…Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Is an Existential Threat

I’ve been writing about the cybersecurity skills shortage for 7 years, clucking like a digital “chicken little” to anyone who would listen. If you’ve followed my blogs, you probably know that ESG research from early 2017 indicated that 45% of organizations said they have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills. This data represents large and small organizations across all geographic regions so the cybersecurity skills shortage can be considered a pervasive global issue. I’ve noticed that most people interpret the ESG (and other) data about the cybersecurity skills shortage from a jobs perspective. In other words, they view the skills shortage as a situation where there are more cybersecurity jobs available than there are people to fill them. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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HPE: Smaller Is Better
Nov09

HPE: Smaller Is Better

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has been pushing a smaller-is-better strategy for the last few years, spinning off PCs and printers, services and software, and now it looks like it’s applied that strategy to its mission-critical server line. Superdome Flex, the follow-up to Superdome X, the server family that started the company’s RISC-averse transition from Itanium to Xeon, opens up a $6-8 billion market that HPE wasn’t able to address effectively, HPE’s Randy Meyer, VP & GM, Mission Critical Systems, told IT Trends & Analysis. When it comes to the mission-critical x86 server market, driven by database, Oracle and SAP HANA applications moving from Unix to Linux, there were only a couple of choices, he said. While the up-to-16-socket Superdome X does the job well, the problem was at the bottom with 4-socket entry-level systems, especially for customers who knew they were going to eventually need more sockets. “In the Superdome X form factor, you paid a lot for the infrastructure.” With Flex, HPE went modular, making it much easier — and affordable — for customers to grow from 4 sockets all the way up to 32. “All of a sudden you have customers saying this is really cool.” Meyer believes this will open up a “huge chunk” of the market, and the ability to scale up and down will appeal to large customers, as well as the previously untapped midmarket. Following a couple of slow quarters, server revenues climbed 6.3% year over year to $15.7 billion in the second quarter of 2017, while midrange server revenue shot up 19.6% to $1.5 billion, and demand for high-end systems tumbled 18.9% to $1.3 billion, according to IDC. HPE held on to top spot (21.3% of the market), but revenues slid 8.4% YoY to $3.3 billion, while second-place Dell (17.7%) posted 7% YoY revenue growth. x86 server demand increased 10.4% to $14.3 billion, while non-x86 servers declined 21.5% to $1.5 billion. “Demand for two-socket form factors continues to control a majority of unit shipments now and going forward as they are the sweet spot for density-optimized servers which are used in datacenters,” said IDC’s Lloyd Cohen, director of Worldwide Market Analysis, Computing Platforms. Gartner’s server numbers were lower: 2.8% YoY revenue growth to $13.9 billion, and a 9.4% marketshare decline for HPE. RISC/Itanium Unix servers plummeted 21.4% in shipments and 24.9% in vendor revenue, which at least did better than the ‘other’ CPU category, which is primarily mainframes, down a whopping 29.5% in revenue (and that’s after an infrequent IBM z Series refresh). HPE reported significantly better results for high-performance computing. For its latest quarter the company said revenue from the HPC...

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VMware’s Intention to Acquire VeloCloud…

The announcement of VMware’s intention to acquire VeloCloud signals the broadening of the NSX Everywhere story. SD-WAN is a solution that offers agility, security, orchestration, and other business outcomes for remote and branch offices. It should not be considered just an MPLS replacement for the WAN with savings on bandwidth costs. At a core level, both NSX and VeloCloud’s products are based on an overlay network, which offers the flexibility to treat a logical network separately from the physical network, and this core concept has been popularized for many years via MPLS. Ironically, it’s the perceived lack of flexibility and costs of MPLS that have become the initial drivers for the popularization of SD-WAN, which promised to modernize the branch networks and WAN. VMware’s NSX Everywhere plan is similar to Cisco’s ACI Anywhere plan since it enables the core data center networks to reach out into other locations such as a public cloud. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Apple vs. Qualcomm: Apple’s Dangerous Gambit

Apple and Qualcomm are at war, but Apple is dangerously close to looking like the bully who complains about his victim’s violence because the bully’s knuckles are bloody. “Look what that guy’s face did to my hand!” The base cause of the dispute is that Apple has been unable to increase revenues by growing volume and has had to resort to increasing prices instead—and their efforts to increase margins have largely resulted from pounding their suppliers to reduce costs. These suppliers mostly folded with Qualcomm being the most visible exception. So, while complaining that Qualcomm had too much power, Apple has effectively cut off a massive amount of Qualcomm’s revenue, showcasing what looks like an excessive amount of power by Apple instead. Fortunately, Qualcomm is more diverse in terms of revenue sources so they are surviving this impressively well but that also points to Apple’s lack of revenue diversity (only one of their diversity problems) as a problem. Add to this claims that Apple must use Qualcomm’s technology while Apple is allegedly designing out that same supposedly critical technology and Apple has the beginnings of what could be a significant credibility problem in the courts. But the real issue is that Apple is increasingly putting iPhone users in the cross hairs of their actions and that never ends well. Let me explain. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dell EMC – Guaranteed to Please?

Dell EMC made a broad swathe of announcements pertaining to its midrange storage systems this week. Aside from the product news (and there’s certainly some important technological advances/catch-ups in the announcement*) there’s notable news on the commercial front, with Dell EMC launching its full blown “Future Proof Storage Loyalty Program.” It is a mix of assurances, flexibility, and guarantees – and I think one would have to say that objectively it’s pretty darned good. Certainly, having such assurances from a market leader like Dell EMC will be especially welcome for its myriad users (and channel partners too, I would imagine). But the story is broader than that; time was (OK a fair time back!) that the storage business was essentially buyer beware….you really could end up with some dire stuff decades back. And as we come closer to today, you still just bought the product and hoped it did everything you expected (and that the data sheet and sales team had promised). As storage systems got not only generally better but also more complex, gradually a few vendors (invariably the smaller ones that wanted to get noticed, snub their noses at the big dogs, and of course grow their business) started to offer guarantees of some sort. Early on, these focused on effective capacity, but have gradually expanded to cover everything from performance to, essentially, ongoing – almost rental-like – rolling purchase and deployment options. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Intel + AMD = Mobile Gaming (and Other) Innovations

Mobile innovation impacts IT products of every sort. That’s certainly true for consumer endpoints, but it’s also the case for a widening range of business solutions and services. However, there are a few areas where inherent design issues inhibit device OEMs from developing compelling mobile solutions. One area where this is particularly thorny is in gaming laptops where the necessary footprint for CPU and GPU components contributes to systems that average 26mm (over 1”) in height, or more than twice the 11mm to 16mm heights common in thin and light laptops. That substantial difference isn’t just an aesthetic issue—it also results in gaming systems being considerably heavier than most consumer and business laptops. That’s a problem that Intel and AMD are working together to fix. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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