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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Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success
Sep28

Better Together: Vantara Plots IoT Success

Last week Hitachi ($81 billion annual revenues and more than 800 subsidiaries, with products including consumer appliances, electric power generation as well as IT) announced it was combining its former storage/IT business unit Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), together with Pentaho (BI software) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services), into a new unit focused on the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. The new venture, Hitachi Vantara, also unveiled a number of products, services and partnerships focused on most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. So was this a bold move to combine assets that have a lot more potential upside in a US-based, IoT-focused business, or a desperate attempt to pump new life into stagnating segments? HDS may be the dominant member of the IoT troika, but with only a tiny share of a barely growing enterprise storage market, the grass looks much greener in an IoT market expected to reach between $1.2 to $2 trillion by 2021, with double-digit compound annual growth. The research data varies wildly, but it is certain that IoT is going to be a huge opportunity for the foreseeable future: –73% of executives are either researching or currently launching IoT projects; -manufacturing-based IoT connections grew 84% between 2016 and 2017, followed by energy & utilities (41%), transportation and distribution (40%), smart cities and communities (19%) and healthcare and pharma (11%); -the retail IoT market is forecast to surpass $30 billion by 2024; -the manufacturing IoT market is forecast to surpass $150 billion by 2024; -the IoT platform market (i.e. Vantara’s Lumada) is expected to grow 35% per year to $1.16 billion by 2020; and, -project-based IoT services represented the highest percentage of market opportunity in 2016, and will gain nearly one point of market share to 56.7% by 2021, approaching $30.8 billion, with the Americas (52.2%) and EMEA (34.4%) substantially outperforming Asia/Pacific (13.4%) last year. It would appear to be very good news — at least potentially — for Hitachi, because it’s name was nowhere to be found in key players in the Persistence Market Research study. The featured vendors were: IBM, Microsoft, AT&T, Apple, Google, General Electric, Samsung, Comcast, Intel, Cisco Systems, Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fujitsu, Qualcomm Technologies, Honeywell International, Accenture PLC, ARM, Amazon Web Services, SAP SE, Zebra Technologies, and Texas Instruments. From Data Storage to Business Outcomes Vantara represents a change in how Hitachi, or at least some of its IT assets, are presented, said analyst George Crump, StorageSwiss. ‘It does not want to compete with Dell and HP for storage deals. It wants to compete with...

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HDS Metamorphisis: From Storage 5th to IoT 1st
Sep21

HDS Metamorphisis: From Storage 5th to IoT 1st

LAS VEGAS: HDS is dead. Long live Hitachi Vantara. By combining its former storage/IT business unit (origins date back to 1979, but debuted as HDS in 1989) together with Pentaho (BI software acquired in 2015) and Hitachi Insight Group (IoT products and services, i.e. Vantara 1.0, formed in 2016: ), $81 billion Hitachi is repositioning HDS from a fifth-place finish in enterprise storage to first place in the operational technology (OT)/IT/IoT space. In addition to launching the reorganization at Hitachi NEXT 2017 in front of more than 2,000 attendees and more thousands online, the new and improved IoT business unit draped itself in most of IT’s — and business’ — hot buttons, including Big Data and analytics, cloud, containers, appliances and converged infrastructure. Although HDS was recently upgraded from Challenger to Leader in Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant for Solid-State Arrays, the hottest segment in enterprise storage, and the unit was contributing around 20% of Hitachi’s revenues, it has been on a downward trend the last couple of years. The overall enterprise storage market grew only 2.9% last quarter (to $10.8 billion), and fifth-place HDS accounted for only $413 million, down 3.8%, and well behind first-place HPE and second-place Dell EMC. A year ago it had 5.7% of the enterprise storage market revenues, while two years ago it had a 7.8% share of worldwide external storage revenue during the quarter.   While storage is stuck in commodity hell and HDS appears to be falling behind, IoT is experiencing exponential growth. Back in February Gartner predicted 8.4 billion things will be connected in 2017, up 31% from a year ago. That’s almost $2 trillion on endpoints and services this year, and we’re looking at 20.4 billion connected things by 2020,  with hardware spending expected to reach almost $3 trillion. IDC is not as optimistic, putting the IoT market at just under $1.4 trillion by 2021. That may be less than half of Gartner’s forecast, but it still represents an incredible opportunity for Vantara, which is pushing a more holistic approach than most of its competitors. “The true value of IoT is being realized when the software and services come together to enable the capture, interpretation, and action on data produced by IoT endpoints,” said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC.” The tagline for NEXT was ‘Lead What’s Next’, that was reinforced by another, more enduring Hitachi theme, ‘Double Bottom Line’, marrying the drive for business success together with social responsibility. The launch of Ventara “marks a monumental change for Hitachi”, said Hitachi, Ltd. president and CEO Toshiaki Higashihara, in his keynote on Tuesday. The company was...

