14 Oct RESEARCH NOTE: Software Defined Networking and Emerging Server Form Factors

Does the answer to network complexity live in network virtualization or rethinking the server chassis? Virtualization on standardized hardware is a key IT trend that began in the late 1990’s with the consolidation and virtualization of storage using SAN and NAS technology.  Costs plummeted, customers had greater control and deploying/ reprovisioning became a more seamless […]

09 Oct Are Frustrated Cisco End Users Now Driving The SDN Agenda?

Unbeknownst to many, there will be a very important meeting tonight that could have a significant impact on SDN’s (Software Defined Networking) future. Tonight, the ONUG (Open Networking Users Group) board of directors, including executives from Bank Of America, Citigroup, Fidelity Investments, GAP Inc, JP Morgan Chase, and UBS will meet with the leaders who are defining SDN standard.  While I’m […]

03 Oct RESEARCH NOTE: Understanding Lenovo’s Server Position

In today’s server market, there is much focus on the big three, Dell, HP and IBM, who collectively hold approximately 70% of the unit shipments (68.4% in Q2 2013 according to IDC).  The top two, Dell and HP truly control the market volume with IBM holding a very distant third, having declined over the last […]

30 Sep Can Lenovo Repeat What They’ve Done With PCs In Datacenter Servers?

Lenovo has been on quite a roll lately in PCs and phones.  They recently took the #1 global PC spot from Hewlett-Packard and have the #2 smartphone share in China.  As a company, Lenovo is very interested in driving revenue beyond the PC, and while its smartphone business has received a lot of attention, their server […]

25 Sep Dell’s Oracle OpenWorld Announcement Portends To A Very Close Future

Today, Michael Dell announced in San Francisco at Oracle OpenWorld that Dell and Oracle are once again deepening their business relationship.  I will outline what these announcements are below, but the most interesting thing about today’s announcement is about what this could mean in the future.  It seems that with every successive Dell-Oracle announcement, the relationship gets deeper and wider.  Oracle and […]

09 Sep VMware NSX: A ‘Slam Dunk’, Really?

When the Chicago Bulls ruled the court in the 1990’s they had two big weapons: Michael Jordan, and an extremely solid team behind him, because basketball is a team sport.  Two weeks ago VMware hit the court with their new network virtualization product VMware NSX, and while this may potentially be a star, it is not clear that all of other pieces […]

07 Sep VMware NSX: Is it too Soon to Claim Victory?

This past week VMware made their new virtual networking product, VMware NSX, the star of VMworld, their premier North America event. But as VMware flexes its muscle at VMworld both excitement and apprehension surround the announcements and their plans for future leadership in network virtualization. We believe that those who claim VMware delivered a solid […]

28 Aug ARM-Based Processors In Storage Servers: Why Would Anyone Do That?

If you’re listening to VMware’s CEO Pat Gelsinger at VMWorld yesterday, the question of whether ARM-based processors might fit well into storage servers boils down to a straight-up processor performance and drivercompatibility issue.  As reported yesterday, Gelsinger reportedly says, “Even if you reduced the power consumption of ARM CPUs to zero,” x86 will still win”.  First, is […]

28 Aug RESEARCH NOTE: Are Wimpy Cores Good for Brawny Storage?

When could “wimpy” cores beat brawny ones? They have potential to do so in large-scale distributed storage deployments. This paper explores performance and resiliency tradeoffs enabled by using Calxeda’s ARM-based EnergyCore processors and their fabric-based system level architecture as the underpinning for a Ceph distributed object store implementation. Calxeda, Inktank, and Penguin announced a partnership […]

27 Aug The Battle of SDN vs. NFV

For the past 20 years there has been a slow, methodical pace of change in networking where each set of new technologies arrives, surpassing the previous generation in an orderly fashion. But today, two new technologies, Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), are poised to truly disrupt that pace by changing networking […]

27 Aug RESEARCH PAPER: The Battle of SDN vs. NFV

For the past 20 years there has been a slow, methodical pace of change in networking where each set of new technologies arrives, surpassing the previous generation in an orderly fashion. But today, two new technologies, Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), are poised to truly disrupt that pace by changing networking […]

25 Aug Dell’s Oracle OpenWorld Announcement Portends To A Very Close Future

Today, Michael Dell announced in San Francisco at Oracle OpenWorld that Dell and Oracle are once again deepening their business relationship.  I will outline what these announcements are below, but the most interesting thing about today’s announcement is about what this could mean in the future.  It seems that with every successive Dell-Oracle announcement, the relationship gets deeper and wider.  Oracle and […]

21 Aug Intel’s Disaggregated Server Rack Is A… Mainframe Replacement?

There’s been a lot of discussion about “disaggregated” servers, racks and datacenters since Facebook and Intel promoted their vision for the phrase at the Open Compute Summit at the start of this year.  Haven’t we spent the last few decades disaggregating datacenter architecture? And if so, what does disaggregation mean now, is it something different? I’ll try to be succinct as […]

20 Aug RESEARCH NOTE: Intel’s Disaggregated Server Rack

Does “Disaggregation” Really Mean Anything? There’s been a lot of discussion about “disaggregated” servers, racks, and datacenters since Facebook and Intel promoted their vision for the phrase at the Open Compute Summit at the start of this year.  Haven’t we spent the last few decades disaggregating datacenter architecture?  And if so, what does disaggregation mean […]

19 Aug How Open Is OpenDaylight?

Last week we discussed Cicso’s approach to Software Defined Networking (SDN) and we made the statement that Cisco is generally not one to rush to open source. Ultimately, their true strategy in embracing SDN might be closer to “keeping your enemies closer.” Cisco was quick to remind us last week that they were, in fact, […]

12 Aug Cisco’s SDN Challenge

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In “The Godfather, Part II”, Michael Corleone famously said “keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.” When it comes to Software Defined Networking (SDN), Cisco is following the Godfather’s advice.  SDN is viewed as a technology that will fundamentally change how networking is approached, and as the leading networking products vendor, Cisco has […]

08 Aug Is Software Defined Networking (SDN) A Sucker’s Bet?

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It’s literally time to step right up and place your bets.  While Software Defined Networking (SDN) is one of the hottest trends in enterprise networking today, it is easy to place the wrong bet.  Looking at the previous large strategic bets that businesses have had to make – the Internet, virtualization, or cloud computing – […]

07 Aug SDN: The ‘S’ Doesn’t Necessarily Mean “Someday”

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) is currently one of the hottest buzzwords in the enterprise market. SDN promises to take much of the complexity and operational cost out of stringing together the thousands of servers and applications that power today’s modern data centers. For x86 servers, the move to virtualization, with more than half of the […]

09 Jul The Dell-Icahn Debacle Exemplifies what’s Wrong with Wall Street

There have been a lot of industry and financial discussions lately about Dell’s privatization efforts.  So far, I have stayed out of the fray, but I think it is now time for me to weigh in on what I consider a total debacle…. a total lack of understanding of strategy, the technology industry, and Dell. […]

05 Jul What Are Dell Institutional Investors Thinking?

As a technology industry analyst, I have stayed on the sidelines for the Dell-Silver Lake-Icahn-Southeastern dealings, with the exception of a few press interviews.  We industry analysts best understand the industry and we let the financial analysts focus on those things they do best, finance.  It is now time for me to weigh in on what I consider a […]