IBM Z: Making Dev Work with Ops

Recently, Clabby Analytics attended an IBM analyst briefing on the role of Z Middleware in digital transformation. We went to learn about IBM’s DevOps environment for the IBM Z (mainframe) – its development tools, operations management environment and overall digital transformation strategies. After a full day briefing we walked away with these key findings: IBM is strongly focused on helping its customers transform their information systems into cooperative, integrated processing environments that can easily mix and match existing environments and applications with new technologies and environments. In DevOps, IBM is focusing on the use of technologies that make Z more accessible to developers in general. IBM Z offers a wealth of open APIs, support for multiple languages, numerous development tools, support for open source development environments and more – a comprehensive set of tools, utilities, APIs and languages that support an open DevOps environment on Z. In short, IBM’s approach to DevOps is to be open/integrated with the world of Open Source tools and leading 3rd party vendors (e.g. Splunk, others); In operations management, the company remains focused on: 1) monitoring of application and system behavior; 2) visibility into systems/application behavior (discovery and analysis); and, 3) predictive analysis (the ability to identify problems before they occur and address them). The key message that IBM wanted to deliver regarding operations management was that IBM has a complete suite of operations management products and is a onestop-shop for enterprise operations management needs (this includes distributed computing environments, mainframe environments, hybrid clouds, networks and more); and, IBM strongly encourages its customers to build automated testing suites. By taking the time to automate testing, IBM customers can accelerate the deployment of new digital transformation applications – improving application quality while also improving speed of application delivery. The way IBM presented its products and strategies was threefold. The company discussed: 1) the IBM Z Digital Transformation Model; 2) what the development tools marketplace needs and wants; and 3) what the operations management side-of-the-business requires. We have organized our thoughts and analysis along these lines. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)
May10

DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 1 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: During one of my Dell Technologies World 2018 briefings last week I had to stop part way through and explain that I meant digital transformation, not Dell Technologies, when I used the DT acronym. The business phenomenon digital transformation (AKA digitization or Industry 4.0) and its related technologies — cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security — is literally an extinction-level event — it’s ‘go digital or die’. While clarifying acronym anomalies is not a unique experience, it made me think of the greatest challenge I see facing Dell: how will the biggest IT infrastructure vendor — i.e. products and services — continue to prosper when the customer focus is moving to business outcomes, and not the bits and bytes that facilitate those outcomes? The answer is “better than everyone else.” I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say Dell is better-positioned than every other vendor out there. That’s not to say countless companies won’t provide one or more superior offerings in the fast-emerging software-driven, cloud-first IT environment, but that when it comes down to the vendor to trust most — and most often — it will probably come down to Dell. During his opening keynote to the approximately 14,000 customers, partners, employees, media and analysts in attendence — and an estimated 35,000 online — Michael Dell talked in generalities, stressing digital (along with IT, workforce and security) transformation  and the latest buzzword trifecta — AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and NN (neural networks), ‘Make It Real’ (the event’s DT theme), and how “our customers are using technology to change the world for the better, whether through a reimagined process or a reimagined industry.” He noted that since starting the company 34 years ago, it had grown to over a trillion dollars in revenues and a trillion customer successes but all that is “absolutely noting compared to what’s ahead.” The DT future — with or without Dell — is incredibly bright: spending on related hardware, software and services is expected to reach approximately $1.3 trillion in 2018, a 16.8% year-over-year increase, and continue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17.9% through 2021 to more than $2.1 trillion. And the reasons so much money is being thrown at DT initiatives are equally compelling, as Dell (along with Intel and the Enterprise Strategy Group) told us in survey data released last month: -transformed companies are 22x more likely to get new products and services to market ahead of the competition; -81% of firms (4,000 were surveyed) agree if they do not embrace IT Transformation, their companies will no...

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DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 2 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: As usual, there was a lot to see and do at this year’s Dell Technologies World, so I’ve selected a number of analysts’ comments to provide a better synopsis of the week’s events. First up is the digital transformation research, released in April, that set the stage for DTW18. “Companies today need to be agile to stay competitive and drive growth, and IT Transformation can be a major enabler of that,” said John McKnight, Vice President of Research, Enterprise Strategy Group. “It’s clear that IT Transformation is increasingly resonating with companies and that senior executives recognize how IT Transformation is pivotal to overall business strategy and competitiveness. While achieving transformation can be a major endeavor, our research shows ‘Transformed’ companies experience real business results, including being more likely to be ahead of the competition in bringing new products and services to market, making better, faster data-driven decisions than their competition, and exceeding their revenue goals.” Another research initiative resulted in last week’s Built to Adapt Benchmark, a ‘quantitative framework of indicators that gauges how well an organization builds and operates software’ from Pivotal. According to the survey of more than 1,600 of the world’s top organizations in six countries and across five industries, software release velocity does not meet business needs: -38% of organizations polled report deploying code on a continuous, hourly, or daily basis; -50% only deploy code on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis; -37% of apps were built, or have been refactored, to run in the cloud; and, -20% of software launches and upgrades were delayed due to defects. Patrick Moorhead, Founder and President of Moor Insights & Strategy, noted that the event started well, and built from there. ‘One of my biggest takeaways from Day 1 was that Dell Technologies is more connected than I have ever seen before … which is very powerful to customers and partners.’ He was equally positive about the various product announcements. ‘From machine learning to hyper-converged, to VDI, The Dell Technologies family continues to make progress, and the industry is better for it. Moor also credited Michael Dell for leading credit ‘Dell Technologies to be a much more interconnected and valuable company while maintaining best of breed components. This is very hard to do. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in enabling, optimizing and getting revenue from the software-defined datacenter and the future of work, but I am liking what I am seeing.’ Jason Bloomberg, President, Intellyx, believes that the event proved that the company had ‘largely succeeded in rationalizing a complex, diverse product line’ but that digital transformation posed a challenge...

