Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?
Oct05

Will Cloud DevOps Re-Energize ‘Big Iron’?

Not only has ‘Big Iron’ shrugged off its naysayers — suffering neither Monty Python’s ‘flesh wounds’ nor Mark Twain’s ‘reports of my death’ — the mainframe appears to be poised for a renaissance, one that software developer Compuware hopes to accelerate with its recent DevOps announcement for Amazon’s popular AWS cloud platform. “We’ve made Topaz [its flagship solution for mainframe Agile/DevOps] into what customers are evaluating and incorporating as a force multiplier,” said CEO Chris O’Malley. “The next step is bringing Topaz to AWS,” he told IT Trends & Analysis, accelerating DevOps availability to “minutes instead of months. In some cases, it can take more than a year for competitive products.” The mainframe, or at least IBM’s version, has been a staple of IT for more than 50 years, and it shows no signs of disappearing. The numbers speak for themselves: 55% of enterprise apps need the mainframe; 70% of enterprise transactions touch a mainframe; and, 70-80% of the world’s corporate data resides on a mainframe. However the installed base appeared to be shrinking as newer, less-costly alternatives proliferated. Annual mainframe system sales have declined from a high of about $4 billion earlier this decade to $2 billion in 2016, accounting for just 3% of IBM’s total revenue (although the associated hardware, software and technical services accounted for nearly 25% of IBM’s sales and 40% of its overall profit last year). Apparently Big Iron is back in vogue. According to a new study, the global mainframe market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 2.58% between 2017-2021. In March it was reported that mainframes had reached an inflection point where they will either continue as a revenue-supporting mechanism or evolve into a revenue-generating platform. “IDC believes that the mainframe has a central role in digital transformation; businesses that do not take advantage of its broad range of capabilities are giving up value and, potentially, competitive advantage,” the research company stated. ‘The mainframe is not going away, but the way that you use it will change,’ noted Robert Stroud, Principal Analyst, Forrester, in a blog entitled DevOps And The Mainframe, A Perfect Match?. ‘Containers and microservices are coming to every platform, including the mainframe. Gradually breaking large monolithic applications into smaller services will help you transition to a containerized future that promises faster application delivery, greater scalability, and better manageability – regardless of the platform.’ A month ago IBM refreshed its z series mainframes with the LinuxONE Emperor II. “LinuxONE is a highly engineered platform with unique security, data privacy and regulatory compliance capabilities that doesn’t require any changes to developer or open source code, combined with...

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Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank
May18

Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank

LAS VEGAS: The second Dell EMC World is over, a variety of products and services have been unveiled, 13,500 customers, partners and staff have gone home — including me, so ignore the address above — and now comes the $60-billion-plus question, what comes next? For the ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’ like HPE’s Meg Whitman, the company is struggling to stay afloat with $50 billion in debt, it’s mired in hardware-based, commodity hell and is quickly becoming obsolete as everything moves to the cloud and IT as a Service. The reality is far different: Dell is a leader in 15 of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants; it is the largest enterprise storage vendor; it is the third largest PC vendor, but unlike many of its competitors, is growing market share and increasing ASPs. All told, the combined entity — including Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, RSA, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware — is bringing in $75 billion a year, which is not too shabby. “It’s all about show me the money,” said Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, and the company is “laughing all the way to the bank,” posting solid numbers as it closes in on its first year following the EMC acquisition. According to a recent interview with David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, the company’s focus is a long-term game, looking three to five years in the future, where they see an even more consolidated industry than today and where they are uniquely positioned as an essential infrastructure, broad-based platform. Organizations are looking to have fewer information technology suppliers, and they want the ones they retain to be strategic and more capable, he pointed out. DEW17 was all about transformation — digital, IT, workforce and security — and I reached out to a number of analysts and asked them for their views on where Dell EMC is in its own transformation, and what it should focus on for the immediate future. Their responses follow: Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, the Enderle Group: The IT market is hell bent on transformation at the moment and thanks to the promise of lower taxes and a huge ramp in valuations firms are investing in capital projects at an impressive rate so the opportunity, to quote President Trump, is HUGE! Their performance is good, the merger set them back far less than most expected largely because the execution literally set the bar for efforts like this and their old VCE unit was on the forefront as the most successful converged and hyper-converged provider. And it is these concepts that appear to be having the biggest impact on firms that truly want to change. Jaguar/Land Rover was...

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Dell Ventures – Mobilizing Early Stage Innovation…

Venture capital and capitalists (VC/s) enjoy a legendary status in Silicon Valley and the broader technology industry. That’s partly due to the remarkable gains and spectacular wealth that some in the VC community have managed to achieve time and again. But those investments also qualify as the literal financial lifeblood of IT. Without VCs willing to take a risk, it is difficult or impossible to discern how companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and countless others could have survived and thrived to change the modern world. But less well known in industry is corporate venture capital (CVC) investing where well-established vendors make their own bets on up and coming companies. To gain a better understanding of this corner of the IT financial market, we recently sat down for a conversation with Jim Lussier, currently the managing director and head of Dell Ventures. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Intel’s Strategy Shift: Increasing Velocity, Flexibility…

Technology vendor strategies tend to arrive in public so fully formed that it’s easy to assume that they are similarly constructed. Instead, creating strategies whether they focus on specific products, markets or entire organizations tends to be an organic process that evolves according to continuing, often subtle changes in the marketplace and the growing understanding and experience of the leaders involved. That’s certainly the case with what’s been happening at Intel since Brian Krzanich was appointed to the CEO position in May 2013, replacing Paul Otellini, who had held the position since 2005. In a way, the two could not have been more different. Though Otellini joined Intel in 1974 and held senior sales, management and executive positions, including leading the Intel Architecture Group, he was the first company CEO who had not been formally trained as an engineer. In contrast, Krzanich holds a patent in semiconductor processing and joined Intel in 1982 as an engineer. After serving numerous roles in fab plant and supply chain management, he rose to lead the company’s manufacturing organization before being named Intel’s COO in 2012. If you assume that background (along with shifts in the broader IT marketplace) would result in significant, complementary changes in Intel’s overall direction, you would be correct. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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HP’s Analyst Event: How to Create the Best Event Ever

Years ago while I was working for Giga Information Group, we came together as a team and put together a presentation on how best to do analyst events. As analysts, we figured we would have the best insight into what it was that set the good ones apart from the bad. Since then, the world has changed substantially. There are more distractions and better tools, and a lot of the big analyst firms, including Meta and Giga, were gobbled up by stronger players. I attended HP’s recent PC analyst event last week in Boston and was struck both by how much the company has improved since Meg Whitman has been running it and by what HP did right and wrong at their event. Since it was the first big analyst event of 2014, I thought I’d share my thoughts on these elements and suggest how future events, taking into account the technology changes, could improve events going forward. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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