Oracle ZS5 Is Foundational for Oracle’s Data Cloud Future

At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, we live in interesting times, not just for IT itself, but for the IT vendor ecosystem too. There’s divestitures, (re)spin-outs, and corporate combinations going on all over the place—think of HPE, Veritas and Dell/EMC respectively as some recent notable examples. Then there’s the cloud-focused crowd, and the on-prem-focused crowd…indeed, this can often be different product offerings from the same vendor. And then we have Oracle, not for the first time, marching to its own tune. And it could well be mellifluous for many. So, to start at the beginning: Just yesterday Oracle launched the 5th generation of its ZFS Storage Appliance, logically-if-unexcitingly called ZS5! As products go, it’s certainly impressive…up to 307 TB of flash cache (there’s also a version with up to 1.5 TB of DRAM) to support up to 9 PB of capacity, which means some real “oomph” on performance, including for the often-overlooked restore capabilities. And of course it comes with all the strength—whether that means resilience or completeness of advanced functions—that one might (un)reasonably expect. But I’m convinced the product itself is not the real story here: The “tune” that Oracle is composing is a whole orchestral symphony, not a concerto or a piece for, say, just a string quartet or solo instrument. What do I mean by this analogy, and why is this seemingly-good-but-straightforward storage product from Oracle part of a greater IT whole? To read the complete article, CLICK...

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BMC & Random Acts of Insight

LAS VEGAS: I got to speak to a number of people at last week’s BMC Engage 2016 Global User Conference, including a number of BMC Software execs who made a number of interesting comments that haven’t appeared in any of my stories yet. Here are a few colorful quotes in my Random Acts of Insight: BMC Paul Appleby Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales and Marketing, BMC: “The past couple of years we’ve doubled the number of new products we’re bringing to market.” Bill Berutti, President, Performance & Analytics and Cloud Management/Data center Automation, BMC: “The timeliness of us going private was fortunate… the digital revolution is happening in every company… disrupt or be disrupted… At the same time IT budgets are not going up. And by the way, the world is changing really, really fast.” “We’re now getting more relevant to the business.” Jason Andrew, GP and VP, BMC:  “We’ve added 900 new customers in the last 12 months.” “If you want growth you want new customers and don’t lose existing customers… we’re winning marketshare… and we’re changing what the addressable market is.” Sean Hinton, Area Director, Canada, BMC:  “It’s all about business outcomes and trying to engage with our customers that way.” “Engagement, user experience… that’s what it’s all about.” Big Iron (aka Mainframe) BMC Chairman and CEO Bob Beauchamp: “I think it is a competitive advantage that 25% of our business is mainframe.” John McKenny, VP Marketing and Customer Support of ZSolutions, BMC: “We’ve added amost a hundred customers… for MLC.” “IBM has very complex pricing… and most folks really stlruggle with what makes up that bill every month.” Security Robin Purohit Group President, Enterprise Solutions Organization, BMC:  “Security is the number one thing thing that can disrupt digital transformation.” DevOps Beauchamp: “By the way you’re all software companies. Congratulations!” Purohit: “The developer is king as you go digital.” Digitalization Beauchamp: “Go digital or go extinct…” “98% of digital data was created in the last two years. That will be true again next year.” DISCLAIMER: BMC looked after airfare and hotel....

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BMC: Go Digital or Go Extinct

LAS VEGAS: My primary objective for attending management software vendor BMC Software’s third annual customer/partner event, BMC Engage 2016 Global User Conference — other than its Sin City venue — was to try and understand how a 36-year-old ISV that got its start in the mainframe business (and which still accounts for 25% of its revenue, although packaged as a separate business) can reposition itself as a leader in digital transformation (DX). Even with more than 10,000 customers, including 82% of the Fortune 500, and around $2 billion in annual revenues (estimated, since it’s been private since 2013) that’s a seemingly outrageous claim to make, the old proverbial tail wagging the dog. If a quarter of BMC’s revenues are still based on Big Iron, the other 75% represents a broader set of tools for the rest of the market, including another 25% of its revenues coming from ITSM, or ITSSM as Gartner calls it, and who just crowned BMC (21.3% market share), along with ServiceNow (34.4%), as the two leaders in this segment, valued at $2.2 billion in 2015, in its Magic Quadrant for IT Service Support Management Tools. An interesting sidenote to this is that a few months ago ServiceNow announced that it had entered into a covenant not to sue for patent infringement with BMC for a term and took aggregate charges of $270 million for litigation settlement expenses related to its litigation associated with BMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. ServiceNow had been accused by BMC of infringing on eleven of the patents in its portfolio, and BMC has also filed similar additional suits against ServiceNow in the U.S. and Germany. Fast forward, and BMC Engage had the (mis)fortune of taking place while a number of mega-deals were transforming the IT industry’s biggest players: Dell completed its EMC acquisition in the industry’s biggest merger; HPE spun off another piece to become a $28B entity, a mere shadow of its glory days of a few years ago when bigger was best, revenues over $100B annually, not bust (although it still owns sizeable shares of both its services and software spin/mergers); and Intel finally accepted that trying to successfully run  a security business was anything but complementary to its chip core. BMC’s message has been that businesses must digitize to survive, and it can help them do so. While that might sound strange, given its history and current size, the company has been thriving, in a more modest way than its much bigger newsmakers. The message that the world is changing and business must change with it is hardly new or profound, but the underlying reality is that the...

