his blog about...

Read More

EMC Product Blitz Includes Low-Cost AFAs

LAS VEGAS: There were plenty of product announcements at this year’s EMC World 2016 conference, seemingly with something for all 14,000-plus attendees. They ranged from an aggressively priced all-flash file-block-object-storage-in-a-2U rack Unity family to the third iteration of the company’s software defined storage offering, ViPR, and the VxRack System 1000 with Neutrino Nodes. Unity All-Flash Storage Systems Starting at under $18,000 — significantly less than competitors like Nimble and Pure Storage, or its own all-flash storage array XtremIO — the Unity family is designed to deliver affordable file and block storage to SMBs. They will be sold alongside of the very popular VNX and VNXe lines — 140,000 units sold and counting, said Mark Geel, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, EMC CTD. The 600 model will support up to 500 drives, but by the end of they year, that wil double to 1,000 drives. Using IDC numbers, Geel said Unity addresses close to 75% of the $18.3-billion storage market, and has high expectations for its success. A more pessimistic viewpoint was offered by Dan Leary, VP of corporate development and alliances, Nimble Storage. “EMC is underscoring the demand for flash, but they’ve missed the mark by not providing features that are table stakes for any modern all-flash array. AFA’s without dedup and compression will struggle in the marketplace.” Virtustream Storage Cloud A global hyper-scale storage cloud, the newest Virtustream offering features: high resiliency of up to 13x9s of data durability; optimized for large object sizes; read-after-failure; and extensibility of on-premise primary storage and cloud backup. In addition, customers will be able to deploy Web-scale object storage for cloud-native applications, leveraging a simple, S3-compatible application programming interface. MyService360 Service Dashboard Free to current customers with an EMC warranty or maintenance agreement, the cloud-based service dashboard features: -Health and Risk Scoring – displays proactive and predictive system health indicators to identify areas that may be at risk; -Code Levels – analyzes the percentage of the global install base that is up to code, providing the ability to drill down into specific systems to determine what systems are due for code upgrades; -Actionable Service Insights – allows EMC customers to review IT service activities across their enterprise with the ability to dive into specific sites to understand what needs attention and the type of action required; -Connectivity Status – displays what percentage of the install base is remotely connected to EMC Customer Service so customers can take action to get remaining systems connected; and, Incident Management – taps into proactive data to identify analytical trends on service incidents. Enterprise Copy Data Management To be available in Q3, eCDM is an expansion of EMC’s...

Read More
EMC: This Is Not The End!
Apr27

EMC: This Is Not The End!

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” Winston Churchill Next week the world’s largest storage vendor will hold the last EMC World Conference as a separate entity. It remains to be seen if the company, which will shortly be joined with Dell, will flourish under its new owners (i.e. 83% of mergers have been unsuccessful in producing any business benefit as regards shareholder value), but succeed or fail, the mega-merger, now valued at $60 billion, $7 billion less than it originally was worth, will shake up the IT industry, and the conference will presumably provide more information about how the pending deal, which is expected to close no later than October, is progressing. The top two enterprise vendors — IBM (worst revenue in 14 years) and HP (split into enterprise and commodity businesses) — have been struggling to redefine themselves through a strategy of addition through substraction, dumping technologies and business units. Dell has chosen to expand its portfolio, and while it too is shedding assets, it will reinforce its position as the only soup-to-nuts IT vendor once the EMC acquisition closes. With both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union regulators reportedly on board, the two biggest remaining hurdles are the financing and EMC shareholder approval. Shareholders are expected to approve the sale in June, and financing — $50 billion of the $60 billion purchase price — is expected to be finalized shortly afterwards. While still a work in progress, details about the proposed management setup post-merger have been released. In an internal memo from EMC Chairman, President & CEO Joe Tucci, it was announced that: Jeremy Burton, who is now president of products and marketing for EMC, will be chief marketing officer; -Jeff Clarke, currently vice chairman of operations and president of Dell, will retain those titles; -Howard Elias and Rory Read will share the chief integration officer duties; -David Goulden, CEO of the EMC Information Infrastructure group, will be president of merged company’s enterprise systems group, responsible for servers, storage, networking, and converged infrastructure; -Rodney Rogers, CEO of the Virtustream cloud unit, will report to Goulden, as will Amit Yoran, president of RSA, and Rohit Ghai, president of the Enterprise Content Division; -John Swainson, president of Dell Software; Tom Sweet, Dell’s chief financial officer; and Suresh Vaswani president of Dell Services, all will continue in their current roles; and, -Michael Dell, who will be the merged company’s CEO, will appoint an executive committee comprising the presidents of all the aforementioned business units, along with VMware executive Pat...

Read More

Predicting the Outcome of the Dell/EMC Merger

One of the things analysts are asked to do is predict outcomes. We don’t have a crystal ball, so we typically work off of history. If there is a noticeable trend, we draw a straight line, assuming that trend will continue. If there is a history of a certain behavior, we will likely assume this history will continue unless there is some reasonable and verifiable change. In the case of large corporate mergers, most fail. Since the largest to date, the HP/Compaq deal, was nearly a train wreck, you can understand why many of my peers have concluded that the even larger Dell/EMC merger will end badly. However, what they are missing is that both Dell and EMC are very different from other technology companies. Plus, unlike HP/Compaq, the two firms aren’t both in trouble. Both HP and Compaq were in the early stages of emergency turn-arounds when they decided to merge. Thus you can’t use the history of mergers in general or HP/Compaq in particular as indicators of this merger’s potential for success. You have to look at Dell’s history and EMC’s history, instead. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

Hortonworks and the Age of Data

Evolution and growth are common in organizations of every sort but especially those in the IT industry. That’s partly due to the nature of technology itself, which tends to get cheaper and easier to produce over time, but competitive issues also come into play. Once a company can make a living, it attracts others who want a piece of that same pie. The process is often like dealing with ants at a picnic, though at other times it’s more akin to a visit from a hungry biker gang. In any case, sitting still and exuding a Zen-like calm isn’t an option unless you prefer a life of poverty. But how do you get to that new place? The path forward is most often linear, with vendors expanding their well-known strengths into new areas and capabilities. Think of VMware leveraging its hypervisor skills from workstations to servers to other associated data center technologies. But it can also involve leaps forward for both the vendor and the industry, like enterprise storage leader EMC’s acquisition of VMware or PC-pioneer Dell’s decision to become an end-to-end systems vendor. In every instance, it is critical for a vendor to believably communicate the reasons behind its proactive evolution, the assets, skills and strengths it brings to the journey and the likelihood of arriving at its final destination. Otherwise it risks alienating customers, partners and allies and inspiring them to walk away. Last week Hortonworks hosted its first annual analyst day in San Francisco that addressed these and other issues. Let’s consider what the company had to say and how well it succeeded in describing its plans and ongoing evolution. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

Lenovo + Juniper: Leveraging the Partnership Model

There are two ways to approach a complex solution opportunity. One is to fully integrate and build it all in-house. This path has been taken by HP and Cisco with regard to the hyperconverged solutions. The other is to partner with vendors whose offerings complement your own, and this is the path that Lenovo and Juniper Networks are on. Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, then conclude with some comments on the Lenovo/Juniper effort. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More