IBM Storage Hits the Ground Running in 2018

On February 20, 2018, IBM announced enhancements and new solutions in its storage portfolio designed to ease customer’s adoption of data-driven, multi-cloud architectures including IBM Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and others. Businesses continue to struggle to modernize traditional workloads (VMware, Oracle etc.), adopt next generation applications (Spark, Hadoop), and deploy development tools such as application refactoring (Docker, Kubernetes). In response, IBM is providing a broad range of software defined storage solutions to make this transition smoother, more efficient and cost effective. IBM’s flexibility also continues to be a differentiator, with support for multiple cloud architectures, an impressive number (> 440) of storage arrays from multiple vendors, and a wide variety of deployment/pricing models. Customers are responding very well to IBM’s strategy. The company enters 2018 with four strong quarters of revenue growth in 2017. With a focus on higher-value solutions, including software defined storage, all-Flash and modern data protection, those product areas dominate IBM’s storage business. This latest announcement includes new offerings and enhancements across the company’s entire portfolio. However, in this review Clabby Analytics will highlight new offerings in modern data protection (Spectrum Protect & Spectrum Protect Plus) and network-attached storage (Spectrum NAS). We believe that these products, in particular, fill existing gaps in IBM’s product line and provide more feature-rich, scalable and easy-to-use solutions for small and mid-size businesses. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

…Compuware Introduces Topaz on AWS…

If you asked me three years ago what I thought of Compuware, I would have described it as “a point product company in managed decline.” At the time, Compuware was bifurcated between mainframe point solutions and application performance management software. Sales had softened; it was slow to release new products; and its portfolio was “stagnant.” In short, the company was struggling. But, in late 2014, everything changed for Compuware with a cash investment infusion; the hiring of a new, more focused management team; major changes in company culture (including a stronger emphasis on innovation); and the introduction of a new strategy with a strong focus on Development/Operations or DevOps, build/deploy; data management and cybersecurity. Accordingly, I wrote a report at the end of 2015 that described the new Compuware. Nearly two years later, I see Compuware as a company focused on making it easy for customers to consume its product offerings – while at the same time being optimized to create new products and services. Its two most recent announcements include expanded Topaz on AWS (Amazon Web Services) solutions support for CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

New Payment Processing Demands, New Pricing on IBM z Systems

The most difficult objection to overcome when it comes to mainframe adoption is price, especially acquisition costs. Mainframe hardware, compared to most x86-based servers, is expensive. And related systems software, middleware, transaction processing environments and management software can also be expensive. In head-to-head competition, x86 solutions almost always look cheaper – and, accordingly, IT executive managers most often purchase x86-based servers on the basis of that perceived lower price. With this new utility pricing model for payment processing, IBM has taken a giant step forward in using capacity pricing to process highly variable workloads to correct what some perceive as a punitive, even disastrous pricing scheme. By doing so, the company is also protecting its mainframe base as the transition to real-time pricing takes place and opening new, future opportunities for its z Systems as demands for stronger security and higher system capacity drive more prospects to consider z Systems mainframes. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More
Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 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 the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

Read More

IBM LinuxONE: A Strategy Refinement

Clabby Analytics has argued for years that IBM needs to do a better job of explaining which workloads belong on which servers (x86, Power Systems, mainframes). Our primary argument has been that microprocessors process workloads differently; and systems are designed differently – meaning that workloads perform better when placed on systems that are best suited to process them. IBM has traditionally resisted providing such guidance, leaving sales teams and customers/prospects to work out which workloads belong on which processors/servers. Last year, we took it upon ourselves to publish this report in which we discussed which workloads belong on LinuxOne vs. x86 servers. Robert Francis Group also published a similar report. IBM, on the other hand, continued to focus its sales efforts on server consolidation and the price advantages LinuxONE had over distributed x86 server environments (upwards of 30% cost savings for certain workloads). This year, IBM seems to have gotten the message: to further increase sales of LinuxONE its going to have to do some workload positioning work. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More