IBM DB2 Direct vs. Oracle: Innovation Is the Best Revenge

The tech industry has long promoted the concept and value of “co-opetition” – a process in which even viciously competing vendors can, in some areas, willingly cooperate in mutually beneficial ways. There are countless examples where the co-opetition dynamic works as advertised, some of them going back for decades. For example, system vendors that develop their own networking switches, including Dell, HP and IBM also sell Brocade, Cisco and/or Juniper solutions. Similarly, though most major server vendors have their own in-house storage systems, they also support offerings from storage specialists, including EMC, HDS, NetApp and many others. That doesn’t mean that co-opetition partners don’t occasionally get on the wrong side of one another. For example, Cisco’s decision to launch its own Unified Computing System (UCS) servers in 2009 rubbed many of its system vendor partners the wrong way. Then again, Cisco got some of its own back when strategic partner (and then-fellow VCE co-owner) VMware bought Nicera in 2012 to get a leg up in software-defined networking. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM Goes to War with Oracle…

We often talk about current rivalries like Google vs. Apple vs. Microsoft, but these pale next to some of the wars that have gone back decades. Granted the Sun vs. IBM war is long over and—surprisingly—IBM won. In fact, IBM has only lost one big battle historically, and that was against software company Microsoft. But another war that likely sets the record for length and resources is the one between IBM and Oracle—which many of us largely forgot about until recently. Well, apparently, IBM didn’t forget and I’m sure Oracle has been reminded of this fight because IBM just went after Oracle with guns blazing and it is an impressive effort. I’ve received feedback from some of the customers that have recently migrated from Oracle’s offerings to IBM and they appear to be singing IBM’s praises. For me, this is interesting because one of the frustrations I had when I worked at IBM was that IBM seemed to be afraid to take the gloves off, and ended up being the punching bag more often than not. As an employee working for a firm that refused to take the fight to a competitor wasn’t exactly a morale booster. So, it is great to see the firm finally take the gloves off with Oracle. Let’s talk about that this week. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Oracle Removes the Line Between Cloud & On-premises Storage

So Oracle just announced the new 8.7 version of the OS that powers its ZFS storage systems; I try to avoid writing about specific product news too often in this blog because a) you can get product news elsewhere and b) product news is usually just iterative and rarely does it contain that much deeper industry insight. But stick with me here, as this does get way more interesting than the move from version 8.6 to version 8.7 might suggest. To give a “you are here” starting point, the ZFS platform has been improving for years now and is a storage system to be reckoned with – its lickety-spit speed just got further enhanced with added flash pools and its tight integration with all-things-Oracle makes databases and apps verily sing. While the meatier part of the news is pretty well conveyed in the new moniker Oracle is using for its offering – “Cloud Converged Storage” – even that doesn’t quite do justice to the required-data-revolution-made-manifest that is represented here. To read the complete article, CLICK...

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Reflections on a Flickering SPARC

A report last Friday in the San Jose Mercury News that Oracle was laying off 450 workers in its hardware division suggests that the proprietary silicon experiment the company began with its 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsoft is nearing the end. It’s sensible from a financial point of view, especially for a company like Oracle that is demanding when it comes to business unit performance. In its most recent quarter (Q2 FY2017) Oracle reported that sales of hardware products (servers, etc.) were down -13% to $497M for the quarter, and down -16% in the previous six months to $959M. The company has also suffered double digit sales declines during the past five quarters. Additionally, Oracle’s server business has long been absent from the upper “Top 5” reaches of the server market, and thus relegated to the “Others” category in market sizing studies by IDC and Gartner. You could say that its faltering results suggest that Oracle either didn’t deliver on or wasn’t especially serious about its promises to Sun hardware customers. Considering the strategy espoused by Oracle executives—focusing mainly on engineered/integrated systems and database appliances—the latter interpretation is closer to being correct. High-end solutions certainly have their place at Oracle, especially in applications where optimizing performance of the company’s core database solutions is concerned. But with sales of traditional Unix-based systems, including Oracle’s SPARC/Solaris servers, under continuous pressure, the company needed and yet failed to do considerably more. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter
Jan26

Dell EMC: Convergence Is Reshaping The Datacenter

Trey Layton says the future of the datacenter is all about convergence and while he congratulated HPE for last week’s SimpliVity acquisition, he didn’t appear too optimistic about its prospects for success in the still small but rapidly expanding hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) subsegment. “As related to Simplivity, we rarely see them in a deal… we don’t see them when it comes down to evaluation and comparison”, said the CTO of Dell EMC’s Converged Platforms & Solutions Division (CPSD), the group currently sitting atop the integrated infrastructure market, which includes HCI. As the world rushes to all-digital, all-the-time, somewhere there is a datacenter powering all that software making DX possible. While numbers of the overall market are sketchy, a slew of recent surveys reinforce the growing need for datacenters of all sizes: -the global datacenter market will grow at a CAGR of 10.72% during the period 2016-2020; -the modular and containerized datacenter market will grow at a 12% CAGR between 2017-2021; -the mini datacenter — a self-contained system designed to be from a single rack (micro datacenter) to up to 40 rack enclosure (containerized and aisle containment solution) — market will grow at a CAGR of 17.17% during the period 2017-2021; and, -the hyperscale datacenter market — also called cloud 2.0 — will explode 4100% between 2016-2023, from $869.7 million in 2016 to $359.7 billion in 2023. Increasingly, these datacenters are turning to integrated, or converged solutions that IDC breaks down into four segments: -integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems are pre-integrated, vendor-certified systems containing server hardware, disk storage systems, networking equipment, and basic element/systems management software; -integrated platforms are integrated systems that are sold with additional pre-integrated packaged software and customized system engineering optimized to enable such functions as application development software, databases, testing, and integration tools; and, -hyperconverged (AKA hyperconverged infrastructure or HCI) systems collapse core storage and compute functionality into a single, highly virtualized solution; a key differentiator of hyperconverged systems is their ability to provide all compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources. Not liking to play well with others, Gartner prefers to label HCI as hyperconverged integrated systems (HCIS). However, whether HCI or HCIS, this segment is still relatively small: hyperconverged sales grew 104.3% year over year during Q3, generating $570.5 million worth of sales, or 22% of the total converged market, according to IDC. It will account for just 24% of the integrated systems market by 2019, but it will reach ‘mainstream use’ and is expected to be worth close to $5 billion, stated Gartner. According to the latest available numbers (Q3), the combined integrated infrastructure and certified reference systems market accounted...

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