It took longer than I expected for Nimble Storage to introduce an all-flash array, but their AF7000 looks to be a very credible offering. They’re targeting XtremIO and Pure with their marketing, but I expect HP, Dell, and especially NetApp to be cross-shopped more frequently. In that fight, I expect the Nimble AF7000 to be very attractive indeed!
EMC’s XtremIO is crapping on the badge; it’s an immature ball of destruction that shows how much architecture matters. Or so my favorite storage bloggers say. But customers and resellers seem to have a different take on the destructive XtremIO 3.0 update: They don’t care. Not at all.
After four years and 34 Tech Field Day events, many of our vendors have gone on to bigger and better things. After seeing today’s acquisition of Xsigo by Oracle, I decided to go back and look at how many of our companies have been acquired over the years.
HP stumbled mightily in 2011, and it had nothing to do with product or people. Even sales remained strong, though the PC business is changing. HP’s mighty stumble was a crisis of confidence due to a chain of shenanigans at the very top. This culminated with the short reign of LÃ©o Apotheker, leaving HP to reassure the market of its strategy.
The most exciting enhancements in VMware vSphere 4.1 is the addition of vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). This new API allows VMware ESX to offload storage processing functions to capable storage arrays, reducing the workload on the server hardware in introducing new and exciting possibilities for performance and efficiency. VAAI in ESX 4.1 includes three separate capabilities: block zeroing, full copy, and hardware assisted locking.
One of the amusing aspects of being self-employed is watching all the giants battle it out. Every company is gunning for someone, but the amazing thing is that they rarely have each other in their sights: NetApp is gunning for EMC who’s more focused on HP who wants to knock off Oracle who’s fixated on IBM. It sounds very “high school romance” but this is deadly-serious business.
HP has always been an alphabet soup company, assigning just about every item in their bewildering array of products a unique product number. Like Mercedes-Benz cars, even the product names are a mix of letters and numbers that can be off-putting to browsers. Now that they have grown to supersize proportions through internal expansion and acquisition, just about everyone outside the company seems to have trouble decoding the product line, so I decided to take a stab at decoding the enterprise lineup in plain english.
Today is the (a?) day of reckoning in the 3Par saga, with Dell widely expected to make a counter-offer higher than HP’s bid. But this mega deal, like the Data Domain war before it, sends a strong signal to the enterprise IT world: It’s open season on data storage companies! But the rising superpowers are also likely looking at networking as an area of expansion. The game is afoot!
After years spent focusing on personal technology, businesses are increasingly turning back to the enterprise. The corporate IT market is much more dynamic and competitive, with a few very large “superpower” companies discovering their power to drive purchasing decisions. If a supplier can create an integrated “stack” of hardware and software, they can push product purchases that might otherwise be overlooked or postponed. This is the main reason that enterprise IT acquisitions work so well: Where a small company must fight to sell their product, a large one can hitch it to a much more strategic sale and have it pulled along.
The 3Par acquisition is a slam dunk at under $2 billion. The company has great enterprise-grade SAN technology and a proven ability to sell into high-end accounts but lacked the revenue to go it alone. A major enterprise IT vendor like HP or Dell (not to mention Oracle, IBM, or even NetApp) will kick sales into high gear. But there’s an amazing short-term win to be had for whoever acquires 3Par!