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BMC: Doing the Right Things

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”  Peter Drucker LAS VEGAS: IT is moving from the back office to the boardroom, from making businesses more efficient to making them more effective, and to paraphrase Peter Drucker, all aspects of information technology, including the current darlings — cloud, mobility, analytics, IoT and social — will have to enable businesses to do the right things, at the right places and at the right times, or the businesses will fail. That’s part of the challenge confronting Houston-based BMC Software, a management software vendor that started in the mainframe business back in 1980, broadened its portfolio to IT operations management (ITOM) solutions for on-premise and cloud environments, and went private in 2013. This week the company, with more than 10,000 customers, including 82% of the Fortune 500, is hosting 2,300 attendees at BMC Engage 2016 Global User Conference. The theme — and the company’s focus of late, at least from a marketing perspective, is digitization and what it calls Digital Enterprise Management (DEM), unveiled at last year’s event. “With Digital Enterprise Management, BMC is providing a clear path to successfully manage this digital transformation,” said BMC CEO Bob Beauchamp, last September. “From the mainframe to mobile to the cloud, our solutions allow companies to improve the speed and lower the cost of digital service development, deployment, operation and maintenance.” Digital transformation is not just a technology trend, it is at the center of business strategies across all industry segments and markets, stated IDC. PwC calls the digital enterprise ‘Industry 4.0’, and according to its recent survey of over 2,000 senior executives from nine major industrial sectors and 26 countries, the implications are incredible. Respondents expect to increase annual revenues by an average of 2.9% and reduce costs by an average of 3.6% p.a. These results pale in comparison with the “first movers” who combine high investment levels with advanced digitisation: “they’re already gaining a nearly insurmountable advantage over competitors’. Representing just 4% of the respondents (71 companies), first movers ‘are far more likely to be forecasting both revenue gains of more than 30% and cost reduction of more than 30% at the same time.’ The numbers for the ITOM or IT operations and service management (ITOSM) market vary, but it is a significant and growing market populated by such vendors as Microsoft, BMC Software, Oracle, IBM, HPE, CA Technology and Dell. Last year it was worth $17.44 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2016 and 2024 ($30.96 billion), growing nearly twice as fast as the overall IT market worth nearly $2.4 trillion in 2016, and...

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Rescuing IT From A Sea Of Alarms
Jun22

Rescuing IT From A Sea Of Alarms

IT operations management (ITOM) and assorted kin (i.e. IT Operations Automation and IT Operations Analytics) are hot, and getting hotter. According to IDC, the IT operations analytics software market grew more than 41% in 2014 and will be worth $2.5 billion by 2019 as ITOA becomes ‘a more standard part of the IT operations and DevOps toolkit.’ The future is even brighter, according to marketsandmarkets, which predicts that ITOA will average an annual growth rate of 35.2% from 2015 to 2020, soaring from last year’s $2.17 billion to $9.79 billion. ‘The explosive growth of IT operational data, significant shift of organizations’ core businesses towards cloud, and a substantial change from traditional to next generation technologies have provided immense opportunities to the ITOA solutions vendors, who are in turn helping the organizations yield better analytical results and performance.’ It breaks the market down into solutions vendors such as Oracle, IBM, HP, Splunk, SAP SE, Evolven, Microsoft, VMware, ExtraHop, and Microsoft, as well as a few small and medium-sized companies such as Nexthink, AccelOps, Bay Dynamics, AppDynamics, and Sumo Logic that offer comparatively narrower, yet locally-effective solutions and distribution networks in the ITOA ecosystem. Each layer of technology in the data centre is becoming progressively more complex to control and manage, noted consultant Anthony King. ‘The average server environment now has thousands of configuration parameters (e.g. Windows OS contains – 1,500+, IBM WebSphere Application Server – 16,000+, and Oracle WebLogic –  60,000+).’ Then there are the hundreds and thousands of production changes — i.e. eBay experiences 35,000 changes annually — brought about by continuous integration and continuous build practices. The problem is too much data, and not enough answers, said Akhil Sahai, VP, Product Management, Perspica. Current IT operations tools trigger a “sea of alarms” but they can’t distinguish the critical, service impacting events from false positives that do not require the immediate attention of an operator, he told IT Trends & Analysis. An ITOA vendor, Perspica was founded in 2014 to provide operational intelligence across the entire application stack, and deliver self healing. How do we help our customers get visibility into their application infrastructure, move past alarms to answers, and prevent downtime through early warnings, said Sahai. “Our customers are also suffering with alarm overload.” Dealing with false alarms takes up all their time, but we reduce alarms by 99%, said Sahai. In an increasingly application-driven economy, system outages and downtime are costly. Pespecia says that works out to $5,600 a minute, and with an average outage clocking in at 90 minutes, the total is $505,000 in lost revenue, damage to mission-critical data, and legal and regulatory repercussions, with...

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