Microsoft and Dell Change the Private/Hybrid Cloud Game with On-Premise Azure

Richard Fichera

What was announced?

On October 20 at TechEd, Microsoft quietly slipped in what looks like a potential game-changing announcement in the private/hybrid cloud world when they rolled out Microsoft Cloud Platform System (CPS), an integrated hardware/software system that combines an Azure-consistent on premise cloud with an optimized hardware stack from Dell.

Why does it matter?

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Docker Will Live Up To The Hype And Containers Will Rule The Cloud. Here's What You Need To Know.

Dave Bartoletti

I've been on the road all month talking about business technology speed. The age of the customer is all about speed. Faster time to market, more frequent software releases, automated server deployments, instant cloud scaling…anything that removes friction from the app dev process is hot as we move into 2015.

Docker, the container management juggernaut, has generated some of the most breathless buzz in cloud-land this year. And for once, all the buzz is justified, for a few reasons. Docker's new, but containers are not. Docker makes containers easier to use, so more companies can get the benefits some of the big cloud providers already enjoy. Those include near-instantaneous app launch, rapid scale-out, and server efficiencies much better than traditional virtualization. 

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Why Did HP Buy Eucalyptus?

Dave Bartoletti

Were you surprised by HP's decision to acquire Eucalyptus last month? You weren't alone. HP's move to snap up one of the first open source cloud platform projects left many scratching their heads, especially since Eucalyptus had lost much of its momentum in the last 5 years. 

Now that OpenStack has effectively won the battle to be the open source alternative to Amazon Web Services, why would HP, already a major contributor to and vendor of a public cloud platform built on OpenStack, want Eucalyptus? It's not the technology. We think the value lies in the company's AWS API experience, Marten Mickos' open source credibility, and the depth of engineering skill.

Check out Lauren Nelson's, James Staten's, and my take on what this acquisition means for both HP and Eucalyptus -- and what it means for their mutual customers and potential customers.

Benchmark Your Cloud Adoption Today. Don't Fall Behind Your Peers.

Dave Bartoletti

Are you ahead of the cloud curve or falling behind your peers?

We are definitely in the hypergrowth phase of cloud computing, and 2015 will be a critical year: spending will jump, platforms will mature and consolidate, and cloud will enter the formal IT portfolio, whether IT likes it or not. Where are you on your journey to cloud?

Check out our Benchmark Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption report, published by my colleague Sophia Vargas and me a few weeks ago. Inside, you'll find selected data from Forrester's Business Technographics surveys that shine light on:

  • The rate of growth for the public cloud market;
  • Where cloud is on enterprise CIO priority lists;
  • How much spending is shifting to cloud, and for which workloads;
  • Which cloud types - public, private, hosted private - are preferred by which buyers;
  • The rate of SaaS solution uptake;
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2014 US Colocation Market: Mature, Competitive, Expanding

Sophia Vargas

Over the last decade, the colocation market has expanded and flourished – with more customers looking to outsource new facilities and more vendors emerging and expanding to meet this demand.

Colocation providers now offer a myriad of services beyond the expected physical space. Infrastructure is now table stakes, including enhanced power efficiency and physical security. The more impressive solutions offer a full portfolio of managed services to cloud, or host and steward a marketplace of third party services, offering close proximity to business partners and primary communications services. By “close” we mean VERY close, as in the same building, sometimes only meters away. Depending on the use case, proximity like this can make the difference between success or failure of a business function – financial trading is an obvious example but there are many more.

To get better acquainted with this ever expanding landscape of vendors and solutions, about this time last year I began a lengthy exercise to investigate and analyze the US colocation market.  After three months, I identified 430 organizations through search engines and public profile sites. I then weeded out 112 firms that had inactive websites, were acquired, or did not clearly provide retail or wholesale colocation. Over the subsequent 3 months, I attempted to quantify the footprint of all qualifying facilities. Some key findings from this research include:

  • There are over 1430 data center facilities in more than 330 cities across the US, but53% of vendors surveyed operated only 1 facility.
  • There is over 68 million square feet of reported data center space, and an estimated 90-120 million square feet in total. This projection includes a fair amount of assumptions as many vendors did not provide facility sizes.
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Wearables Should Underpin Customer-Centric Innovation

JP Gownder

In a new report, we lay out how I&O leaders can leverage wearables as a source of customer-centric innovation as they build their BT Agenda. As we have written, today the I&O role is changing, as business imperatives now shape technology choices and I&O pros are judged on business outcomes. You can only add value and achieve relevancy if you reframe your organization's goals and objectives.

