IBM’s DS8880: Sharpening the Focus on Mainframe Storage Needs

It’s been an odd half decade or so for the data storage industry. Despite the central roles that storage plays in IT products of every sort, storage vendors have been under pressure as traditional markets and opportunities continue to erode. Why so? For two reasons. First, because of the ongoing commoditization of storage components and hardware. Second, cloud players are using what are essentially loss-leading storage services to lure consumers and businesses, alike. What are storage vendors to do in such circumstances? There’s no single or simple fix, but one approach is to willingly embrace leading edge storage technologies, like NAND-based flash drives. Another involves closely tracking and developing solutions that address clients’ core business needs. IBM’s new DS8880 all-flash storage family highlights how the company is pursuing both these paths to its customers’ and its own benefit. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?
Jan19

The Mainframe Is Dead, Dying… or DT/DevOps-ing?

For decades pundits and competitors have been writing off the mainframe, AKA Big Iron, and while its market share has been eroded by newer platforms — as befits an industry where ‘what have you done for me lately’ is right up there with ‘Moore’s Law’ as Revealed Truth — it’s still alive and kicking: 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 at least some are arguing that despite its age — now in its ‘50s — the venerable platform that IBM powered to success is finding new life with a couple of the current industry darlings, Digital Transformation and DevOps. First, some industry factoids: the latest quarterly server data (3Q16) showed a drop in shipments (-2.6%) and revenues (-5.8%) year over year, with IBM plummeting -33% (to $889 million). However the datacenter systems market is expected to grow 2.6% this year, to $176 billion, which should benefit mainframe sales. According to many, the future does look brighter for the mainframe. When not pointing out HPE’s perceived faults, analyst Rob Enderle (and former IBMer) has covered Big Blue extensively and recently (October) noted that developments like cloud, analytics, Linux and Blockchain are offering new optimism for the embattled platform. ‘Suddenly, mainframes are not only not obsolete, they are cutting edge, go figure. Yep the mainframe is back, with a vengeance.’ Reporting on IBM’s annual year-end recap for the Systems group, analyst Joe Clabby, Clabby Analytics, noted that the mainframe’s future is positive. Big Blue was emphasizing Blockchain and HSBN (the company’s “high security business network”). ‘Blockchain serves as the basis for creating a new way to perform transaction processing, one that features a secure “open ledger” that is shared amongst all concerned parties during the transaction. This new approach streamlines transaction and business processes and enables significantly greater security that traditional approaches.’ IBM claims that it is making solid headway with this offering in the securities, trade, finance, syndicated loans, supply chain, retail banking, public records and digital property management industries. ‘For over 20 years, ever since industry pundits in the mid-1990s forecast the demise of the IBM mainframe, Clabby Analytics has taken the position that there is no other architecture better suited for processing secure transactions (and now in-transaction analytics workloads) than IBM’s z System. ‘Given this position, we see IBM’s new LinuxONE mainframe servers as ideally positioned to support a projected major market move toward Hyperledger and Blockchain transaction processing over the coming years. This movement should greatly escalate the sale of mainframe servers. Long live the mainframe!’ Released...

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Dell EMC at University of San Diego…

Supporting and delivering IT services from remote data centers existed long before AWS was a twinkle in Jeff Bezos’ eye. Remote data centers have always played key roles in back-up and disaster recovery practices. Hosted services got a serious boost in the dot.com era as businesses began exploring the value of leveraging the Internet or proprietary networks for numerous business applications and processes. It can be and certainly has been argued that cloud computing is merely a new take on a very old subject. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it has probably helped legitimize cloud for some people who would have otherwise viewed AWS and other cloud providers with unwarranted skepticism. But is cloud as unreservedly beneficial to businesses’ capital outlays and operational processes as proponents claim? To read the complete article. CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM and AA – An Innovative Partnership Heads to the Cloud

In an IT industry that is both dynamic and frangible, an organization like IBM stands out. That’s partly due to its remarkable longevity which at a century and counting is more than two of its senior-most major competitors, HPE and Oracle, combined. But the company’s durability and its approach to computing innovation is also reflected in its relationships with customers and partners. Last week’s announcement concerning one of those customers – American Airlines (AA) – marked a notable strategic partnership and significant milestone for both organizations. Why notable? Because the agreement means that AA, the world’s largest airline (currently offering about 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries), has chosen IBM to be its cloud computing provider “for greater enterprise flexibility, scalability and reliability.” Why significant? Because the new deal is just the latest development in a partnership that dates back over six decades to the 1950s when AA and IBM developed the airline industry’s first electronic reservation and ticketing system. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Time to Stop Buying IT Hardware for Your Data Center

I recently attended AWS re:Invent, and while I have seen some pretty impressive business use cases that have bent their strategies toward the cloud, I walked away truly wondering why businesses would ever purchase a piece of IT infrastructure again. Let’s face it, managing IT infrastructure has been one of the most difficult and specialized jobs of IT, and most IT organizations do an amazing job at managing complex architectures, but why continue to do so? To read the complete article, CLICK...

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A Slimmer HPE Means There’s More to “Discover?”

As is now traditional, HPE follows the US Thanksgiving celebrations with its Discover event in Europe. Just last week thousands of loyal HPE users, potential users, and a bunch of market watchers turned up in London’s Docklands to hear what the company had to show and tell. Taking a hint from the [surprising] local weather, HPE sported a decidedly sunny disposition all week. Perhaps that’s to be expected after the HP split and the more recent – ongoing – spin-out/mergers of the software and services parts of the business. This is clearly a middle-aged company that has shed weight…the question now is how nimble and nifty it can be while remaining both valuable and invaluable to its customers. I add some extra commentary below, but first please take a look at the video blog I put together at Discover – a quick skim across a very large pond. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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