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.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

How IBM is Driving Smarter Banking in Nigeria

Did you know? According to a recent statement made by IBM, 77% of their enterprise-class servers are being used to power mission-critical banking applications in Nigeria (the legit ones, not the ones run by that Nigerian prince who keeps emailing you).

So what is it about IBM enterprise servers that make them so popular in this particular industry and country? Well, for starters, the powerful cooling capabilities developed by IBM are both energy-efficient and cost-saving. By relying on water instead of electricity to cool their servers, IBM has provided customers with a more robust and efficient water-cooling technology. 

(We can only imagine that this would be an influential factor when it comes to choosing a server manufacturer in a country with an average temperature of 80 degrees.)

Another key feature of IBM enterprise servers is the emphasis on managing big data with ease and without a lot of expense. IBM has developed two technologies specifically for big data: an analysis accelerator that will speed up data analytics reports, and a Big Data appliance. Not yet released, IBM’s Big Data appliance will feature a combination of hardware and software that will enable organizations to ask questions and receive automated answers from their own data.

And in an industry like banking with continual transactions, real-time market feeds, customer-service records, correspondence and even social media posts, it’s evident that how the manufacturer handles big data is a critical factor in selecting a server. Through their focus on big data, IBM allows these banks to minimize risk, streamline operations and place more emphasis on the customer and their experience.

In the end, it’s clear to see why IBM is making such an impression with the Nigerian banking industry – through a unique combination of cooling and big data technologies that align with their needs.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cisco 3750 vs Cisco 3560 - It's All in the Stacking

When considering a Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch, an often missed fact is that the Cisco Catalyst 3560 switch is a less expensive option, and it offers the same performance and features – minus the stacking capabilities.

Yes, it’s true! For those who may not need stacking capabilities, you don’t need to spend the extra money on a Cisco 3750 switch for its Cisco StackWise technology. Both Cisco 3560s and 3750s are enterprise class switches that include 10/100 and 10/100/1000 access and aggregation, as well as Cisco pre-standard Power over Ethernet (PoE) functionality in Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) configurations. Both the switches offer newer E and X variants that support 10GbE functionality.

Both Cisco Catalyst switches also include advanced features such as IP telephony, wireless access, advanced quality of service (QoS), rate limiting, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and high-performance IP routing.

One additional feature that the Cisco 3560 offers is a “cluster” feature, which allows the network administrator to control multiple switches from a single switch. This feature is not at all a replacement for the stacking capabilities, but a nice feature to have nonetheless.

So the next time you are on the market for some enterprise-class switches, be sure to remember that you may not need to spend quite as much as you thought. In fact, you might just be overpaying for a feature that you may never actually use.

P.S. A MUCH more effective way for someone to stack multiple switches versus the StackWise technology would be to go with a chassis-based solution.