Want an example from a real-life I&O leader? Tim Graham is the IT Innovation Manager for Virgin Atlantic and the driving force behind the Google Glass pilot in Virgin's Upper Class Lounges at Heathrow.  His job, as he described it at a recent wearables conference where we were both speakers: "To use technology to reshape both customer experiences and operational efficiency." Here’s a video to show how he led Virgin Atlantic’s efforts to deploy Google Glass and Sony smartwatches in the Upper Class Lounge at Heathrow Airport:

To do your job the way Tim does his, you need to take a holistic view of how technology can help your organization. For wearables, there are four essential choices:

  • Company-owned devices that make workers more effective. They’ll serve customers more efficiently and effectively with wearables. In the age of the customer, this can mean reengineering customer service interactions, as Virgin Atlantic has done.
  • Employee-owned devices that make workers individually productive. As more people buy wearables, they’ll become BYO devices that I&O must accommodate.
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IBM Sheds Yet Another Hardware Business - Pays to Get Rid of Semiconductor Fabrication

Richard Fichera
While the timing of the event comes as a surprise, the fact that IBM has decided to unload its technically excellent but unprofitable semiconductor manufacturing operation does not, nor does its choice of Globalfoundries, with whom it has had a longstanding relationship.
 
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Introducing The Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) Wave

Christian Kane

Last week we published the new Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Mobile Management, Q3 2014, evaluating 15 of the vendors emerging to help organizations transform and enable their workforce with a greater set of mobile tools. 

 

Why now

We're witnessing the mobile mind shift — an expectation that workers can be productive whenever, wherever they are. There's a surge of innovation in mobile technology as a part of broader business transformation to ensure that employees have access to the information they need to better serve customers during these critical mobile moments. Technology leaders have quickly seen the value of EMM solutions to ensure that employees have safe and reliable access to mobile devices and apps.

 

Beyond MDM

Mobile device management (MDM) is the common technology used by enterprises to enable their workforce to obtain the right access on their mobile devices. However, early solutions were only able to meet companies' very basic security and management needs for mobility. As business needs mature and employees demand more data access and mobile applications, vendors are adding mobile application management (MAM), secure containers and collaboration apps, secure network gateways, and more to their MDM solutions to create more comprehensive EMM suites to address these needs. 

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Keep An Eye On Software-Defined Data Centers In China

Frank Liu

Although emerging markets like China tend to lag developed markets by 18 to 24 months in terms of technology deployment, Chinese organizations should start embracing new concepts like the software-defined data center (SDDC). The SDDC is an evolving architectural and operational philosophy, not a product you can buy with a demonstrable ROI. Chinese organizations can’t risk ignoring SDDC and falling behind global companies — so they need to pay attention to it, for a few reasons:

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New ARM-based Moonshot Servers from HP Exemplify Workload-Specific Computing

Richard Fichera

One of the developing trends in computing, relevant to both enterprise and service providers alike, is the notion of workload-specific or application-centric computing architectures. These architectures, optimized for specific workloads, promise improved efficiencies for running their targeted workloads, and by extension the services that they support. Earlier this year we covered the basics of this concept in “Optimize Scalable Workload-Specific Infrastructure for Customer Experiences”, and this week HP has announced a pair of server cartridges for their Moonshot system that exemplify this concept, as well as being representative of the next wave of ARM products that will emerge during the remainder of 2014 and into 2015 to tilt once more at the x86 windmill that currently dominates the computing landscape.

Specifically, HP has announced the ProLiant m400 Server Cartridge (m400) and the ProLiant m800 Server Cartridge (m800), both ARM-based servers packaged as cartridges for the HP Moonshot system, which can hold up to 45 of these cartridges in its approximately 4U enclosure. These servers are interesting from two perspectives – that they are both ARM-based products, one being the first tier-1 vendor offering of a 64-bit ARM CPU and that they are both being introduced with a specific workload target in mind for which they have been specifically optimized.

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