IBM InterConnect 2017: Hybrid Cloud Offers IBM the Best Chance to Differentiate

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • In contrast to HPE and Cisco, which have recently retreated from maintaining public clouds, IBM continues to assert its strengths as a public cloud provider.
  • IBM should build on its capabilities to deliver hybrid cloud solutions, while also preparing for strong competition from Microsoft, Dell EMC and VMware.

The cloud was the central theme at this year’s IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas, with IBM emphasizing the growing strength and competitiveness of the IBM Cloud, while also launching several new initiatives to support enterprise hybrid cloud deployments. These include a new strategic alliance with Red Hat that is intended to make it faster and easier for enterprises to deploy OpenStack-based hybrid clouds and the launch of a suite of tools for managing hybrid and multi-cloud environments – some of which utilize IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engine, Watson, to offer predictive management capabilities. Read more of this post

At Cisco Live! EMEA 2017 Cisco Showcased its Ongoing Transformation and Unveiled its Vision of an IoT Future

 

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • This year’s Cisco Live! EMEA event showcased Cisco’s DevNet initiative, which fosters cooperation between IT engineers and application developers and promises to change future networking and data center technologies.
  • Cisco’s latest initiatives reflect the recognition that future network and data center architectures must evolve if they are to handle the sort of data processing, storage and analytics that will be needed in an IoT era.

At this year’s Cisco Live! EMEA event, Cisco demonstrated the extent to which it’s transforming from being predominantly a hardware supplier into a provider of software and services that help enterprises grasp opportunities in IoT.  Ruba Borno, Vice President of Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff to Cisco’s CEO, expounded on the different elements of this transformation and Cisco’s vision of positioning itself further up the technology stack to become a complete solutions provider for enterprise IoT initiatives. In order to fully realize this vision, Cisco is embracing a more comprehensive and layered approach to security, as well as increased infrastructure automation, the use of analytics to optimize application and infrastructure performance, and the full utilization of multi-cloud environments. Read more of this post

VMware Reports Strong 2016 Growth and Dismisses HPE Threat, but Needs a Plan to Protect New Businesses

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • VMware has emphasized the importance of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure to its 2016 revenue performance.
  • In order to safeguard future growth, VMware must pay attention to the rapidly changing competitive dynamics within these emerging business segments.

Presenting his company’s Q4 and full-year results for 2016, VMware CFO Zane Rowe noted the important contribution of emerging businesses such as hybrid cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) to VMware’s overall performance. In Q4, hybrid cloud and SaaS revenue – a category that includes vCloud Air and SaaS offerings such as vRealize as a Service – experienced double-digit growth and accounted for 8% of total revenue. VMware has emphasized the importance of its Cross-Cloud Services initiative – commercially availability in mid-2017 – for the future of its hybrid cloud strategy. Another key element of this strategy is Cloud Foundation, a software-defined data center platform based on NSX, vSphere and vSAN for building private clouds and extending them to the public cloud. Read more of this post

Partnering with Competitors Will Remain Central to Dell EMC’s Converged and Hyper-converged Solutions Strategy in 2017

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• The market for hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) will be a major battleground for solutions jointly engineered by Dell Technologies group businesses.

• Dell EMC will maintain partnerships with competitors in relation to specific converged and hyper-converged solutions as long as customer demand for these solutions continues.

The launch in December of a new VxRack solution based on Dell EMC’s PowerEdge servers and VMware’s software-defined data center platform, gives us only a partial indication of how Dell EMC’s HCI will evolve in 2017. For a fuller understanding, it is necessary to look at the broader range of decisions and announcements the company has made both prior to and since its September merger. It can be argued that the launch of a new HCI solution based entirely on infrastructure provided by Dell Technologies group businesses – together with a move to drop the VCE brand for all of Dell EMC’s converged and hyper-converged solutions – points to a change of strategy for the vendor. They also note the way in which Dell’s PowerEdge servers have been steadily incorporated into several EMC solutions since the completion of the merger – including the company’s VxRail hyper-converged appliance. Read more of this post

The Demise of Intercloud Services Provides an Opportunity for Cisco’s Cloud Strategy

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • With the termination of its Intercloud Services, Cisco will now focus on helping enterprise customers build and manage their own hybrid environments.
  • Cisco stands to benefit from the closure of Intercloud, which provides it with an opportunity to streamline and redefine its cloud strategy.

The announcement by Cisco that it plans to terminate its Intercloud Services (CIS) public cloud on March 31, 2017 has been widely criticized as a failure of Cisco’s attempt to compete against hyper-scale public cloud providers and further evidence of the comparative weakness of public cloud offerings based on OpenStack open source technology. However, the decision by Cisco to put to bed an initiative which it launched in September 2014 can also be seen as a positive move by the vendor to realign its resources and refocus its cloud business, the latter having been historically criticized for being disjointed, lacking clarity and failing to deliver momentum. Read more of this post

Although HPE Announces a Milestone for Its “Machine” Project, Future Success is Far from Certain

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• HPE announced a major milestone for The Machine research project, which promises to transform future computing and data center architectures.

