Posts Tagged Microsoft

Three Industry Behemoths – Dell, Microsoft and Apple – Are Struggling

As we enter the last month of the first quarter of 2013, it’s clear that some of the stalwarts of the IT industry are struggling with a rapidly changing market and rapidly changing technological trends. Today’s IT landscape looks far different than the one we saw just a few short years ago and the biggest fish in the IT sea appear to be having issues adjusting to the constantly shifting market waves.

I have a few observations and opinions about three of the largest players in the space and I thought I’d share them.

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Microsoft’s looming Windows 8 crisis… and it isn’t sales

For months now, Microsoft and its partners have been promising a late October blitz that includes the official release of the much-anticipated Windows 8 operating system along with a series of tablets from across the vendor spectrum, including a tablet from Microsoft itself.

Windows 8 is a radical departure from earlier versions of Windows.  With Windows 8, Microsoft is attempting to unify the user experience across a variety of device form factors while also enabling apps to run across that platform spectrum, from phones to tablets to traditional PCs and laptops.

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The Rise of Efficient Data Centers

With VMworld beginning in Las Vegas this week, we are sure to hear all about new and innovative ways to expand your organization’s approach to cloud computing.  “Project Horizon” was previewed at last year’s VMworld, a cloud-based management service that aims to establish a users cloud identity.  With Project Horizon and the seemingly thousands of other cloud projects occurring, the demand for massive data centers is on the rise.  As their need continues to grow, the immense power they use has become so much of an issue that metrics were created to measure how efficient data centers are.  One of these metrics is Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), a ratio of total amount of power used by the facility to the power delivered to computing equipment.  An ideal PUE is 1.0, which would mean the computing equipment is using all of the power coming into the facility.  However, a PUE of 1.0 is very difficult to achieve due to the need for lighting, cooling, and other various systems used in the facilities that are not considered computing devices.  An additional way companies are trying to reduce cost and power consumption is by building modular data centers.  The modular data center approach adds capacity as it is needed in manageable, cost-effective increments.  Below you will see five traditional data centers that use alternative energy as a power source, as well as a brief look at currently available modular data centers.

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Oracle and IBM May Not Know Big Data, But Neither Does Ballmer

In a recent interview with InformationWeek, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer claimed that IBM and Oracle don’t understand Big Data. For Ballmer and Microsoft, Big Data doesn’t depend so much on the size of the data, but on the type of data being processed and analyzed.

Specifically, for a data processing and analytics project to qualify as Big Data, it must encompass not just internal corporate data, but also third-party data that resides outside the firewall, according to Ballmer. He said IBM and Oracle limit their Big Data approaches to internal data, thus they are not in fact Big Data by his definition.

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Today’s Cloud Computing Landscape [Infographic]

Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosting services over the Internet. A cloud service has three distinct characteristics that differentiate it from traditional hosting. It is sold on demand, typically by the minute or by the hour, it is elastic – a user can have as much or as little of a service as they want at any given time; and the service is fully managed by the provider.

Cloud Computing Landscape

Here is a graphical look at the cloud computing landscape. From private and enterprise cloud providers (such as IBM, HP/3Par, and VMware), to public cloud services (like Google and Microsoft Azure), to the Hybrid cloud (Verizon and the NRE Alliance of newScale, rPath and Eucalyptus as examples).

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20 Key Research Notes from the Wikibon Community

The Wikibon community prides itself on its research. Our community’s primary goal has been in helping technology professionals solve business problems through a sharing of IT advisory knowledge. We do this through regular Peer Incites, case studies, and community research.

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Inside Ten of the World’s Largest Data Centers

Data centers touch all our lives. Businesses rely on data centers to house mission critical information and run operational initiatives across the organization.Today’s largest data centers feature state-of-the-art technology, operation rooms spanning thousands of square meters, and are required to hold billions of pieces of customer and business information. As demand for cloud services increase these centers comprise tens or sometimes hundreds of thousands of servers, multi-petabyte storage systems and increasingly are situated in locations where cheap energy is plentiful.

In pictures, here is an inside look at ten of the world’s largest data centers.

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Infrastructure Wars: The Battle Brewing in the Storage Industry

How Google, Microsoft and Oracle are Driving Competition in the Storage Industry 

Application Stack vs Array

 

What you Need to Know 

There is a competitive battle brewing in the on-premise storage business and it’s not between EMC/NetApp or EMC/IBM. It’s stemming from a move by independent software vendors specifically Microsoft and Oracle, to bundle more storage function into their application stacks, push storage function closer to the host and commoditize the storage hardware layer. The move to integrate storage function into the application stack is real and in some cases can add substantial value to organizations. But there is a price to pay and IT executives need to understand the strategies and implications for long term success. Underpinning these trends is Google’s decade long march toward simplification and cloud services; which is not only driving software vendors like Microsoft crazy; it’s also causing them to drive down perceived costs wherever possible and grab as much value in their stacks as they can. 

Here’s the bottom line. IT execs have three choices:

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EMC Acquires Archer, Integration Next

EMC Acquires Archer

The latest acquisition of Archer Technologies fills a gap in EMCs solution ecosystem with a best-in-class GRC software platform. With the Archer acquisition, and the development of an integration layer across EMC products, EMC creates the opportunity to speak more definitively about its capability to provide GRC solutions for core IT assets and operations and across the enterprise.  The acquisition also provides a competitive play for EMC against other infrastructure technology providers including Oracle, with its GRC Manager, Microsoft with GRC Solution Accelerators and Sharepoint, CA, with its own GRC Manager, and others interested in their piece of the still-developing GRC marketplace.

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Why Microsoft’s Head is up its DAS

I’ve been doing a bunch of research on cloud-based email lately. It started when I was speaking with a  number of Wikibon members about what they’re doing with Exchange and whether Exchange 2010 is changing the way they think about deploying storage. The Exchange team in Redmond has been pushing DAS harder than I’ve ever seen. Microsoft is telling customers that it has dramatically reduced the IO load from Exchange 2003, which is true.
 
Exchange 2003 was IO bound and very ‘bursty’ meaning performance was unpredictable. I believe the technical term for this is Exchange 2003 is a pig. So SAN has been the obvious choice for many Exchange deployments. Exchange 2007 addressed much of this IO problem but many clients skipped right over 2007, waiting for Exchange 2010. Wish I’d taken that path with Vista.

Microsoft is now pulling out all the stops. It’s telling clients that I spoke with to think about maintenance expiring on Exchange 2003 (I think you can still buy an extended service plan through 2014 if you give up your third child) and that SAN is not a recommended configuration for 2010. Microsoft is telling customers to worry about complexity and SAN can be a single point of failure. The logic put forth is that if I lose a DAS device I only lose part of my storage whereas if my SAN goes out…all my data is inaccessible. Interesting logic I thought.

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