DTW18 & Connecting The DoTs (Part 3 of 3)

LAS VEGAS: Of all the leading IT vendors, Dell has done the best job of ‘keeping it simple’, and ruthlessly embracing that mantra in everything it does, and the product launches at last week’s Dell Technologies World 2018 were no exception. Given its major brands — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware — and leadership in 22 product categories, the opportunity was there to release a flood of new and enhanced products and services, but KISS prevailed. Here’s the abbreviated version of the product — and company — news just announced by Dell Technologies: –Dell Technologies Capital emerged from stealth, and announced that it has completed 24 investments in the last year, with one third of new investments focused on AI/ML and the remaining focused on security, next-gen infrastructure and developer ecosystem, including DocuSign, MongoDB and Zscaler; -updated VDI portfolio includes adding the Dell EMC PowerEdge 14th generation infrastructure and simplified configuration options to the Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions, and the Dell Wyse 5070 thin client, the company’s most versatile and scalable thin client platform; -AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) initiatives, including expanding the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio to accelerate AI-driven workloads, analytics, deployment and efficiency, deeper relationships with Intel, and Dell Precision Optimizer 5.0 enhanced with machine learning algorithms, intelligently tunes the speed and productivity of Dell Precision workstations; -additions to the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure portfolio, including a simplified path to VMware-based clouds, and enhancements to VxRail and VxRack SDDC; –Dell EMC PowerMax, engineered with end-to-end NVMe, ready for Storage Class Memory (SCM) and NVMe over Fabrics, making it the world’s fastest storage array built for mission-critical applications of today and tomorrow, as well as Dell EMC VxBlock System 1000 support for end-to-end NVMe with PowerMax, native replication and a new entry point X-Brick system Dell EMC XtremIO, and a sneak peak at Dell EMC PowerEdge MX infrastructure, which is scheduled to be released later this year; -collaboration with Microsoft to build a secure, intelligent edge-to-cloud IoT solution featuring Dell Edge Gateways, VMware Pulse IoT Center and Microsoft Azure IoT Edge; and, -the next generation of Virtustream Viewtrust, its risk management and continuous compliance monitoring solution that offers enhanced scalability, performance, and serviceability to enterprises and public sector organizations with new SaaS capabilities. For more information on DTW18, check out Connecting The DoTs Part 1-Dell and digital transformation and Part 2-analysts’ insights. DISCLAIMER: I hold shares in many of the companies referenced in this article, and Dell looked after airfare and hotel while I was at Dell Technologies World....

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IBM’s Strong Commitment to the NVMe Storage Revolution

IBM’s recent storage announcement covered a number of new and enhanced solutions across IBM’s Storage software and Storage systems portfolio, but for simplicity’s sake, my focus today is the significant support the company is throwing behind the revolution inspired by NVMe (nonvolatile memory express Note that the business storage market has changed dramatically in recent years with revolutions sparked by software-defined storage technologies and flash-based storage hardware, in both of which IBM has been a leader. To those two we can now add a storage connectivity revolution or NVMe. Although this revolution could be considered separate, the primary benefit is to increase the performance of flash storage (not hard disk storage). Therefore, it can also be considered a subset of the flash storage revolution. As it has demonstrated in past such events, IBM has a well-articulated strategy that includes necessary planning and R&D investments to deliver NVMe as a part of its storage environment in a reasonable, achievable time frame. However, before we see what the company is doing we need to understand the technology and why it is important. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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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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