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SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?
Mar22

SD-WAN Wars: VEP-ons of Mass Attraction?

Enterprise-networking-powerhouse-wannabe Dell (Technologies) EMC, which held the bottom position in an almost-recent top-10 vendor list (although VMware was in 6th place, behind first-place Cisco, and the pretenders to its throne such as HPE/Aruba, Juniper, and Huawei), is looking to make a big splash in the SD-WAN (software-defined wide-area network) puddle with its Virtual Edge Platform family. According to the company, which claims to already serve 98% of the Fortune 500, the new platform family and software bundles enhance SD-WAN to speed digital transformation, and is the first product to use Intel’s D-2100 processor, and the features validated and tested solutions with Silver Peak, VeloCloud and Versa software to simplify and accelerate deployments. The VEP4600, which will start at $1,500, will begin shipping worldwide on April 24. A subset of software-defined networking (SDN) — i.e. technology versus architecture — SD-WAN represents a small fraction of the overall networking market (~5%) but is growing at 59% annually and is expected to be worth $1.3 billion by 2020 (Gartner). 451 Research is a little more pessimistic, putting the market at $1.5 billion by 2021, while IDC is more optimistic — a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 69.6% and $8.05 billion by 2021. The 4Q17 SD-WAN market was valued at $147 million, with CY17 up 3.9x over CY16. VeloCloud (acquired by VMware acquired by Dell) was the top vendor with 19% share, followed by Aryaka (17%) and Silver Peak (12%). “Reviewing recent wins, we can see a market that is maturing with a transition from early market adopters to mainstream buyers. Other signs of maturation include expansions at existing clients and incremental product offerings such as security and WAN optimization on top of basic WAN transport virtualization,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., Senior Research Director and Advisor for the Cloud and Data Center Research Practice at IHS Markit. Great growth projections, but on a really small base, when you consider that the overall network market was worth $51 billion last year, and Cisco held 54.3% of it. Dell Technologies, the parent of Dell EMC, lumps networking with its much-larger server business, and in its most recent quarter, 3QFY18, reported overall revenue of $19.6 billion, while the networking/server tandem came in at $3.9 billion, an increase of 32% year over year and 3% quarter over quarter. Still, the SD-WAN market — which Dell has the largest share — is hot, driven by the need to to increase security and reduce appliance sprawl, with 93% of recent survey respondents planning to implement the technology by the end of 2019. It’s a little premature to call it a family yet, Jeff Baher, Senior Director of Product...

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DT Success Is… Elusive
Dec21

DT Success Is… Elusive

Everybody needs it. Most everybody is trying to achieve it. And the majority of those who try fail to realize its benefits. It is digital transformation — AKA DT, DX or Industry 4.0 — the multi-trillion-dollar business phenomenon enabled by cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics (BDA), mobility, social media and security that is reshaping everything for the foreseeable future. Succeeding at DT is the next new normal, and the stakes are literally life and death, i.e. a 33% increase in speed to market; 40% increase in customer satisfaction; and 37% increase in new business revenue. On average, companies going digital expect to increase annual revenues by 2.9% and reduce costs by 3.6%, but businesses going all-in can achieve both revenue gains and cost reduction of more than 30% at the same time. So DT is an extinction-level phenomenom that is transforming all aspects of our lives, and while the stakes are high, the risks — and failure rates — are higher. The failure rates for unsuccessful digital transformation projects range from a low of only 70% to as high as 84%. The biggest DT barrier is cultural resistance to change, followed by legacy IT systems and retaining critical talent, respectively. “One of the things that our research and expertise consistently show is that shifting people and how they need to operate differently are where some of the big challenges are coming from, as more and more companies try to digitally transform,” said IDC’s Shawn Fitzgerald, research director, worldwide digital transformation strategies. Positioned as a Leader in IDC’s Worldwide Digital Transformation Consulting and Systems Integration Services 2017 Vendor Assessment, Accenture is also grappling with DT internally, as its more than 400,000 professionals visit more than 10,000 customer sites daily, said CIO Andrew Wilson. He told IT Trends & Analysis that organizations need to transform from old techniques and waterfall philosophies to much more horizontal processes and experiences. “You have to be much more real-time.” The service provider practices what it preaches, focusing on the new skills and training required to enable an increasingly mobile and dispersed workforce to make the most effective use of the latest technologies. Wilson said his company is working to connect employees through social collaboration tools like The Stream, Accenture’s version of Facebook, that enables employees to stay connected with colleagues and communities, post updates and share knowledge anywhere. It also uses video communications, including the CIO’s monthly talk show for employees that features interviews with executives from Accenture and alliance partners. A key component of the SP’s DT-delivery capabilities is called Accenture Digital — consisting of Accenture Analytics, Accenture Interactive...

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