Dell 3.0 Takes Center Stage at DEW

Austin, Texas:  The critical question arising from the inaugural Dell EMC World event — at least for me, an IBM, HP/E and Dell/EMC/VMware investor — is what makes Dell’s prospects any brighter than those of its two main competitors, IBM and HPE, and the trio of enterprise vendors offering more limited portfolios — Cisco, Oracle and Lenovo? IBM has seen its sales shrink for the last 17 quarters, HPE is just shrinking, and the other contenders can only offer partial solutions — predominantly networking and datacenter servers, DBMS software and appliances, and devices, respectively. From its humble roots in Michael Dell’s college dorm room, the company has scaled the PC heights, added servers, storage, software, networking, security and services and, with the completion of the EMC acquisition, is now grappling with the IT industry’s largest acquisition and largest debt load. It has also added significant resources in enterprise storage (disk, flash and software-defined), virtualization (VMware), cloud (Virtustream, Pivotal and ECS), networking (SDN/NSX), all-in-one appliances (VCE) and security (RSA). Of course there is a lot of overlap too, and while the combined companies may point out the differences, many others will be concerned about the similarities. We’ve already seen signs of tighter focus — i.e. the sales of the enterprise content division, services and software units, and the (lower-than-expected) SecureWorks IPO — and the first workforce reductions, 2,000-3,000 jobs are expected to be cut, out of 140,000. On the good (?) news front, Dell moved into top spot in server shipments for the most recent quarter, while HPE held on to top spot in revenues; shipments grew 2% year-over-year, while revenues edged 0.8% lower. Even better, EMC was named a leader in integrated systems, and the acquisition should strengthen that position, although Gartner cautions that uncertainty will plague the new Dell-EMC-VMware combination that brings ‘multiple overlapping and competing integrated system strategies under one roof.’ The results were equally ambivalent for enterprise storage, where revenue was flat while shipped capacities shot up 12.9%; EMC tied for first place with HPE ($1.6 billion each) while Dell came in third place with a revenue increase of 14%, up to $1 billion. Prior to the acquisition EMC was pushing a software-defined everything strategy, and it’s unlikely that focus will change under new ownership. The current evolution of IT is offering customers a couple of choices in pursuit of shrinking data centers, lower CAPEX and OPEX and the ability to leverage the cloud: some form of do it yourself versus an all-in-one solution, and hardware versus software lock-in (and that at the end of the day, there’s no getting away from software lock-in), Manuvir Das,...

Read More

Why Citrix Is Better than VMware in Desktop Virtualization

I’m at a Citrix event this week and, as you would expect, Citrix is outspoken on the subject of its competitive advantages over VMware. It has a pretty impressive list. But, to be fair, you typically get these from any vendor who has claims like this. Several times I’ve actually seen lists like this that include the name of the company as an advantage which likely does actually make sense for firms like Intel, but never works for smaller companies (Citrix didn’t do this). As a result, I kind of take these things with a huge amount of skepticism both because the lists are biased and because they represent a period in time. On this last, for instance, firms often emulate each other and just because a product doesn’t have a feature when the chart was made doesn’t mean the firm hasn’t released it by the time you actually see the chart. As a result, I look for a sustaining advantage, what strategic advantage does the firm have to ensure it will remain in the lead when I actually deploy the offering. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

VMworld 2016: VMware and IBM…

For modern IT vendors, growing their relevance to primary customers is job number one. Many times, they can accomplish that alone but the expanded partnership between VMware and IBM announced at VMworld 2016 this week in Las Vegas highlights a situation where creative collaboration is undeniably important. The details of the partnership expansion are pretty straightforward. Early in 2016, the companies said they were working together to eliminate the costs and risks of extending VMware workloads from on-premises IT environments to the cloud. Said costs and risks are related to retooling operations, re-architecting applications and re-designing security policies to keep things working properly. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More

VMworld: My Cybersecurity-centric Impressions

In my last blog, I wrote about what I was anticipating as far as cybersecurity for VMworld. Now that I’m back from Vegas, it’s time for me to report on how reality aligned with my expectations. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE

Read More

… The Announcement of “VMEverywhere”…

As the hours count down to the official coming together of Dell and EMC (and thus VMware), we could all be forgiven for overlooking the events of last week at the 2016 version of VMWorld. While I think it would be fair to say that there wasn’t a breathless enthusiasm from those covering the immediate news at the event – no cries of “hold the front [web] page!” — there was nonetheless a lot of both content and intent whose impacts will be seen more gradually, but tellingly, over the coming years. While “VMEverywhere” is neither a product nor (as far as I know!?) an actual initiative at VMware, it was nonetheless the essence of what was discussed last week. There was some product, lots of principle, and – given the pervasiveness of VMware – a realistic possibility of success. To get into some of the details – both about strategy and some key product areas – I and some of my ESG colleagues that attended the event give their succinct views in this short recap video. To read the complete article, CLICK...

Read More