HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”
Jun08

HPE: “Nowhere Left To Hide”

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is in Sin City this week, holding its annual customer and partner event (HPE Discover 2017), accompanied with the usual flurry of product announcements and preceded by another troubling financial report. HPE’s Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, believes the company is heading for an upswing, “accelerating out of the turnaround”, according to a recent interview. “I can feel it,” she said. “It is just smarter, easier, simpler. You cannot underestimate the accountability. There is nowhere left to hide at this company. I see a perfect place. There is nowhere left for partners to hide. There is no place for HPE employees to hide. It just makes things far easier and, frankly, more fun because you can get stuff done faster.” Faster, maybe, but better? HPE’s commodity hardware businesses and primary revenue generators — servers, storage, and to a lesser extent, networking — all took hits in the most recent quarter, with the to-be-expected impacts on revenues and margins. Second quarter FY17, announced on May 31, included a 13% year-over-year drop in GAAP net revenue ($7.4 billion vs $8.5 billion), and a more than 50% drop in GAAP operating margin (2.4% vs 2016’s 5.3%). While Whitman is predicting a speedy upturn, the current performance is not reassuring: -Enterprise Group revenue was $6.2 billion, down 13% year over year, down 7% when adjusted for divestitures and currency, with an 8.8% operating margin; -servers revenue was down 14%; -storage revenue was down 13%; and, -networking revenue was down 30%. Overall IT spending is expected to inch up 1.4% this year, to $3.5 trillion, with the datacenter segment pegged at a very anemic 0.3% growth. “We are seeing a shift in who is buying servers and who they are buying them from” said John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner. “Enterprises are moving away from buying servers from the traditional vendors and instead renting server power in the cloud from companies such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft. This has created a reduction in spending on servers which is impacting the overall data center system segment.” Vendor revenue for the global server market declined 4.6% to $11.8 billion in 1Q17, but HPE took a much bigger hit, with a 15.8% YoY decline in sales. Second-place Dell — 20.1% vs HPE’s 24.2% market share — grew its revenues 4.7%, while Cisco, IBM, and Lenovo were statistically tied for third place, and all saw revenue declines (3%, 34.7% and 16.5%, respectively). Storage was worse. 4Q16 enterprise factory revenue was down 6.7% YoY, to $11.1 billion, with Dell holding down top spot, courtesy of its EMC acquisition, and with HPE tied with...

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NetApp Looking Good For Its Age! (Video)

Warmer weather in the US also means the heating up of what we often call “show season.” While it was intentionally not a big audience (after all it was just analysts rather than an end-user event), the NetApp event this week in Boulder, Colorado was certainly engaging. Fresh off of some much-improved business results, the NetApp team was justifiably proud of where it is today. And that’s not just about its revenues and finances, it’s also about vision and execution. And those things – together with a willingness to embrace change – are what enable organizations to achieve longevity. With NetApp celebrating its 25 year anniversary, knowing the ingredients to a long life is especially vital. After all the average life of Fortune 500 organizations is only somewhere between 40 and 50 years….and roughly 50% of the 1999 Fortune 500 was gone within a decade! After, admittedly, some tough times, NetApp has now moved beyond stabilization to show renewed vigor together with relevance to where IT is now, and where it is headed as we speak. Whether it is NetApp’s already-way-more-real-than-you-imagined Data Fabric, whether it’s the increasing pragmatism within its sales model and focus brought be a new Cloud BU, or whether it’s the pleasing clarity of its new “Data Driven” tagline, NetApp is portraying a purpose and vitality that seemed lost just a few years back. We shot a short video at the event to give you our insights: in this video we highlight the newly announced NetApp HCI (with a little help from Dale Degen of NetApp). Of course there were many other news items (indeed, just a day after the event, NetApp’s enhanced relationship with Microsoft Azure also became public) but HCI had represented a clear gap in the portfolio so we decided to give it the spotlight for today. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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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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