Is Microsoft the New Safe Harbor?

The following is a guest post from Ray Wang of Altimeter Group. I wrote a different title, but otherwise this is as it appears on his blog.

Clients Now See Microsoft As The Neutral Vendor, Hence All The Questions

Just less than 3 years ago, Microsoft was still perceived as part of the “evil” empire.  Business leaders worried about the complicated and expensive licensing and pricing structures.  IT leaders bemoaned the lock-in and proprietary and often buggy software.  But in a reversal of fortune, customers now worry about Google lock-in, fret over Oracle’s quest to dominate IT through M&A, wonder how hardware vendors will become software providers and vice versa, and remain in shock as Apple’s proprietary and closed approach over takes Microsoft’s market cap.

In conversations with 71 business and IT leaders, the perception on Microsoft has definitively shifted.  In fact, more than 74.6% (53/71) see Microsoft as the neutral and trusted supplier.  With an aging and retiring workforce that grew up on IBM and SAP, the next generation of IT leaders increasingly will exert their leadership and run to their comfort zone of Microsoft and Oracle.  (Note: Don’t expect this to last as the next generation of IT leadership comprises of millennials and digital natives who will try to move everything to open source and the cloud.)  Consequently, Microsoft’s technology offerings receive a renewed interest and reinvestment among customers, partners, and critical OEM’s.  Among this group, many are attending TechEd 2010 in New Orleans, LA.  Key questions they will be asking include: Read more of this post

EMC World 2010 and IT Vendor Evolution

From Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.

IT vendor conferences offer a variety of amusements and educational opportunities, and EMC World 2010 was no exception. But the most interesting aspect of this year’s event focused on how things have changed for EMC during the past year. Consider this: EMC World 2009 kicked off with a keynote co-hosted by company President and CEO Joe Tucci and VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz, emphasizing the companies’ common vision of virtualization as the foundation for cloud computing. Last week in Boston, Tucci used his solo keynote to highlight EMC’s notion of private cloud computing as the rightful future of enterprise datacenters and discussed the partnerships EMC is pursuing to make that vision a reality. Read more of this post

SapphireNow Day Two – Pump It Up

Bill McDermott began the day for Orlando attendees of SapphireNow by demonstrating that there is no charisma deficit at SAP these days, and his co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe was right there behind him to make the case that commitment and strategy are not lacking either. They welcomed Sybase, hailed the new ByDesign release about to ship, and waved the sustainability flag high, leveraging their strong position there. Read more of this post

SapphireNow Day One – Getting Virtual Events Right, And More

I got some great messages today from people who enjoyed my tweets “from” SapphireNow in Orlando – although I wasn’t there. That’s a tribute – not to me; we’re only talking tweets, for goodness’ sake – to SAP for pulling off a two-continent, video-streaming, full-on collaborative event I was able to participate in meaningfully from my desk in California. There was substance, partner announcements, customer dialogue, and star keynoters. A good day, with the best ahead, if my pre-briefs are any indication; there’s more ahead. Read more of this post

New TPC-H Record – Virtualized by ParAccel, VMware

You can set performance records in a virtualized environment – that’s the message of the new 1 Tb TPC-H benchmark record (scroll down to see the 1Tb results) just released by ParAccel and VMware. Running on VMware’s vSphere 4, the ParAccel Analytic Database (PADB) delivered a one-two punch: not only the top performance number for a 1 terabyte (TB) benchmark, but the top price-performance number as well. The results in a nutshell: 1,316,882 Composite Queries per Hour (QphH), a price/performance of 70 cents/QphH, and a data load rate of over 3.5 TBs per hour. ParAccel moved quickly to promote the result; oddly, VMware seems to have been asleep at the switch, with no promotion on its site as the release hit the wires, and a bland quote from a partner exec in the release itself.

