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Microsoft Cloud OS Network Strengthens Weak Link

Microsoft's Cloud OS strategy includes Windows Azure, on premise Windows Server with Azure pack and service providers running on the Microsoft platform
Submitted by markbowker on Fri, 12/13/13 - 9:13am.

Holiday Shopping? Android, Apple, or Microsoft

Submitted by markbowker on Fri, 12/06/13 - 2:00pm.

Have you ever noticed how we are all considered IT experts come the holiday time? Brothers, mothers, grandfathers, aunts, cousins and close friends all turn to us for their latest technology purchasing decision. Since I am a bit of a gadget guy, I enjoy these conversations. It’s fun to step through what they think they want and what they actually need. Here are a few of my observations:


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Ignoring Microsoft is Risky

Love them or hate them, be aware what Microsoft is up to. They have by no means figured everything out and have some pretty significant hurdles to leap over with a CEO change and stiff competition from the likes of Amazon
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 12/05/13 - 3:52pm.

For all the years I have been in IT, it’s been easy to poke at Microsoft. Whether it has been blue screen of death, countless hours rebooting, or performance slumps on the desktop. Over time, it’s been fun to join in on the fodder, no matter your level of knowledge of skillset. We also all like the underdog, and with Microsoft as such an active player in technology, it’s more entertaining to cheer on the alternative players in the IT market. This is all good fun and one of the many aspects that makes the technology industry so much fun to participate in.


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Simplivity Changing the Way IT Runs

If you are having any doubts about the IT infrastructure consumption model changing, Simplivity’s series C of $58 million should catch the attention of a lot of IT vendors and IT consumers.
Submitted by markbowker on Mon, 11/18/13 - 5:50pm.

If you are having any doubts about the IT infrastructure consumption model changing, Simplivity’s series C of $58 million should catch the attention of a lot of IT vendors and IT consumers. Consuming infrastructure piece parts that all perform a specific function and then spending an enormous amount of time integrating, troubleshooting, and supporting IT infrastructure, while fun and challenging for many IT professionals, is not the most efficient use of time nor investment dollars.

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Businesses Report Significant Use of Desktop Virtualization Technology

As the diversity of applications continues to rise along with mobile device usage, it is important IT organizations plan through upgrade and migration strategies and leverage these events to explore and invest in desktop virtualization technology solutions.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 11/14/13 - 11:53am.

Desktop virtualization is an alternative PC delivery model in which applications, operating systems, user data, profiles, and/or entire end-user environments are encapsulated and delivered to or executed on a remote endpoint device. The various desktop virtualization delivery models allow for centralized management, hosting, and/or execution, as well as syncing capabilities that enable local execution on an endpoint device.

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The Power of 3: Citrix, Cisco, and NetApp Deliver Data Center to the Desktop

The strength of these three companies is going to catch some vendors flat footed with existing capabilities and new innovation driving forward. IT decision makers should minimally invite Citrix, Cisco, and NetApp into the conference room to hear the collective vision and see how it may snap into exiting IT priorities, economic impact, and long-term strategy.
Submitted by markbowker on Fri, 11/01/13 - 3:04pm.

The synergies, engineering efforts, and go to market execution of these three companies should not be underestimated in a time where IT organizations are looking for integrated solutions and businesses transform toward cloud computing. Businesses with ongoing efforts in desktop delivery, cloud adoption, and simplifying infrastructure should include the holistic value and simplification these companies can deliver. Each of these companies brings unique capabilities that when synced together are going to be a difficult force to reckon with. Commonalities include:

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3 Highlights with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2

Microsoft Windows Server R2 capbilities to be aware of and consider as part of an IT stratgey.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 10/31/13 - 11:35am.

With any server operating system upgrade, IT is always looking for the hooks that help motivate the upgrade process and deliver additional value. Sometimes it is as simple as better performance, a single feature that has been a long time coming, or something that simply snaps into an IT policy and waits out any bumps from the early adopters. By now IT shops should have solid exposure to Windows Server 2012, blipped through SP1, and are now ready to focus on R2.

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Dell VRTX Wraps in Additional Features

Dell has the leg up from an established go to market channel and as a trusted IT infrastructure provider, but these emerging vendors are nipping at the heel. Dell must continue to integrate additional functionality into VRTX and stay ahead of these innovators at a pace that allows customers to quickly get the benefits and are willing to invest
Submitted by markbowker on Mon, 10/28/13 - 10:23am.

Earlier this year, Dell introduced its PowerEdge VRTX into the market with a goal of simplifying IT infrastructure for midmarket customers and ROBOs (remote office branch office). Further details and insights are located in this blog and ESG brief:

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VCE Continues to Demonstrate Solid Momentum

VCE remains the vendor that, when I mention their name, the lights go on and people seem to get the value of ICPs (integrated computing platforms). While many vendors are participating in this market, VCE’s early market presence and leadership continues to build momentum amongst the industry and its customers.
Submitted by markbowker on Mon, 09/23/13 - 3:33pm.

VCE remains the vendor that, when I mention their name, the lights go on and people seem to get the value of ICPs (integrated computing platforms). While many vendors are participating in this market, VCE’s early market presence and leadership continues to build momentum amongst the industry and its customers.

VCE's most recent announcement was packed with momentum and further validation of the areas of focus they spoke of in 1H2013. These new announcements include:

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Microsoft Surface Server for Your Data Center?

