OpenWorld: Oracle’s Ellison Makes an Aggressive Play to Dominate the Cloud He Once Dismissed

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Unveiling its second generation IaaS platform at its OpenWorld user conference, Oracle’s Ellison asserted that it is Oracle not AWS that will lead the market

• But the company has a lot of ground to cover to come anywhere close to dislodging a provider that continues to impress with an ever-expanding portfolio

Eight years after Larry Ellison ridiculed the cloud as a manufactured buzzword that encompassed everything the computing industry was already doing, the CEO has reversed course and is looking to play a spoiler in a market that forecasters predict could top $120 billion in just four years. Ellison turned his keynote into a scathing critique of AWS and a forum to present Oracle in the disruptor role. Read more of this post

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Spin-outs Pave the Way for More Big Shifts in the Cloud Market

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Consolidation is the name of the game in cloud as more providers look to mergers and other moves to redouble their efforts against the better-resourced industry giants AWS, Microsoft and even Google

• Rackspace is following suit, finding a buyer in equity firm Apollo Global Management that will invest more in growing the company which will operate as a private entity outside the scrutiny of Wall Street

With just a handful of cloud providers dominating the market, second tier and tertiary rivals are looking for new ways to compete. For many, consolidation is the route they take in their quest to level the playing field as they face-off against behemoths like AWS and Microsoft. Read more of this post

Verizon Pulls the Plug on Two Public Cloud Services

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

• Verizon told customers it is discontinuing its Public Cloud Reserved Performance and Marketplace public cloud services in April and that clients of the former will need to migrate their virtual machines to another environment, preferably its own Virtual Private Cloud.

• While the company is sunsetting its credit card cloud service, Verizon will continue to support other IaaS solutions including Cloud Storage

More changes are afoot in the public cloud as yet another provider pulls the plug on its credit card payment-accepting IaaS offer. Verizon is ending support for its Public Cloud Reserved Performance on-demand compute service this spring. The provider is also shutting down its cloud marketplace in April, ending the company’s first shot at building an online catalog that would compete against similar cloud storefronts from the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Read more of this post

HP Enterprise’s Newest Cloud Tactic? Work with Microsoft to Sell Customers on Azure

A. DeCarlo

A. DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Close on the heels of its decision to shutter its Helion public cloud, HP Enterprise is going the partner route to the hybrid cloud with a new alliance with Microsoft Azure
  • HP Enterprise will now sell customers on Microsoft Azure services while Microsoft will send customers seeking out consulting and private cloud services to HP Enterprise

HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman slipped a surprise into the Q4 2015 earnings call, the last quarter in which HP reported as a single company. The company is teaming with long-time ally Microsoft in the cloud. HP Enterprise, which announced last month that it is scrapping its own Helion public cloud services, will now be a preferred Microsoft Azure partner. The company will now sell Microsoft Azure public cloud services while the latter will point clients in need of public cloud and consulting services to HP. Read more of this post

HP Dims the Lights on Its Helion Public Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • HP’s fits and starts in the cloud continued this week with its disclosure in a blog that the company will sunset its Helion public cloud offer in January.
  • Unable to compete against the hyperscale tier cloud providers, HP is choosing to redouble its efforts in private cloud – and in selling hardware and software to IaaS providers across the public/private spectrum.

HP is making a fast exit from the public cloud sphere. Outmaneuvered by cloud behemoths like AWS and Microsoft which can outcompete HP consistently on price and agility in the IaaS realm, HP has decided to take its Helion public cloud solution off the market in January 2016. In a blog post this week, Bill Hiff, Senior Vice President and General Manager for HP Cloud, said that while HP is committed to helping customers manage their infrastructures across the traditional IT and private and public cloud spectrums, it was time to make a change. Read more of this post

Amazon Undercuts Rivals on Storage Prices

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Once again, Amazon is playing the role of market disruptor with its new cut-rate pricing plan for unlimited storage.
  • Cloud Drive’s deep price cuts are certain to have a big impact; competitors including Google, Box, and Dropbox will have to respond.

