Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”
Oct12

Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”

Already one of the biggest players in the red-hot cloud infrastructure market (it grew 25.8% in the second quarter to $12.3 billion), Cisco Systems — in third place with 8.2% marketshare, trailing Dell (11.8%) and HPE (11.1%) — has a lot of credibility when it says cloud is transforming the datacenter. “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter,” said Tom Edsall, formerly a Cisco Fellow, SVP and GM, Insieme Business Unit, Cisco Systems. However, he told IT Trends & Analysis, the challenge is now you have an infrastructure that is basically a multi-vendor infrastructure. Rather than just a collection of hardware and software from different vendors, you have to throw in the various cloud providers like Amazon and Azure. He said organizations have part of their infrastructure running on different clouds, with different APIs, and are struggling to make the differences disappear. “The problems that we encountered 10 years ago are happening all over again,” said Edsall. “Then it wasn’t cloud, it was multi-vendor.” He added that the company has had strong success with on premise with its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) portfolio with over 4,000 customers. But while the customers really like the application-centric approach, they are frustrated because “they can’t get the same API at Amazon.” They want to know how do they get a common experience across these systems, said Edsall. Ever helpful, Cisco recently announced a management and automation platform for its Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems, Cisco Intersight. To be available 4Q17 in two versions — the Cisco Intersight Base Edition will be available at no charge, while the Cisco Intersight Essentials Edition will cost you — it is intended to simplify datacenter operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, instead of having to maintain ‘islands of on-premise management infrastructure.’ ‘The longer-term vision of Intersight is spot-on,” noted Matt Kimball, senior datacenter analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Not only does it address the issues IT organizations face today, but it also provides a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of tomorrow. If Cisco successfully executes this vision, it will firmly position itself as a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure orchestration and management.’ Unsurprisingly, a canned quote included in the Cisco release was equally ebullient: “Organizations that move to cloud-based systems management platforms will find that service delivery quality is significantly improved, the overall risk to the business goes down, and IT staff productivity is increased,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, IDC. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) –infused cloud-based management tools can offer deep insights into the state of the infrastructure, identify troubles before they become major issues, and enable quicker ‘root cause’ identification and analysis...

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Intel’s Optane Memory and Incremental Revolution

Vendors love the big splash. Being first to market with major new technologies or delivering wholesale revisions of existing solutions and platforms generates numerous headlines and kudos. But secondary ripple effects can reveal significant progress, too. That’s the case with the new Optane SSD DC P4800X Series offering that Intel announced last month, a solution targeting data center storage applications. That was followed on March 27th with the official introduction of Optane-based memory modules for PCs. This week, Intel announced the commercial availability of Optane memory modules for PCs and other systems leveraging the company’s 7th gen Core processors. Those use cases demonstrate both Optane’s flexibility and how Intel can leverage individual breakthrough developments to pursue multiple markets and deliver substantial benefits. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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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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HPE: All Flash, (And) Substance Too
Mar16

