I met with emerging storage vendor Compellent this week at their brand new eco-friendly headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN, outside of Minneapolis, and I was excited. I have thought of Compellent in terms of SMB to mid-market solutions that leverage industry standard server components and advanced software to create feature rich storage solutions at low cost. The fact that a third of the Compellent customer base uses single controller systems pushed my thinking towards SMB, in spite of advanced features like unlimited snapshots, thin provisioning, and broad functional convergence.
Thin client market leader Wyse Technology announced on Monday a partnership with Novell to supply the SUSE Linux Enterprise Thin Client OS on “next generation” Wyse terminals. The announcement comes fresh off the heals of its primary competitor’s acquisition of Neoware, a significant development for Linux on a thin client. Wyse’s move allows customers a better choice of Linux operating systems and also enables companies to standardize on a common Linux platform across desktops and thin clients.
Oracle, this week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco, announced an enhancement to its Oracle Enterprise Manager that gives DBAs and application administrators full ability to manipulate and manage the Linux operating system. While not a breakthrough by any means, it does allow these administrators to move down the stack into the realm of the server admin. Its most common use will be in test and dev environments, where server administrators would rather not spend their time, but doesn't preclude these admins from managing the OS in production, something that rattles most server administrators.
In today's LinuxWorld session by Simon Crosby, CTO of XenSource, and shepherd of the Xen open source project made the contention that the open source community is holding itself back by not ensuring compatibility between Xen, KVM and the other open source virtualization efforts. He's right to a degree in that standards for foundation functions would allow the greater community to enhance virtualization for all, but should we honestly hold out hope of this happening? As is always the case in the open source world, the crowd goes where the excitement is and popularity wins. It would be a waste of the community's efforts to try and drive standardization where it isn't wanted and to try and ensure compatibility between competing implementations when everyone expects a winner to emerge.
Enterprise customers want things they can count on, especially if they are pitched for use in production. The fickleness of the open source community runs counter to this desire which keeps open source technologies in the fringe until a commercial entity hardens them and wraps them in professional support offerings. This commercialization collects the interest of the community that wants to make a profit and, voila, the winner emerges. It's not the community that holds back open source projects its failure to bridge the desires of the commercial customers and ISVs and the community enthusiasts - the key to this is collective advancement of the chosen project.
LinuxWorld — In the opening keynote today, the CTO of Amazon came on stage to talk about next generation data centers but stopped to draw attention to what he called "the elephant in the room."
He said the elephant was that in our pursuit of delivering business value we spend 70 percent of our time on undifferentiating heavy lifting — data center management. His answer: Get out of the data center business because he has space in his own to sell you in the form of their Elastic Compute Cloud.
Yesterday, Lenovo announced at LinuxWorld that it will be offering its ThinkPad T Series pre-loaded with Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 in Q4. This is significant for Linux on the desktop for businesses because, now, two of the three tier one global PC suppliers to enterprises will be pushing for better software and driver compatibility for Linux. After Dell has flirted with the idea of Ubuntu for SMBs, Lenovo has upped the ante with this offering. And if it wasn’t good enough to convince enterprises to pilot Linux in their environment, Novell is also offering direct support to end customers -- something it hasn’t yet done. The announcement comes at a particularly good time for Novell because it expands its distribution channel significantly at a time that enterprises are struggling with when, why, and how they should deploy Windows Vista. So what does this mean for Microsoft? Almost nothing. Customer choice is good. Competition is good. May the best solution win.
Today, network vendor F5 Networks announced that they will acquire Acopia for $210 million in cold hard cash. Sounds like a rich price, especially for an emerging vendor with about 100 customers, but I see several reasons why this makes good sense for F5. Acopia has a proven technology for global namespace virtualization and non-disruptive policy-driven file migration capabilities that is well liked by their mostly Fortune 1000 customers, and they are winning head-to-head deals against storage giants EMC and Brocade. With the rise of centralized file storage and IP based SAN’s, networking vendors are going to be more involved in the storage conversation going forward. F5 already has traction in WAN optimization, which has a strong storage and DR use case, but this opens the door to more of a direct presence in a growing area of storage and sets them up nicely to have a bigger role in storage networking more generally.
With IT operation costs ranging from 65% to 80%, only a fraction
of IT budgets are available for innovation. HP’s acquisition of Opsware for $1.6 billion is a proof point that HP is
serious about the strategic significance of IT automation. The move was made for three reasons:
It’s no secret that most enterprise WLAN infrastructure vendors offer base levels of intrusion-detection and intrusion-protection systems in their core solution. When increased security, rogue detection, and data protection is warranted, a third-party solution is often employed. Aruba's acquisition of Network Chemistry, however, changes the playing field.