Tech Expectations

A deeper look at disruptive business and personal technology


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An open letter to Ginni Rometty and IBM

letters

Ginni,

Last week, we presented a counterpoint to the recent negative press on IBM. I’ll take it a step further. I believe that IBM is actually the vendor that is closest to providing “Enterprise Cloud.” But what is sold, how it is sold, and the vision of the end result still needs a lot of work.

I’ve both competed against IBM at EMC and worked with IBM as a partner. When competing, our fear was getting maneuvered by IBM out of the deal when they went right to the CxO. When partnering with IBM, I was frankly surprised and disappointed at the fumbling. As a shareholder, I would have been livid.

  • Because of internal turf issues, IBM reps got stuck on whether to propose product, services, or cloud instead of focusing on what the customer wanted
  • Because differentiated core technologies like GPFS were positioned as products instead of part of a strategy and delivery model, they lost in feature-to-feature comparisons
  • There were repeatedly missed opportunities for leadership, where the customer was looking for a new vision of computing, blending attributes of traditional enterprise technology with the cloud – instead, the customer got generic positioning (or worse, marketing-speak)

I have three recommendations to address these issues.

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How much data does x store?

warehouse

Being in the tech infrastructure industry, I often get the question, “How big is that service?” or “How much does x store?”

Here is where I will keep track. (updated 5/27/14)

Some interesting tidbits:

The list so far:

Photo “Warehouse” by Erik Söderström


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Data storage market overview: State of the market in 2014

(updated 5/15/14)

Data storage is a massive market ($22.5 billion for the 2013 high end storage market alone), and has reached a critical point in its evolution, highlighted by dramatic changes in base technologies, interfaces, and service models. EMC’s recent acquisition of DSSD was another thought-provoking data point.

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EMC buys DSSD for a potential quantum leap in data access acceleration

EMC kicked off EMC World 2014 with the announcement of their acquisition of DSSD, a shadowy company founded by eccentric geniuses from Sun Microsystems: Andy Bechtolsheim, Jeff Bonwick and Bill Moore.  DSSD has been working for three years to accelerate data access and organization for huge datasets by building object storage capabilities directly onto a custom chipset.  This is a fascinating story, and can be seen as another step in the struggle of vendors to own information intelligence and speed access to exabytes of data being created.

vinyl_v_ipod

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