April Fools Musings

Steve Duplessie  

If EMC bought NetApp, would the department of Justice allow it?  It would be hard to claim the combination a monopoly, but wow, it essentially would create a caste system difficult for any other to overcome.

For all you “cloudites” out there, the single MOST important thing that is going on over the next year is Intel’s Hybrid Cloud.  It is pure, unadulterated, genius.  Intel has found a way to reach the SMB (really the S) in every far reaching nook and cranny on the planet–via MSPs selling cloud services.  They seem to have packaged up a server, installed a bunch of VMs (that sure don’t appear to be VMware, which is interesting in and of itself), and are RENTING it to MSPs, who in turn are RENTING virtual machines and services (aka software) to businesses.  You click on Windows Small Biz Server, or Windows Server, and pay a few dollars (very few, I’m told) a month to rent them.  You can pick a firewall, back up to the cloud (this I find stunningly interesting–who are they using????),  DR to the cloud (again, who?), and remote management and VOIP services.  I’m sure there will be a pile of others–sort of like the “App Store” fromApple.  Intel will take a chunk, vendor will get huge volumes.

The biggest reason this is so brilliant is that Intel not only figured out the top impediment to the “S”MB space is cost (thus, they are effectively financing the whole deal), but that by doing said financing they can build an enormous annuity stream–and ultimately sell “servers” to an entirely new segment of the market where they had limited exposure previously.  Microsoft “rents” software to that same market–where previously, they got little to no revenue.  Whoever the other software providers are will get huge installation volumes, and depending on the biz deal they cut, possibly huge dough.  I continue to poke around but Intel is being very tight lipped.  I’m told we’ll hear things later this spring.  This is one important industry thing to keep your eyes on.  Intel can change the world IT landscape in short order.

I wonder if MS did a deal to give away Hyper-V to Intel to use.  Would be smart if they did.  I doubt VMware would do so, as they have no need and would cannibalize the spectacular margins they are currently commanding.  Could be Xen as well.  Who knows.  The DR and Backup ones are enormously intriguing.  Since it’s a pure MSP/Cloud play all around (or so it seems), it leads me to believe Asigra should be in the pole position on backup–which would give the already market-leading MSP provider outrageous new volume into the lower end of the market.  I can’t figure out in the Intel story what they mean by “DR”, so I really can’t guess who is in play here.  Fascinating stuff.

Speaking of cloud stuff, how long do you think it will take IBM global services to come out with some IaaS cloud offerings?  Why on earth don’t they offer storage and compute already?  If they do, they aren’t telling anyone, and Amazon is kicking butt everywhere.  Guys like Dell, IBM, and HP have trusted brands and customer bases they can absolutely leverage, so why is this taking so long?  Dell is well down the path, I know for a fact, but I’m surprised I haven’t seen more from HP or IBM.  Has to be a matter of time.  Too much money and risk to sit around waiting.  Once a customer makes a move to a “spill over” cloud provider, it’s not likely they will switch any time soon.

Mark Peters and I are talking about a paper discussing the economic upheaval that technologies like dedupe/compression will provide to parts of the data lifecycle that haven’t yet been affected (clearly the end of the wire has been a nice play, with Data Domain taking 90% of the market).  When you can create an order of magnitude better economic story, markets happen.  First guy to satisfy the market need (note: NOT THE GUY WITH THE BEST STUFF!) takes 80-90% of the value created from that market.  Happens all the time.  So, I’m frankly stunned that the old school infrastructure/storage dudes are waiting all this time to get their act together when it comes to doing this for Tier-0, -1, and -2 storage.  If you make an SSD 10X less expensive, people will probably buy more.  If you make primary storage 10X less expensive, people will probably buy more.  And so on.   No one moves as fast as my brain tells them they should, but sooner or later one of the major players is going to figure all this out and the world will change.

Big Data is going to have to be “refined” as a term.  To most, it means analytics.  Not to me.  Big Data is just that–big heaping piles of COPIED data (non transactional, non changing–copies of data).  You perform functions upon said big data.  You house said big data on “Big Data Infrastructure” or Big Data Storage, etc.  You do Big Data Analytics, or Big Data Backup/Recovery, or Big Data Warehousing.  The term won’t work if it means everything–because then it means nothing.  Be specific.

I still love the concept of Big Data Cloud Services.  Why should I house all that crap in house?

Amazon is really cheap to store stuff on.  It’s pretty damned expensive to actually “use” the stuff you store there, however.

There are still a few seats left for ESG’s Ahead of the Curve Summit Series on Virtualization for IT pros on April 14th in Waltham, MA.  Vendors, please stop trying to crash, I love you but this is an end-user only gig.  You wouldn’t understand it anyhow!  www.esg-ahead.com

Link: http://www.thebiggertruth.com/2011/04/april-fools-musings/