Video: What Drives IT Complexity

ESG surveyed 651 global technology decision makers in our annual 2018 IT Spending Intentions Survey. In this video, I highlight some of the results most relevant to networking and cloud platforms. As part of the research, we asked respondents to identify the factors driving IT complexity. Three responses were accepted, and the top responses were: To read the complete article, CLICK...

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What to Expect at RSA Conference USA 2018

The theme for RSA Conference 2018 USA is “Now Matters.” No more clever themes like ancient stone tablets, which I really miss…but I digress. What the theme “Now Matters” means is that “urgency and pressure” are being felt in the IT community. So what if you chose to upgrade a server or a switch a bit later than anticipated? Sure, you may lose some opportunity costs of additional performance that could have been achieved, but the world is not going to end. There are special cases like end-of-support or lack of firmware upgrades for older equipment, but they are predictable and can be dealt with ahead of time. But if you ignore the “now” in security and leave an attack surface unattended, you may experience negative consequences. This is an issue that matters to areas of infrastructure such as networking and cloud computing platforms, which I cover. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?
Feb01

Has Cisco Got The Right Stuff?

John Chambers, who handed control of Cisco to Chuck Robbins in July 2015, was bumped further upstairs a month ago when he became Chairman Emeritus, while his successor took over his role as Chairman of the Board, but more than a change in leadership, the turnover represents a new — and hopefully — improved networking, server and security vendor. The company, which has been struggling with the cloud and commodity hardware and software-based competitors for the last decade, looks poised for new life — and growth — as it hosts this week’s Cisco Live EMEA 2018, in Barcelona, Spain. Reinventing Cisco is not new. “We’re probably reinvented ourselves five or six times literally in the last two decades alone,” said Chambers shortly after moving up to the board. In an industry famous for it’s what-have-you-done-for-me-next philosophy, networking has been battered by explosive demands, increasing complexity and flat budgets, with the results that Cisco’s market domination has been mired in commodity hell. In Q3 its Ethernet switching business grew 7.4% year-over-year to $6.75 billion (56.7% market share), while the router market climbed 3% to 41.4%, up slightly sequentially (40.8%), but down year-over-year (44%). While networking accounts for the bulk of Cisco’s revenues, it’s been doing pretty well in the datacenter market with its server portfolio (i.e. UCS and HyperFlex), statistically tied with IBM for third place in 3Q17, with 5.8% of the market ($992 million), behind HPE (19.5%) and Dell (18.1%). Cisco also did very well in the converged systems market, and while it’s a much smaller segment, $2.99 billon vs $17 billon in Q3, the company held down second place between Dell (48.3%) and HPE (10.3% share, down 41.9% from a year-ago’s 18.1%), and grew its marketshare 56.4% YoY to $485.5 million. Security is another market where Cisco is growing strongly. Cybersecurity spending is expected to soar from last year’s $137.85 billion to $231.94 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.0%. According to ESG cybersecurity guru Jon Oltsik, “Cisco is one of only a handful of $2 billion-plus cybersecurity vendors that can grow its security revenue to over $5 billion by 2020.” At 4% of total revenues, the company’s security business is never going to be more than a wagging tail, but it grew 13% YoY in 2016, and 12% in the first nine months of 2017, which is way better than the switch and router business. A week ago Cisco expanded its cybersecurity portfolio with the acquisition of Skyport — a privately held company that has secured approximately $70 million in funding — whose core product platform is SkySecure Server, a physical server...

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The Relevance of Networking at AWS re:Invent

This year was my first re:Invent and it was an impressive event. There were over forty-three thousand people in attendance and the show occupied a number of hotels along the Vegas strip. It wasn’t just that there were a lot of people there, it was that there were a lot of people who wanted to be there – after attending hundreds of trade shows and user group events you get to know the difference. There was a buzz and excitement at the show that reminded me of early VMworld and TechEd shows. Sessions were sold out and queues were long as people waited for the doors to open. All the attendees I spoke to had specific reasons for attending; many were in the process of moving to a cloud first strategy and were there to learn. Clearly the main point from the keynotes was to remind everyone that AWS is continuing to innovate and provide services to help organizations of all sizes transition to cloud by offering the greatest breadth and depth of capabilities for a cloud platform, thus, making it easier for organizations to make the transition to the cloud and ensure AWS has capabilities for all possible use cases… thus potentially expanding its already dominant forty plus percent share of the market. On the expo floor it was good to see a mix networking companies attending to help customers better understand how to connect to the public cloud. In fact, ESG research on network modernization indicates that the top impact that organizations have reported that public cloud computing services has had on their network strategy is that they’ve integrated their data center and WAN links to create a seamless network that connects on-premises and off-premises resources (38%). That is why it was important for companies like Cisco, Juniper, and Arista to be at re:invent to talk about how they can enable seamless connectivity from the data center to the cloud for hybrid cloud environments. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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DEW17: Storage On Steroids (& Cloud and Networking)

LAS VEGAS: Digital transformation is the (current) be-all and end-all, but for IT vendors, it’s all about building and selling the products and services that facilitate the DT journey, and in the second segment of our preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 2 we look at Dell EMC’s more mundane announcements, while Part 3 will focus on the revolutionary new payment program that turns CapEx to OpEx and might even help reduce the fear of vendor lock-in. As the dominant enterprise storage vendor, there were a number of storage announcements, including a heaping helping of software-defined storage news: a new release of ScaleIO; Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) platform updates; IsilonSD Edge enhancements; new and updated Dell EMC Ready Nodes; and a preview of Project Nautilus, a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings,” said Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, in a prepared statement. “Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.” Available now are Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes, with availability on the new PowerEdge servers scheduled for mid-2017. Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes are scheduled for June, followed shortly on the servers, while Next, ScaleIO.Next, ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge are also expected out soon. If IT is now all about transformation, storage is all about flash, and the two are inseparable, noted Mark Peters, practice director & senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a prepared statement. “… All-Flash and scale-out storage solutions — capable of delivering both the high performance and rich data services needed for today’s demanding applications — are critical elements for any enterprise that wants to achieve IT transformation.” Dell EMC made a number of flashy announcements: the VMAX 950F, up to 4x faster than the nearest competitor; XtremIO X2 delivers new levels of efficiency for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) and large scale snapshot use cases, with 3x higher capacity, 25% better storage efficiency on average and 80% better response times; Unity All-Flash storage models feature up to 4x larger file system capacity, 8x increase in density and sub 10-minute deployment; SC5020 midrange hybrid storage array offers up to 45% more IOPS, 2x greater capacity and market’s lowest hybrid array $/GB;...

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