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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5G Is Going To Be Huuuuuge… Eventually
Apr13

5G Is Going To Be Huuuuuge… Eventually

With almost 40 years of IT reporting experience under my — sadly expanded — belt I’ve covered a number of profound developments and countless others of less import, but the eventual emergence of 5G is expected to CHANGE EVERYTHING. Yes, 5G is just a bigger, faster pipeline, but to paraphrase POTUS, it’s going to be huuuuuge: speeds of 10 to 100 gigabits per second (1,000 times faster than the current US 4G average); latency of less than a millisecond (compared to 4G’s 40ms to 60ms); and support for a million connected devices per square kilometer [that’s 5/8th of a square mile for the metrically challenged]. 5G use cases include: Internet of Things (IoT); extreme video and gaming applications; explosive data density usage; public safety; Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) sunset; and context-aware services. User-driven requirements include: battery life; per-user data rate and latency; robustness and resiliency; mobility; seamless user experience; and context-aware network. And from the infrastructure perspective, network-driven requirements include: scalability; network capacity; cost efficiency; automated system management & configuration; network flexibility; energy efficiency; coverage; security; diverse spectrum operation; and, unified system framework. However it is very early in the hype cycle, with final standards 12-18 months away, and products and services expected to trickle out over the next couple of years. The market should become relevant by 2021-22, and there will be 1 billion 5G connections by 2025. So what does that mean to IT and CXOs today? “This is going to be a transformative change even though a couple of years away from mainstream adoption,” said Varun Chhabra, unstructured data expert at Dell EMC. He told IT Trends & Analysis it’s going to be a “gamechanger”. It will enable enterprises and businesses to provide their  customers with “a completely different way to engage with their brands.” While still a work in progress, 5G needs to be: a “chameleon” technology that can adapt to differing demands of wireless services — whether to support high bandwidth, low latency, bursty traffic, ultra-reliable services, or a combination of these capabilities, according to a recent report from the Telecommunications Industry Association. The TIA survey found that operators are uncertain how 5G might prove to be transformative, but while ‘history suggests that while it may underachieve relative to expectations in the short term, it will overachieve in the long term.’ As with any significant technology transition, there are billions of dollars being spent to either lead the change, or at least minimize the threat of being roadkill on the faster, broader information highway. Some proof points include: -5G commercial services will launch in 2020 and there will be 24 million 5G subscriptions...

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Cloudistics Launches Ignite 3.0 On-Prem Cloud Platform

IT industry trends seldom follow a straight line. Instead, they can be and are blown hither and yon by many factors, including the strength of the underlying technologies, vendors’ investment and commitment and market enthusiasm. But perhaps most important of all are the dynamic feelings and changing needs of IT customers. That’s why the form and functions of solutions often change radically after they initially appear. Cloud computing provides an excellent example of how this has worked. While the term came into common use over a decade ago, after Amazon introduced its publicly-available Elastic Compute Cloud in 2006, cloud-based services and solutions have gone through numerous permutations since then. However, organizations that wanted to gain the benefits of cloud in their own private data centers were in a quandary, since implementing systems from the ground up required substantial resources and technical expertise. IT vendors, including Cisco, Dell EMC and IBM responded first with converged systems and then hyperconverged appliances designed to simplify on-premises cloud deployments, and their solutions gained significant market traction. But is there another, better way for supporting on-prem cloud? Cloudistics, which launched last year, would argue there is—an approach the company calls Superconverged delivered via its Ignite cloud software platform and Model-S hardware components. The launch this week of Cloudistics’ new Ignite 3.0 software offers a chance to take a closer look at the company and its offerings. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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CybSec Scores An ‘F’
Feb02

CybSec Scores An ‘F’

With the the RSA Conference 2017 just a week away, cybersecurity surveys are showing up everywhere, including Cisco’s 10th study, 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report. However, while the networking giant wants to paint a more positive picture, my big takeaway is that the bad guys are winning. There are a number of positive developments in the survey — with input from 3,000 CISOs and SecOps from 15 countries, as well as telemetry data — but the key findings are, if not surprising, at the very least cause for increased concern. The key findings Cisco focused on were: -over one-third of organizations that experienced a breach in 2016 reported substantial customer, opportunity and revenue loss of more than 20%; and, -90% of these organizations are improving threat defense technologies and processes after attacks by separating IT and security functions (38%), increasing security awareness training for employees (38%), and implementing risk mitigation techniques (37%). The Cisco findings that concerned me were: -just 56% of security alerts are investigated and less than half of legitimate alerts remediated; -more than 50% of organizations faced public scrutiny after a security breach; operations and finance systems were the most affected, followed by brand reputation and customer retention; -for organizations that experienced an attack, the effect was substantial: 22% of breached organizations lost customers — 40% of them lost more than 20% of their customer base; 29% lost revenue, with 38% percent of that group losing more than 20% of revenue; and, 23% lost business opportunities, with 42% percent of them losing more than 20%. Cisco is also touting (justifiably) that it has reduced the ‘time to detection’, the window of time between a compromise and the detection of a new threat, from a median of 14 hours in early 2016 to as low as six hours in the last half of the year. That’s good, but hardly good enough: while the industry average for TTD is 201 days (with a range of 20 to 569 days), in  almost all breaches (93%), it took attackers minutes or less to compromise systems, and data exfiltration occurred within minutes in 28% of the cases. These issues are not a new story, said Cisco’s Security Business Group Architect, Franc Artes. He told IT Trends & Analysis that there are ongoing issues around budgets, trained personnel and the complexity of security environments, “but at the end of the day it’s really a human issue. We’re leaving a lot on the cutting room floor.” People are a big problem when it comes to CybSec. They both cause most of the security vulnerabilities — 55% of all attacks were carried out by either...

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Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter
Jan26

Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter

Trey Layton says the future of the datacenter is all about convergence and while he congratulated HPE for last week’s SimpliVity acquisition, he didn’t appear too optimistic about its prospects for success in the still small but rapidly expanding hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) subsegment. “As related to Simplivity, we rarely see them in a deal… we don’t see them when it comes down to evaluation and comparison”, said the CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division (CPSD), the group currently sitting atop the integrated infrastructure market, which includes HCI. As the world rushes to all-digital, all-the-time, somewhere there is a datacenter powering all that software making DX possible. While numbers of the overall market are sketchy, a slew of recent surveys reinforce the growing need for datacenters of all sizes: -the global datacenter market will grow at a CAGR of 10.72% during the period 2016-2020; -the modular and containerized datacenter market will grow at a 12% CAGR between 2017-2021; -the mini datacenter — a self-contained system designed to be from a single rack (micro datacenter) to up to 40 rack enclosure (containerized and aisle containment solution) — market will grow at a CAGR of 17.17% during the period 2017-2021; and, -the hyperscale datacenter market — also called cloud 2.0 — will explode 4100% between 2016-2023, from $869.7 million in 2016 to $359.7 billion in 2023. Increasingly, these datacenters are turning to integrated, or converged solutions that IDC breaks down into four segments: -integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; -integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools; and, -hyperconverged (AKA hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI) systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution; a key differentiator of hyperconverged systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Not liking to play well with others, Gartner prefers to label HCI as hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS). However, whether HCI or HCIS, this segment is still relatively small: hyperconverged sales grew 104.3% year over year during Q3, generating $570.5 million worth of sales, or 22% of the total converged market, according to IDC. It will account for just 24% of the integrated systems market by 2019, but it will reach ‘mainstream use’ and is expected to be worth close to $5 billion, stated Gartner. According to the latest available numbers (Q3), the combined integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems market accounted...

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