IT infrastructure driving capabilities in software through Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 08/08/13 - 9:45am.

ESG has been tracking and monitoring the integrated computing platform (ICP) market extensively, as major system vendors like Hitachi, HP, Dell and IBM align their server, networking, and storage products into a single turnkey solution or companies like VCE, NetApp, and Cisco partner and execute through a best of breed approach. We also have a number of emerging companies like Nutanix, Scale Computing, Simplivity, and Pivot3 that are taking more of a bottom up approach and have the potential to cause some disruption with their 'hyper-converged' solutions.

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Server Virtualization Holding Pattern Leading to Cloud Stall

Expect to see IT organizations hold back a bit over the next 6-12 months as they weigh their options and contemplate adapting IT strategy.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 08/01/13 - 9:30am.

The macro IT market is experiencing an extended evaluation and research period for IT organizations that is resulting in a dip in action for vendors.

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NetApp and Cisco Expand FlexPod Portfolio

NetApp and Cisco aren’t wasting any time aligning innovation with the demands of its 2,400 customers.
Submitted by markbowker on Wed, 07/31/13 - 4:28pm.

Keeping pace with the rapid rate of change in integrated computing platforms (ICPs), NetApp and Cisco aren't wasting any time aligning innovation with the demands of its 2,400 customers. The days of do-it-yourself (DIY) builds are waning as more and more ICP vendors aim to make IT infrastructure easier to procure, manage, and maintain. Full details of this shift are described in ESG's Market Landscape Report: Integrated Computing Platforms.

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Scale Computing Puts its Go To Market Partners to Work

Scale Computing's Platinum Partner Program is designed to embrace Scale's charter members and enable them to grow their businesses more efficiently.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 07/18/13 - 8:30pm.

Shifts in IT consumption trends typically require a corresponding transition in the way that IT is sold and delivered to the business. A real time example of this is the development and adoption of integrated computing platforms (ICPs).

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Nutanix Launches New Partner Network

The IT consumption model is changing, and so is the way that companies engage with potential customers.
Submitted by markbowker on Fri, 07/12/13 - 7:09am.

Most organizations do not gain a competitive advantage or drive revenue based on their server, storage, and network implementations; they accelerate growth through improved business processes and well-planned application implementations, which in turn drive productivity. Nutanix is driving this concept home with its technology and go-to-market strategy.

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Hitachi Unified Compute Platform

Hitachi has the technology, is providing innovation in its management layer, and is ready to demonstrate the value of UCP in some of the biggest ongoing IT initiatives. For any IT professional considering investment in an ICP solution, Hitachi UCP is certainly worth a look.
Submitted by markbowker on Wed, 07/10/13 - 10:46am.

ESG has been tracking, researching, and speaking with numerous IT customers and vendors about the transition in consumption model from DIY (do-it-yourself) to turnkey approach to infrastructure procurement. The benefits are hard to ignore and the advantages ultimately boil down to a smarter and better way to do IT.

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Dell VRTX Enables IT to Get Its House Back in Order

Anyone looking to standardize ROBO gear, consolidate departmental servers, and do some house cleaning should take a close look at VRTX.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 06/06/13 - 1:13pm.

On June 4, 2013, Dell announced VRTX as a critical piece of IT infrastructure that is poised to alter the way IT consumes and deploys IT infrastructure and to bring some sanity back to IT management and daily operations. The tiers of IT infrastructure continue to collapse in an effort to simplify IT procurement, implementation, management, and daily operations.

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What to do When an Integrated Computing Platform Breaks

I have been speaking about ICPs during a series of events across the country and received a fantastic question: “What do I do if it breaks?”
Submitted by markbowker on Wed, 04/24/13 - 11:54am.

ESG continues to research the interest in, advantages, and disadvantages of Integrated Computing Platforms (ICPs). As a quick review, ICP is the collapsing of server, storage, and networking infrastructure into a simple-to-consume, preconfigured, turn-key platform.

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Microsoft Azure: Amazon Price Match with Service Consistency

Microsoft Cloud OS strategy consists of on-premise, Azure, and the service provider revolving around the consistency of experience and services across each of the consumption models.
Submitted by markbowker on Tue, 04/16/13 - 1:31pm.

The only constant in the cloud computing market is change, as Microsoft proved by advancing Azure IaaS from public preview to primetime public general availability, and Microsoft is price matching Amazon.

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Microsoft Who? Top 4 Highlights of Microsoft Management Summit 2013

Microsoft needs to crank up the volume for the world to hear.
Submitted by markbowker on Thu, 04/11/13 - 8:00am.

It's challenging to absorb everything Microsoft at the cadence they would like IT pros to keep pace with, but here are four areas to pay close attention to:

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Moonshot Launch Poised to Rocket HP Beyond Company's Distress

With Moonshot, HP is going to demonstrate its technology leadership, and, if all goes as planned, deliver a new breed of servers into today's modern data center.
Submitted by markbowker on Mon, 04/08/13 - 4:35pm.

If you haven't heard about HP Moonshot, besides being an exciting name that steps outside the comfort zone of standard HP product naming convention, Moonshot is a new class of servers engineered to address the IT challenges created by social, cloud, mobile, and big data. Moonshot is processor-agnostic architecture engineered to flexibly accept the best processor (or FPGA, or GPU, etc or combo thereof) for a desired workload. The workload drives the configuration. Think about some of the biggest data centers on the planet and look at how they have approached the server tier.

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