Amazon making a price cut is hardly news, given its cloud services arm’s penchant for dropping its fees. However, when the retailer reduces the annual fee for unlimited storage to $59.99, the market takes notice. Cloud Drive has no restrictions on the number of users and no ceiling on the size of an individual file. This low-cost, unlimited storage plan will have broad appeal to both businesses and consumers. Read more of this post

Amazon Web Services Fires Up Its New Directory Service, Taking Aim at the Enterprise – and Microsoft

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • AWS’ new Directory Service promises central IT a single system to authenticate users to both cloud-based and on-premises applications.
  • By integrating its Directory Service with Microsoft Active Directory, AWS makes its authentication solution a practical unified option for some heavy users of its cloud, but it is unlikely to supplant Microsoft anytime soon and its pricing model is flawed.

In a bit of a role reversal, Amazon Web Services is taking a direct shot at rival Microsoft in its pursuit of corporate clients. AWS is hoping that its new Directory Service will sweeten the appeal of its cloud to IT executives who have been put off by the complexity of post-cloud migration application management challenges. Specifically, AWS is playing up the fact that by working with Microsoft Active Directory, the company can offer business and government customers a unified mechanism via its AD Connector to authenticate users, add or move computer systems, and facilitate connections to printers and other enterprise resources both in the cloud and on-premises. The solution looks like an elegant one, but a complex pricing model could throw a wrench in the works. Read more of this post

CSC Explores the Leveraged Buyout Option

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • CSC contacted a number of private equity firms in the first step toward evaluating whether a leveraged buyout that would allow the company to make further adjustments outside of the scrutiny of Wall Street would be a good option.
  • Though there are potential benefits associated with going private, even the exploration period can be risky as we all learned from Dell’s protracted 2013 leveraged buyout which put the company’s every flaw in the spotlight for months on end.

CSC has come a long way since the UK National Health Service (NHS) contract went off the rails and the shamed ITSP had to pay its client more than $1 billion for its botched job. Under the direction of current CSC President and CEO Mike Lawrie, the company implemented an extensive restructuring plan that includes some cost-cutting and some realignment of products. So when word hit the street that CSC was talking to private equity firms about a possible buyout, people took notice. After all, we are just a couple of years out from the point in time when industry watchers were speculating on whether CSC would sell itself to the highest bidder. Read more of this post

Pattern Recognition: The First Step to Reducing Risk Is Recognizing Threats

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Business and governments alike are facing unprecedented cybersecurity challenges as the threat environment becomes more virulent and complex and as more data is digitized.
  • Yet, as difficult and complicated as it can be to mount an effective defense today, threats share some common traits. The latest Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report uncovered the fact that the majority of security incidents fit into one of nine distinct patterns.

In an era where cybercrime and its costs to business and government are escalating at a breakneck pace, resource-constrained enterprises are struggling to keep ahead of the threats. One of the issues made clear by incidents such as the 2013 Target breach is that often organizations have the information, but their IT teams are drowning in so many alerts and false alarms, they fail to focus in on the most damaging threats. Unfortunately, too many IT teams are simply overwhelmed by the volume of incident data and the mysterious sources of cyber-attacks. Read more of this post

Forecast for Change: Making Sense of Nebulous Cloud Numbers

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullet:

  • IBM acknowledged that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into the way the company accounts for cloud revenues, but the provider isn’t alone in reporting practices that can seem inscrutable.
  • Will the investigation prompt IBM and others to disclose more detail around their on-demand sales, or by their nature is it too difficult to break out revenue figures that are often bundled together with hardware, software, and other services?

When it comes to forecasting cloud computing revenues, ambitious projections are the rule as number crunchers envision expansive demand for economical on-demand IT services.  Yet calculating future cloud numbers is an especially speculative exercise in a market space where many of the top players don’t explicitly report their current cloud figures. The reason for this is fairly straightforward; as bullish as many enterprises – and IT analysts – are on the cloud, revenues from on-demand services still account for a relatively small portion of most publicly-traded companies’ overall sales and thus they are not specifically required by regulation or convention to report those numbers. Read more of this post