Thursday, August 22, 2013

6 Key Reasons You Should Consider Virtualization

Depending on your organization, you may be sprinting along or just learning how to walk when it comes to virtualization. If you are just learning how to walk, some of what has been slowing you down may be the perception of the expense or complexity often associated with virtualization. But in reality, virtualization has gotten a bit of a bad rap. The actual cost and difficult of introducing virtualization into your infrastructure can be greatly reduced with the right hardware vendor and mix of technologies. And in the long run, you will reap the benefits of cost savings, time and management savings, and increase the lifecycle of your hardware.

Due to its many benefits, virtualization is fast-becoming a necessity versus a nice-to-have.  So if you are considering taking your organization’s virtualization up from a crawl to a walk (or even a healthy jog!) here are some tips to help get you on your way:
  • Make sure your physical hardware can handle the strain of your virtual capacity
  • If you are planning a large virtualization deployment, make sure to invest in SAN storage 
  • You don’t have to virtualize everything – make sure the right applications and servers get virtualized
  • Consider the security implications of virtualization and enhance your network security
  • If you want to deploy numerous VMs, save time by creating VM templates
  • Be sure to monitor virtual traffic as diligently as you monitor physical traffic 

Last but not lease, remember that the best rule of thumb for any new initiative is to do your homework and remember to plan, plan, PLAN!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dell: Going Private or Staying Public?

For those of you who have been closely following the "Dell going private" story, this past week has certainly been an interesting one. Let’s just take a moment to recap on exactly what has been going on at Dell lately.

Earlier this week, Dell board members agreed to a higher offer from founder and CEO Michael Dell and his partner Silver Lake. The offer also included a special dividend for shareholders, including a one-time shareholder payout of $0.13 per share, compared to Michael Dell’s previous offer to buy the company at $13.75 per share.

In response to Michael Dell’s recent bid increase, investor Carl Icahn, Michael Dell’s primary opponent, has also upped the stakes on his side of the fence. Icahn, already an 8.7% owner of the well-known technology company, purchased 4 million additional Dell shares last week Thursday.

So at the moment, Michael Dell and Carl Icahn (and the rest of us as the eager audience) must play the waiting game. The official vote by the Dell board of directors on whether the company will go private or stay public is not scheduled to be held until September 12th.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

HP Partners with NEC to Deliver Next-Gen Technologies

HP and NEC have recently announced that they plan to expand their collaborative efforts targeted at engineering future x86 mission-critical blade servers. NEC, a Japanese-based IT firm, has previously partnered with HP to develop enterprise-class IT systems like HP-UX (with HP’s Unix-based OS), HP Integrity, and NEC NX7700i servers.

The current partnership between HP and NEC is focused on creating next-generation server platforms that deliver increased uptime to users whose demands have become more aggressive.  These new demands stem from the evolution and rise of industry trends such as big data, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

And if the project doesn’t have a lofty enough vision in itself, the given name of the future x86 infrastructure adds further wings to the project – DragonHawk. The future HP DragonHawk x86 infrastructure is designed to be highly scalable and builds off of pre-existing HP Superdome 2 and blade server technology.

In addition to their goal of advancing the performance and reliability of their enterprise x86 systems, HP and NEC are partnering in the research, development and testing of mission-critical, enterprise-class solutions designed for use in both Linux and Windows-based environments.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CRN's Channel Champion Crown for Servers Goes to IBM

IBM recently took home the 2013 CRN Channel Champion Crown for servers. A prize that is not handed out lightly, the CRN crown is awarded based off of several key factors. Off the heels of an aggressive go-to market strategy, IBM excelled to regain the crown after last year’s defeat, beating out both of their main competitors in the server market - HP (last year’s winner) and Dell. 

Focusing on the x86 server market, IBM was well-positioned this year due to their transition from their M3 server generation to the new and improved M4 server generation. Some of the key new features and technologies offered by the new IBM System x M4 servers include increased memory capacity, IBM Integrated Management Module 2 (IMM2), virtual fabric and low-voltage memory.

While IBM excelled in several categories, the ones in which they took a distinctive lead over HP and Dell were: brand pull and customer marketing, channel marketing and pre-sales support, and training and certification. Some of the additional criteria that CRN used to determine the server champion included post-sales support, price performance, and product availability.

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Advantages of Third-Party Networking Optics

Did you know that we offer third party networking optics covered by a lifetime warranty? Guaranteed to work as good as the manufacturer’s brand, our third-party optics seamlessly deliver Gb and 10Gb fiber connections to your datacenter switches – regardless of the brand of switch you own.

Let me explain the advantage of having a lifetime warranty on your networking optics.  If your optics are damaged at any time (without any extraordinary circumstances – basically don’t go throwing it off the roof top of your building) – you’re covered!

And if the complete peace of mind that this lifetime warranty offers doesn’t quite convince you that our third-party optics are the way to go, then it could come down to the big question – what’s it going to cost me? Our third-party optics are a very affordable option designed to fit well within constrained IT budgets.

So just remember, our third party optics are guaranteed to work as well as the OEM, offer a lifetime warranty, and will do their part in alleviating any stress caused by your IT budget.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dell's Take on the Q2 2013 Server Market

Q1 2013 data shows that server market revenue has declined in a year-over-year comparison to 2012. As many expected, the UNIX-based servers are responsible for the majority of the revenue decline, with a much smaller decline shown in Linux-based servers.

While our last post discussed the server market from HP's point-of-view, we're now going to take a look from Dell's perspective. Recently released data shows that Dell is performing better than the majority of their major competitors in the server market. In fact, analysts at the Goldman Sachs Group have observed that out of industry giants Dell, HP and IBM, Dell was the only one to gain server revenue as well as server shipments year-on-year.

What has lead Dell to see success in the server market where others haven’t? One factor has been Dell’s aggressive response to price competition not only through itself, but through its channel partners. Dell has also made many hardware improvements to its server offerings with the most recent 12th generation PowerEdge product line.

Overall, HP maintains the largest server market share when it comes to worldwide server shipments, with IBM in 3rd place. However, Dell is coming up fast from 2nd place.  It will be interesting to see what an analysis of Q2 2013 server market data will shows us. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Q2 2013 - A Turning Point for HP

While Q1 did not look promising for HP, Q2 has proven to be a turning point. Recently reporting its Q2 results, HP has posted a 55.59% year to date total return. That number may inspire a little more confidence than is due, given the exceedingly low value at the beginning of the year.

However, HP’s year to date total return percentage should still provide some confidence. And it already has amongst their investors, causing the shares to rise 13% in a market that is otherwise in a state of general decline.

Other financial figures that should inspire confidence in not only HP’s investors, but the technology marketplace as a whole, include an operating profit of $0.87. While it may not seem spectacular, this is actually encouraging in the fact that Wall Street’s consensus estimate is $0.81

There are many factors that can be attributed to HP’s now promising trajectory in the marketplace; one of which that’s being touted by several sources is the leadership of Meg Whitman. Is this the case? I think we’ll wait for Q3 and Q4 numbers before we can say with any real certainty.


-KH