IBM DB2 Direct vs. Oracle: Innovation Is the Best Revenge

The tech industry has long promoted the concept and value of “co-opetition” – a process in which even viciously competing vendors can, in some areas, willingly cooperate in mutually beneficial ways. There are countless examples where the co-opetition dynamic works as advertised, some of them going back for decades. For example, system vendors that develop their own networking switches, including Dell, HP and IBM also sell Brocade, Cisco and/or Juniper solutions. Similarly, though most major server vendors have their own in-house storage systems, they also support offerings from storage specialists, including EMC, HDS, NetApp and many others. That doesn’t mean that co-opetition partners don’t occasionally get on the wrong side of one another. For example, Cisco’s decision to launch its own Unified Computing System (UCS) servers in 2009 rubbed many of its system vendor partners the wrong way. Then again, Cisco got some of its own back when strategic partner (and then-fellow VCE co-owner) VMware bought Nicera in 2012 to get a leg up in software-defined networking. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Apple Makes Huge Mistake At WWDC 2017

I’d tuned into the Apple World Wide Developer’s conference a tad late and missed the opening video but when I went back to check my notes on the keynote I had a WTF moment. Watch the start of the Tim Cook keynote for the show. To save you time it starts with a video of a guy who is brought into what looks like a data center, he is kind of an idiot. He unpacks his stuff and then wants to plug in his new age desktop waterfall and pulls the plug on what looks like a server or network tower in order to do this. When that component goes down it causes a cascade failure for all of the iPhones, Apple Watches, and iPads in the world. This collapse turns the world into a Mad Max future where cars don’t run, there appears to be no power, people are revolting, and everything pretty much sucks. The stated message was that the world depends on apps, but what the film seemed to showcase was that there is single point of complete failure for the entire Apple ecosystem and if it goes down our world collapses with it. Let’s talk about why it is really stupid for Apple to give folks the ideas that the platform is massively vulnerable and this vulnerability could destroy lives. You know I might be able to just stop there… For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Data Center Transformation, Powered by NetApp Transformation

It’s no secret that NetApp has had a tough go of things these past few years, but I’ve just returned from its annual industry analyst meeting and it was clear to me during this full day discussion that NetApp today is not the NetApp of yesterday. In our internal discussions these past few years, we acknowledged that it had an excellent technology foundation, had made some good acquisitions but executed bad integrations, and needed a significant overhaul – a transformation, if you will – including getting beyond selling storage boxes. For example: up leveling the discussion rather than selling speeds and feeds; expanding the portfolio beyond storage to deliver more value; ridding itself of the antibodies that prevented acquired technology from thriving; and being bold(er) in its marketing. NetApp was famous for technology innovations it never told anyone about (while other, bolder vendors claimed first mover advantage!) In the past two years, it has transformed to the point that the discussions we are having with it today are completely different than those we have had in the past. It is certainly not your father’s NetApp! To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Think Economics, Not Features, When Evaluating Big Data Value

Traditional enterprise data warehouse solutions helped to open the eyes of many organizations to the value of their data. Although these are significant systems, organizations quickly learned to monetize the actionable insight extracted from these systems, which led the rampant growth of the industry. Big data did not get big just from data growth. It got big because of its potential value, opportunities, and savings. The more cost-efficiently you can capture a lot of data, plus the number of ways you can analyze it, equals the more worthwhile all that data could become. Value is results divided by costs. These (pseudo-)equations of big data value now extend not only to the disruptive power of transformative technologies like Hadoop, but also to increasingly popular cloud services for databases and data warehouses. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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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...

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NetApp Looking Good For Its Age! (Video)

Warmer weather in the US also means the heating up of what we often call “show season.” While it was intentionally not a big audience (after all it was just analysts rather than an end-user event), the NetApp event this week in Boulder, Colorado was certainly engaging. Fresh off of some much-improved business results, the NetApp team was justifiably proud of where it is today. And that’s not just about its revenues and finances, it’s also about vision and execution. And those things – together with a willingness to embrace change – are what enable organizations to achieve longevity. With NetApp celebrating its 25 year anniversary, knowing the ingredients to a long life is especially vital. After all the average life of Fortune 500 organizations is only somewhere between 40 and 50 years….and roughly 50% of the 1999 Fortune 500 was gone within a decade! After, admittedly, some tough times, NetApp has now moved beyond stabilization to show renewed vigor together with relevance to where IT is now, and where it is headed as we speak. Whether it is NetApp’s already-way-more-real-than-you-imagined Data Fabric, whether it’s the increasing pragmatism within its sales model and focus brought be a new Cloud BU, or whether it’s the pleasing clarity of its new “Data Driven” tagline, NetApp is portraying a purpose and vitality that seemed lost just a few years back. We shot a short video at the event to give you our insights: in this video we highlight the newly announced NetApp HCI (with a little help from Dale Degen of NetApp). Of course there were many other news items (indeed, just a day after the event, NetApp’s enhanced relationship with Microsoft Azure also became public) but HCI had represented a clear gap in the portfolio so we decided to give it the spotlight for today. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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