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Pure Gold: Flash Vendor Predicts 30%-Plus CAGR, $35-Billion TAM

SAN FRANCISCO: Pure Storage has made it to the big leagues, having outfought, out-thought and outlasted the hordes of competitors in the enterprise flash storage market, which is experiencing explosive growth in the rapidly emerging digital transformation/big data and analytics/Internet of Things world. No longer relegated to the ‘Others’ category, it is a top-five player that looks too big to buy (Dell EMC, like James Bond, proves you should Never Say Never Again, but an acquisition — or at least a suitable acquisitor — appears unlikely) and too small to thrive without some help, typically a significant barrier to entry like proprietary (and popular) intellectual property, large installed base or deep pockets. With both the $1-billion revenue plateau and its first quarterly profit within reach in calendar 2017, the Puritan elders — AKA its senior executives — are predicting even bigger things to come, like at least three more years of 30%-plus revenue growth, surpassing the $2-billion annual revenue mark by 2020. That prediction was just one of the items announced to more than 3,000 customers, partners and staff (with another 2,000 online, for a total increase of 300% over last year’s inaugural event), at this week’s Pure//Accelerate 2017. Unlike the overall enterprise storage market, which continues to see capacity shipment growth at the expense of revenue and margin growth, the flash market, especially all flash arrays (AFAs), is growing explosively — 48% in the first quarter. Sales were a little over $1.3 billion, with Pure Storage holding down fourth place with 12% market share, behind Dell EMC (29%), NetApp (21%), HPE (17%), and comfortably ahead of IBM (7%). “All-flash array is the only segment growing in the external storage market space,” said Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group vice president, in a statement. “While the total market for external storage has contracted for the past two years, and will likely decline again this year, all flash storage system sales are reaching all new highs. We predict all-flash array revenue to grow approximately 40 percent in 2017 to reach nearly $7 billion while disk and hybrid storage system revenues decline about 14 percent.” AFA’s future is looking even brighter, according to both flash guru Jim Handy, GM of semiconductor research group, Objective Analysis, and Gartner. Handy expects a manufacturing breakthrough in high-capacity 3D NAND chips next year that will further lower AFA prices. Gartner is predicting that half of all data centers will only use AFA for primary storage by 2020, with the market growing to $9.67 billion. Pure believes the total addressable market for its faster solid-state storage arrays is $35 billion. Dave Vellante, chief analyst of Wikibon, agrees the...

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Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?
Jun15

Pure Flash: Catching Up Or Racing Ahead?

SAN FRANCISCO: There were a number of product announcements, some fascinating market research, and insights into the future provided at, and leading up to, this week’s Pure//Accelerate 2017, the second annual customer/partner event from enterprise flash storage market light-heavyweight Pure Storage, Nearing the $1-billion revenue mark, the company is comfortably in the top five flash vendors and offers an interesting perspective on where the market is, and where it might be going. The company’s marketing slogan — or at least one of them — is software-driven, hardware-accelerated, so it’s appropriate that there were more than 25 software announcements, all delivered in evergreen, all seamless upgrades. “Our core DNA is software,” said Scott ‘Dietz’ Dietzen, CEO of Pure Storage. The announcements included: Pure1 META, it’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform for delivering on the vision of self-driving storage; its vision for the data platform for the cloud era; major updates to its flagship software, Purity, Purity for FlashArray 5.0, and Purity for FlashBlade 2.0; and Purity CloudSnap, which extends Purity’s Snapshots to FlashBlade, NFS, and the public cloud. In April Pure announced FlashArray//X, the first mainstream all-NVMe FlashArray,  a new protocol for communicating with flash that provides the ‘low-latency and parallelism that promises to take the potential of flash to new heights,’ blogged Max Kixmoeller, Pure’s VP, Products. A month later it launched the NVMe Now promotion, an extension to the company’s TB-for-TB trade-in program Evergreen Storage. Through October 31, 2017, organizations using VMAX and XtremIO can upgrade to FlashArray//X, providing customers a “total cost of ownership savings of close to 50 percent over six years.” When asked how Pure’s portfolio now compares to the competition, storage guru Mark Peters, ESG Practice Director and Senior Analyst (Storage), Enterprise Strategy Group, gave them a solid ‘B’ and said they are now comparable, with the following caveats. It depends on how your define their competition and how you define their portfolio, he explained. “Assuming you are comparing to other AFA folks and just on the product rather than all the consumption and support choices, then they are now (at last) at least on par… maybe even with some nice advanced differentiators. If you compare to a broader storage, HCI or IT provider, clearly they have a long way to go.” If you assume it’s by how you define their portfolio, he views it as an iceberg. “To date we are only seeing a small % above the water (hence the solid “B”….but their architecture and approach means that their portfolio has immense extensibility — we are just not exposed to it all yet (so maybe an A’).” At least one competitor appears concerned about...

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