HPE: All Flash, (And) Substance Too

The enterprise storage market has been in commodity hell since at least the mid-1980s, the tape, disk and now solid-state/flash version of Moore’s Law of constantly decreasing prices and margins with constantly increasing capacities and capabilities. To stem the bleeding, new and existing storage vendors have been flocking to flash technology, in hybrid — mixed flash and disk — and all-flash drives, with the latest such announcement coming from Hewlett Packard Enterprise. However, while total enterprise storage systems factory revenue declined 2.2% year over year to $10.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015, and capacity shipments increased 10.7% YoY, HPE was the only top-five vendor that grew its storage revenues.Congratulations (and I’m not saying that just because I own HP/E shares). “The enterprise storage market closed out 2015 on a slight downturn, as spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline,” said IDC’s Liz Conner, Research Manager, Storage Systems. “Over the past year, end user focus has shifted towards server-based storage, software-defined storage, and cloud-based storage. As a result, traditional enterprise storage vendors are forced to revamp and update their product portfolios to meet these shifting demands.” Flash has also been the beneficiary of enterprise storage customers, according to IDC’s most recent numbers. The All Flash Array (AFA) market generated $955.4 million in revenue during the quarter, up 71.9% YoY, while the Hybrid Flash Array (HFA) segment of the market rang up $2.9 billion in revenue, representing just over a quarter (28%) of the total market. Storage was a big part of HPE’s recent success, according to President and CEO Meg Whitman at the company’s Q1 earnings call earlier this month. “We had record revenue for 3PAR, driven by triple-digit constant currency growth in all-flash, which grew at three times the market rates.” Which brings me to HPE’s news, which included 3PAR 20840 converged flash array, StoreOnce 5500 and multi-node 6600 data protection, and the Get Thinner Guarantee program. “At the highest altitude… storage is at the heart of a lot of major datacenter transformations… it’s a great time to be in storage… for HPE”, said Brad Park, Director GTM Strategy and Enablement for HPE Storage. He told IT Trends & Analysis that he sees the move to flash as being similar as the move to virtualization and VMware a decade ago. “I think flash and the move to the all flash datacenter has a lot of parallels.” Flash has come a long way in the last five years, said Park, driven by three elements that make the all-flash datacenter very relevant: performance, affordability and the most topical, functionality. “The third piece and where we think the datacenter...

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Cisco HCI: Spring(Path) Has Sprung
Mar02

Cisco HCI: Spring(Path) Has Sprung

Networking giant Cisco has been very busy the last few weeks, what with last month’s Mobile World Congress and the Jasper Technologies acquisition ($1.4 billion) and this week’s Partner Summit and CliQr Technologies acquisition ($260 million). While the kitchen sink wasn’t included in the recent flood of announcements — although IoE will be featured at both Cisco Live Melbourne and Cisco Connect Singapore later this month, so that’s not yet been ruled out completely — almost everything else in its solutions portfolio was. The company said yesterday’s datacenter announcements featured innovations in three areas: networking, hyperconverged infrastructure (aka HCI) and hybrid cloud orchestration. I was most intrigued by the hyperconvergence (HyperFlex Systems) announcement. We’re announcing the next generation of hyperconvergence, said Todd Brannon, Cisco’s Director of Product Marketing for the Unified Computing System portfolio. He believes the company is going to transform the market, similar to what they did with ACI (aka SDN). Unlike the first-generation vendors, Cisco is coming out with a complete solution (built around SpringPath, a hyperconvergence software vendor backed, in part, by Cisco, and the company’s UCS compute platform), he said. “We’re going to leapfrog the market,” Brannon told IT Trends & Analysis. While HCI is still a very tiny part of the overall IT market, Cisco’s timing appears to be excellent. According to a recent study from Enterprise Strategy Group, 70% of IT respondents plan to invest in HCI over the next 24 months. The overall IT market will grow 0.6% (to $3.54 trillion) this year, converged infrastructure is growing at 6.2% (to $2.5 billion), year-over-year, and HCI is heading for the stratosphere at 258X, with sales shooting up 155.3% (to $278.8 million) for the last reported quarter. The first movers in hyperconvergence — i.e. Nutanix and SimpliVity — did a good job as far as they went, but they didn’t go far enough, said Brannon. Customers tell us they want simplicity, but they don’t want silos… they’re also interested in being able to scale… and want to run more of their applications on them, he said. In short, the existing solutions are “incomplete”. “We’re coming in with a complete solution… there’s very real functional differentiation in this product.” HyperFlex “can deploy in under an hour and that includes the network… [with] 48% higher performance and 30% better TCO”. In addition to HCI, Cisco also expanded its SDN-ready Nexus 9000 switches that deliver ‘up to 10 times performance improvement at industry leading price points [and] give[s] Cisco customers a two-year innovation advantage over competitive technology.’ “We’re delivering 10/25/40/50/100Gpbs across the entire portfolio,” said Thomas Scheibe, Director of Technical Marketing & Solutions Engineering, Cisco. The...

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