EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized
Sep07

EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized

Today’s the day Dell closes the $65-billion EMC acquisition (and Apple releases the iPhone 7), but while the mega-deal has been inching through the regulatory and shareholder approval process, it’s been business as usual for the storage giant, and increasingly, the usual business has involved alternatives to its bread and butter, disk drives. The enterprise storage giant has been pushing flash, AKA solid state drives (SSDs), software-defined storage (SDS), and now, stealing a page from its virtualization business, VMware, software-defined everything (SDE). Also referred to as SDX, SDI (software defined infrastructure) and software-defined environments (IBM’s nom de guerre), SDE is am umbrella term that describes how virtualization and abstracting workloads from the underlying hardware can be used to make IT infrastructures more flexible and agile. In a recent conversation with EMC’s Manuvir Das, SVP, Advanced Software Division, he told IT Trends & Analysis that the current evolution of IT is offering customers a couple of choices in pursuit of shrinking data centers, lower CAPEX and OPEX and the ability to leverage the cloud: some form of do it yourself versus an all-in-one solution, and hardware versus software lock-in (and that at the end of the day, there’s no getting away from software lock-in). With 14 years at Microsoft, including the development of Azure, the company’s public cloud offering, he should know a lot about software lock-in. “The reality is there is nothing beyond software lock in… there is no way a customer can live in a world where there is no lock in somewhere in the stack.” Lock-in is an ongoing concern. “We don’t want to trade a closed hardware world for a closed software world,” said Nick Lippis, ONUG co-founder and co-chairman, said in his opening presentation at the Open Networking User Group spring conference in May. “All too often, the vendors have the upper hand,” stated IDC in a recent report. High switching costs or other “vendor control points,” such as proprietary technology integrations or overly customized applications, can make it too much trouble for enterprise customers to discontinue using one vendor and switch to another. Das said the challenge with a DIY approach to a complete software-defined solution — “the holy grail of what a software defined data center would look like” — is that he sees “very few customers who have the remotest idea of how to do that.” This is not something you get just off the shelf, he added. Of those who have taken this approach, he has yet to meet anybody “with any degree of success.” Lack of success doesn’t appear to be an inhibitor to SDE/SDDC. Vendors fighting for their slice...

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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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Cloud Computing Drives a New Era in IT Business

Cloud computing represents a shift in enterprise IT. It affects how IT resources and applications are created, purchased, and deployed. Colloquially known as The Cloud, this paradigm of computing has also shifted the business model of the IT industry. It has empowered end-users to seek out their own IT resources, especially applications, fundamentally changing the balance of power when purchasing computing resources. There are three areas of the IT landscape that are affected by the move to the Cloud. They are: Applications, which have seen barriers to creating, deploying, and buying applications disappear for both lines of business and IT purchasers as well as developers. Infrastructure, reducing the need for on-premises data centers while promising infinite scalability Channel partners who are experiencing major changes to how they provide value to customers now that installation and distribution has become more self-service and purchases are made via subscriptions and not on-premises licenses. For more information*, email: info@neuralytix.com *Caveat Emptor: the report retails for...

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EMC: Bringing Hyperconvergence To The Masses
Feb16

EMC: Bringing Hyperconvergence To The Masses

EMC may be busy figuring out its pending future with Dell, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that while the overall IT market is inching along at 0.6% growth this year (albeit to $3.54 trillion), the converged infrastructure (CI) market is growing at 10X — 6.2% year-over-year (to $2.5 billion), and the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) market is growing at 258X, with sales shooting up 155.3% (to $278.8 million) for the last reported quarter. It’s still early days for HCI, but EMC would love to see the kinds of results VMware achieved in the server virtualization space with its latest additions, the VCE VxRail hyper-converged infrastructure appliances (HCIA) for VMware environments. The economic benefits of VxRail are very clear, said Gil Shneorson, VP and GM VxRail, EMC. You can start very small and grow as you need. “That’s very appealing,” he told IT Trends & Analysis. Customers also don’t have to worry about planning ahead. “You don’t have the upgrade event in the future… or have to face issues when you buy a new solution”. EMC has taken all the guesswork out of it, with the integration and automation (and aggressive pricing), said Shneorson. “We think we are the only ones who are doing this.” Integrating the hardware and software together, and supporting it, “that is very important and a very enticing value proposition.” They may be the only ones ‘doing this’, but there are a lot of companies buzzing around the CI/HCI market. IDC estimates that total worldwide spending on converged infrastructure will hit $17.8 billion in 2016, up from $4.6 billion in 2012. It breaks the market down into three segments: -Integrated systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; –Certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; however, they are designed with systems from multiple technology vendors; and, -Hyperconverged systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution. A key characteristic of hyperconverged systems that differentiate these solutions from other integrated systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Gartner also divides the integrated systems market into three broad categories: –Integrated stack system (ISS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated with application software to provide appliance or appliancelike functionality. Examples include IBM PureApplication System, Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Teradata; –Integrated infrastructure system (IIS) — Server, storage and network hardware integrated to provide shared compute infrastructure. Examples include VCE Vblock, HP ConvergedSystem and Lenovo Converged System (formerly...

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This Year in Storage

Happy 2016! Is that still allowed in February? Or, if you are like me, are you stunned that just over 8% of the year went by already! Anyhow, while ‘predictions’ is an over-used word around this time of year, there’s another ‘P’ word that has had more than its fair share of deployment in IT circles generally – and storage specifically – over the decades: the word is ‘paradigm’. And especially shifts thereof! But sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason.. .Scott Sinclair and I recently sat down to chat about both P words with regard to the storage industry over the coming year and beyond. In our age of being attention-challenged, it is worth noting that the resulting video is around 7 minutes. But (and hopefully it is not immodest) we think it turned out as a useful overview! To read the complete article, CLICK...

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