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...

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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

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… 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...

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EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized
Sep07

EMC & SDE: Canniabalize or Be Cannibalized

Today’s the day Dell closes the $65-billion EMC acquisition (and Apple releases the iPhone 7), but while the mega-deal has been inching through the regulatory and shareholder approval process, it’s been business as usual for the storage giant, and increasingly, the usual business has involved alternatives to its bread and butter, disk drives. The enterprise storage giant has been pushing flash, AKA solid state drives (SSDs), software-defined storage (SDS), and now, stealing a page from its virtualization business, VMware, software-defined everything (SDE). Also referred to as SDX, SDI (software defined infrastructure) and software-defined environments (IBM’s nom de guerre), SDE is am umbrella term that describes how virtualization and abstracting workloads from the underlying hardware can be used to make IT infrastructures more flexible and agile. In a recent conversation with EMC’s Manuvir Das, SVP, Advanced Software Division, he told IT Trends & Analysis that 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). With 14 years at Microsoft, including the development of Azure, the company’s public cloud offering, he should know a lot about software lock-in. “The reality is there is nothing beyond software lock in… there is no way a customer can live in a world where there is no lock in somewhere in the stack.” Lock-in is an ongoing concern. “We don’t want to trade a closed hardware world for a closed software world,” said Nick Lippis, ONUG co-founder and co-chairman, said in his opening presentation at the Open Networking User Group spring conference in May. “All too often, the vendors have the upper hand,” stated IDC in a recent report. High switching costs or other “vendor control points,” such as proprietary technology integrations or overly customized applications, can make it too much trouble for enterprise customers to discontinue using one vendor and switch to another. Das said the challenge with a DIY approach to a complete software-defined solution — “the holy grail of what a software defined data center would look like” — is that he sees “very few customers who have the remotest idea of how to do that.” This is not something you get just off the shelf, he added. Of those who have taken this approach, he has yet to meet anybody “with any degree of success.” Lack of success doesn’t appear to be an inhibitor to SDE/SDDC. Vendors fighting for their slice...

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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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