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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…Will Dell Become The New Enterprise Superpower?

Dell just had a lot of analysts and reporters to their IQT day event in New York (IQ is a reference to making this incredibly broad concept smart, thus IQ). This is Digital Convergence on steroids, and the solution is potentially to take a company based on technology of last century and turn them into a company based on technology that most firms won’t be able to pivot to until the 2030s building what likely will become the standard for much of this century. On paper, this is one of the most powerful pivots I’ve ever seen in a company and it likely wouldn’t be possible if the firm weren’t huge, led by Michael Dell, and private. This is because it requires someone with vision to make the pivot and companies that are public are simply too tactical to take the risk of a broad move into an emerging market like this. But I’ve seen two other big pivots over the years, well three if you include EMC’s VCE, and two were successful, at least initially, and one failed badly. The failure was while I was at IBM early in my career and it reminded me that good on paper doesn’t always mean good in fact. Let’s talk about all 4 pivots. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dell’s IQT – A New Work State of Mind?

Dell hosted at least 3 varied events (that I know of) in New York last week. In terms of the future, the most important was its “IQT Day”…IQT is the acronym-progeny of IoT and IQ (“Making Things Smarter” as Dell expands it). You know that something matters when it is launched with both a new term and a new acronym. Dell was putting a stake in the ground (and a new internal organization, and indeed a decent amount of launch marketing dollars) behind the notion that the next wave of IT is really all about the intelligent integration – and optimized ‘farming’ – of edge and cloud. The pun in the title of this blog therefore refers to the attitude of not only Dell, but also the organizations it seeks to serve. Take a look at this video here, where I capture some more thoughts about the IQT Day, as well as (with my colleague Jason Buffington) some comments from the Analyst Summit that followed.       To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Dell’s IQT and the Continuum of Technology

It’s no surprise that IT vendors are excited about the Internet of Things (IoT). After all, if the commercial demand for IoT becomes even half of what some analyst firms suggest, it will equal or eclipse past major technology market opportunities. But more important than that, though some in the industry are attempting to position IoT as an entirely new technology, it simply represents a next, logical, practical step in the evolution of digital business. Rather than being essentially unique, IoT mainly takes numerous existing IT assets, seamlessly adds in newer components and developments, tweaks them with hard-earned industry expertise, and applies it all to longstanding business challenges. However, that does represent a fundamental shift in organizations’ IT efforts to add digital intelligence to processes that traditionally depend on analog tools, with the aim of gaining advantage from data and analytics insights. That need for incorporating digital intelligence in new areas inspired Dell Technologies to label their related efforts as “IQT” with the IQ representing new digital smarts. Last week, company executives hosted an event in New York City to publicly announce the company’s IQT/IoT strategy, solutions and plans. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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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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