• Despite real achievements, it remains to be seen whether HPE can make a success of The Machine in the way the vendor originally envisaged.

Of the various announcements Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) made at its recent Discovery Event in London, November 2016, one of the most interesting related to “The Machine”, a Hewlett Packard Labs research project that was inaugurated in 2014 and which aspires to revolutionize the way computers are built and data centers of the future are architected. At the London Discovery event HPE announced that it had reached a major milestone for The Machine project, having built and successfully tested a prototype of the “world’s first memory-driven computing architecture”.

Read more of this post

As HPE Builds Momentum with its IoT Strategy, Rivals Such as Cisco, IBM and Dell EMC Need to be Equally Clear about their Approach to IoT

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• HPE’s IoT strategy focuses on converged systems at the network edge, along with security, analytics and partnerships with key industry players.

• The latest initiatives, solutions and solution enhancements announced by HPE at its London Discovery event add significant momentum to this multi-faceted IoT strategy.

At its Discovery Event in London, November 2016, HPE announced a number of new innovations that are intended to advance the vendor’s IoT infrastructure strategy and help enterprises tap opportunities in, what HPE refers to as, the “industrial internet.” Innovations announced in London include several enhancements to the HPE Universal IoT Platform – including support for a wider range of LoRa gateways, as well as the ability to manage both subscriber identify module (SIM) and non-SIM devices, and a new portal for simplifying IoT device management. Other solutions announced in London include new switches and device profiling tools from HPE business Aruba, to help enterprises identify, secure and manage IoT devices at the edge of their network, and the HPE Mobile Virtual Network Enabler, which is aimed at fostering the emergence of new, specialized IoT mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Read more of this post

Establishing a Zero Outage Standard is About Technology, People and Processes

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• A new initiative, spearheaded by 11 major IT companies, aims to establish industry-wide standards that enable zero outage and the continuous operation of IT systems.

• To succeed this initiative must include the wider industry, and should address the interaction between technology, people and processes as a source of IT systems failure.

On November 4th, a group of 11 major IT firms announced the formation of the “Zero Outage Industry Standard” association. Established in London by founding members Brocade (now being acquired by Broadcom), Cisco, Dell EMC, Fortinet, Hitachi Data Systems, HPE, Jupiter Networks, NetApp, SAP, SUSE and T-Systems, the association aims to kick-start discussions that it hopes will lead to new industry-wide standards that enable the continuous operation of IT systems. Read more of this post

Red Hat Needs a Market Message to Match Its Broad IT Solutions Portfolio

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Red Hat has been expanding its business model beyond infrastructure, to focus on solutions that support enterprise DevOps initiatives and container and hybrid cloud management.
  • Ongoing challenges facing the company include growing competition and the need to strengthen its market message about the full range of solutions it offers.

With Red Hat’s total revenues increasing by 18.5% in the six months to August 31, 2016, and with over 50% growth in the number of deals valued at over $1 million in the same period, the open-source software solutions vendor has stepped up its efforts to keep the international analyst community briefed on its latest achievements, initiatives and future plans. At a Red Hat Analyst Day in London – the first such event outside the traditional setting of the vendor’s annual U.S. summit – Red Hat unpacked its vision of the ‘open hybrid cloud’ future and expounded on a large and varied portfolio of enterprise solutions that stretch from traditional products such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Virtualization for physical and virtual data center environments, through to solutions for building and managing cloud architectures and for managing the entire lifecycle of applications within a hybrid cloud environment. Read more of this post

VMware and Huawei: Two Mega-Events, Two Mega-Visions of Tomorrow’s Cloud Ecosystem

C. Drake

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • At their respective annual events, VMware and Huawei delivered their own visions of the emerging cloud ecosystem and their plans for shaping that ecosystem.
  • Key distinctions between these two companies’ approach to cloud building include the way they work with partners and the way they negotiate new technology innovations.

Last week saw two IT giants, on different sides of the globe, articulate their own particular visions of the emerging cloud technology ecosystem and their respective plans for shaping that ecosystem. For virtualization king VMware, the eighth annual VMworld event in Las Vegas was, among other things, an opportunity to demonstrate its efforts to extend the VMware platform to the public cloud while continuing to position its various platform components as the underlying foundation of the modern cloud data center. From the three days at Vegas’ glittering Mandalay Bay hotel, it was clear that VMware sees itself as driving and shaping the evolving cloud ecosystem with its own products and solutions, while building partnerships that complement and supplement its broader business model. Examples of VMware’s approach to cloud building include its strategy towards containers and its new Cross-Cloud Services initiative, which is so new that it has yet to be given a commercial name. Read more of this post