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How the Cloud Will Lead Us to Industrial Computing

From  Judith Hurwitz, president, Hurwitz & Associates (http://jshurwitz.wordpress.com)

I spent the other week at a new conference called Cloud Connect. Being able to spend four days emerged in an industry discussion about cloud computing really allows you to step back and think about where we are with this emerging industry. While it would be possible to write endlessly about all the meeting and conversations I had, you probably wouldn’t have enough time to read all that. So, I’ll spare you and give you the top four things I learned at Cloud Connect. I recommend that you also take a look at Brenda Michelson’s blogs from the event for a lot more detail. I would also refer you to Joe McKendrick’s blog from the event. Read more of this post

Cloud Performance Tuning and Capacity Planning – BTM Arrives

I’m delighted to feature this piece from Joe Clabby of Clabby Analytics, an independent technology research firm that focuses on systems, storage, networks, infrastructure, management and cloud computing. In this 8-page report, Joe looks at  business transaction management (BTM) — a segment of the application performance management (APM) market he believes anyone looking at cloud computing needs to know about.  It’s well worth investing the time to read this important piece of work.

What happens when a transaction is sent into a cloud for processing?  Which physical and virtual resources does it use (how do you do capacity planning in a cloud if you don’t know which resources a given transaction is using)?  What dependencies does the transaction have?  If the transaction is performing poorly, how can the fault be isolated?  If the transaction misbehaves intermittently, how can that fault be isolated?  And, how do you tune transactions in the cloud to improve performance?

Read more of this post

Judith Hurwitz Comments on Cloud Impact on HW Biz

My longtime friend and colleague Judith Hurwitz and I have decided to cross-post on one another’s blogs (hers is at jshurwitz.wordpress.com). I’m delighted to have her here. For me, this is another step in the continuing evolution of the loosely coupled independent analyst collaborations I find myself participating in more and more, and a very exciting development. Welcome, Judith!

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I am thrilled to be contributing my “cloudy” observations to your blog. I have been an analyst and consultant focusing on distributed software. I look at everything from service oriented architectures, service management, and even information management. My philosophy is that cloud computing, in all its iterations, is the future of a significant portion of enterprise software.  Judith Hurwitz, President, Hurwitz & Associates

I thought I would provide my thoughts on the future of hardware in the context of where software is headed.

It is easy to assume that with the excitement around cloud computing would put a damper on the hardware market. But I have news for you. I am predicting that over the next few years hardware will be front and center.  Why would I make such a wild prediction? Here are my three reasons: Read more of this post

IBM Showcases Software Vision and Hadoop Research

At IBM’s 8th annual Connect meeting with analysts, Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive, had much to crow about. Software is the engine driving IBM’s profitability, anchoring its customer relationships, and enabling the vaulting ambition to drive the company’s Smarter Planet theme into the boardroom. Mills’ assets are formidable: 36 labs worldwide have more than 100 SW developers each, plus 49 more with over 20 – 25,000 developers in all. Mills showcased all this in a matter-of-fact, businesslike fashion with minimal hype and little competitor bashing. A research project aimed at extending Hadoop usage to a broader audience was among the highlights.  Read more of this post

Oracle on Database: It’s On. And They’re Not Kidding.

Oracle is the company that led the industry into making RDBMS the data persistence vehicle of choice, and though its flagship is still Number One, many other topics floated around as 35,000 people attended Oracle Open World (OOW) in San Francisco recently. The spotlight stayed firmly planted: “What will Larry say about clouds/IBM/Fusion apps?”; Marc Benioff and Larry; Arnold and Larry. But if there’s anything Larry Ellison is passionate about, even as he sets his sights on IBM (hardware) and SAP (apps) – his two most important competitors, he said at the Churchill Club recently – it’s database, and he’s energized by the appliance opportunity. Andy Mendelsohn, SVP of Database Server Technologies put it simply in a conversation: “the only product Larry has spoken of in the last 3 earnings calls is Exadata.” He is more involved than in recent years, and that means one thing: everyone else had better watch out. What analysts learned about the new release makes that very clear: Oracle has been busy, and there is a lot of exciting new technology coming. Read more of this post