What will IBM do?

There is a rumour that IBM might buy Juniper Networks. Met a Juniper employee yesterday, he mentioned that IBM oems their boxes. So IBM already puts its name on their boxes – so why not put the name on everything…

Read an article some days ago, that says it will happen in 2010. Good luck Juniper. As soon as switches will become (if they already aren’t) low margin items, IBM will sell you to Lenovo …

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One Empire strikes back

Have been wondering lately what HP or IBM will be doing since Cisco tries to step of their toes. How at least one puzzle has been solved. HP is buying 3Com. So is IBM after Brocade then, and will they get get beaten by Oracle again? The answer is probably around the corner.

One thing though works out quite nicely, if you plan to do a network oriented startup, you have more buyers you can choose from, not just Cisco.

But what about those companies that are not able to buy themselves a switch company – what if Dell can’t find anyone?  EMC is moving closer to Cisco, although that – they will say – doesn’t mean much, and they will claim to be best partners. Dell is still selling EMC hardware and probably plenty of it. And they still sell plenty of 3Com and Cisco hardware as well. But if virtualization is the driving force, they better get their story right. Virtualization is affecting the whole stack – from storage and the network all the way through to the server.

There is only little impact on the short term, but long term it might become difficult for Dell and similar companies. Long term might depend much more on how Microsoft will succeed with there Virtualization strategy anyways. As usual Microsoft is late, that is no surprise question is how strong of a push the will make. Currently they are the No 2 player in the VM market with about  a 4th of VMware’s marketshare.

 

Old Kids on the VBlock(tm)

Here is the official announcement.  The Register reports are here and here. This seems to be more than just the few slides I talked about a month or so ago. Quite a few companies are affected by that. The Register talks about the obvious ones. Smaller ones (Fujitsu, Rackable etc.) might get slammed. However, some big ones are out there, that we haven’t heard of. The question is: where is Microsoft?

All this infrastructure is nice, but it still is only infrastructure – a means to run applications. None of the application providers endorsed this venture yet. SAP or Symantec might, but it is hard to see Microsoft and especially Oracle to really appreciate this VCE (or EVC as The Register calls it). Oracle/Sun – it needs to happen sooner than later – will certainly make a point about the fact that it is about the apps.

BOT (build, operate, transfer) – as Chuck alludes is what this venture should deliver. They signed up a couple of big partners (mostly integrators and outsourcers). Many of those need a partnership like this, since IBM and HP are full systems providers and Dell tries to become one (They bought Perot Systems remember?).

Point here is that we know where HP, IBM stands, where Dell wants to be. We can assume, what Oracle/SUN think they should be. SAP happily runs on everything – they may wish they could run without a database., though. But where is Microsoft?

I would like to know…

Ooh I forgot one more name NetApp where will they go?

VE – this time no C

Well, spent a few hours earlier today at a WMware event – one presentation by  VMware, the other one was done by their partner EMC. It is interesting to see how they try to portrait VMware as independent from EMC. Kinda cute. The EMC presentation was mostly about what their EMC Ionix division has to offer. Of course VMware vCenter works nicely with almost all the software EMC offers. What was more striking was the fact that Cisco and its UCS was mentioned more than once. Makes me think that these companies get along quite well and they intend to keep that way. For now there is very little overlap between Cisco and EMC – unlike say HP, which is on its way to become a complete systems provider as well. With that I mean switches, storage and the whole software stack (what once was opsware).

VMware didn’t try to tip toe around the Oracle support question – they faced it head-on. They tried to portrait it as mostly FUD. Technically  – I think – smaller DB installation shouldn’t be a problem. And as far as RAC goes, I would ask why? Why would anybody try to run RAC in a virtualized environment. If it is running leave it alone (I would say). keep it simple keep it clean. You what this thing up 100% – and you paid dearly for that.

This whole support drama makes you wonder what will happen with MySQL when the SUN acquisition is done.

One thing they didn’t mention is licensing. It – in theory – prohibits anybody from taking advantage of one apparent feature of virtualization. Since  they only support OVM – again in theory, as I don’t have any specifics – a VMware customer might need to pay for all the CPU/Cores Oracle is running on and it doesn’t really matter how the VM is configured. That depends of course on the licensing the customer is using.

Reminds me on something Oracle was doing to Clusterware vendors – if you run another clusterware under Oracle you need to pay Enterprise licensing there you have it – It probably did really matter as most of the customers that run clusters had deep pockets anyways and the Oracle sales person was more than happy to sell an Enterprise license. But it was especially made for another vendor that started with a V – Veri something ….

OOW 09, it was

Oracle Open World is winding down. The Register has a recap of the main event – Larry Ellison’s keynote speech. I wasn’t able to attend this years OOW. So I followed  it online via Twitter and the livestream. Worked out OK, but somehow missed some of buzz.  On the plus-side, I avoided the loud music before the keynotes (many on Twitter complained about it), could do other more interesting stuff during the boring parts of a keynote (there were quite a view according to Twitter).

I think there was no “big bang” such as the Exadata announcement last year. To spiff it up a bit they announced the 10 million dollar challenge. Exadata V.2 was already announced mostly to stop SUN’s bleeding, although a part of the keynote was still about it. They probably planned more stuff around SUN, but the EU’s insistence of checking the deal further did halt all major efforts. We will see, what happens later down the road.

Fusion Apps were shown for the first time I know there quite a few who were really looking forward to that one. Applications built on Fusion Middleware.

OOW 09, it was fairly quiet.

Why they want a switch

When I was attending the VCE event organized by Nexus at Cisco, I realized how a switch ties into the virtualization infrastructure – obvious for most of the experts, I know. So the race is on for Brocade. Cisco’s UCS switch brings Ethernet FCoE and KVM together on one cable and one switch. Cuts down on power and makes redundant setups much easier to implement. There might other companies doing the same. But I don’t em. Even more appealing is what you can do when switch and blade work together. An early implementor of such a system was Egenera. Unfortunately, they used an VI based interconnect, which went nowhere. In their case they used system nodes that routed the traffic coming off the VI based interconnect to the outside world and storage.

So having a switch, that runs part of the system software certainly helps if you add features such as load balancing, and IP/FCoE failover . Live failover or Vmotion, workload distribution are benefiting from that type of architecture. which is why they all want a switch that works with their architecture. Though Vmware and Microsoft – as pure SW providers – might still have s say in this.

Yet another Update on MySQL

The Ex-MySQL boss has sent a letter to the EU, iterating his believe that Oracle should be allowed to buy sun. I find this comment especially interesting:”MySQL is used to power large-scale Web sites with many servers, a role for which Oracle’s back-end database software isn’t suited, he argued. It’s therefore in Oracle’s interest to boost the MySQL business, Mickos said.” I think most of the Oracle Sales people would beg to differ. He might even get a call from Larry Ellison. IBM and others will jump on this assessment. T

he funny part here is that they – Larry Ellison and he – argue in opposite directions.

CEO of Oracle: “We need MySQL to compete with Microsoft in the SMB market”

Ex-CEO MySQL: Oracle needs MySQL to run large scale Internet sites.

Funny how things fall into place once in a while or not ….

SoS – Students of Sid

Once I heard the abbreviation FoB. It stands for friends of Bill and describes a circle of people around the former President Bill Clinton. Somehow I was thinking about that when I was attending the memorial service for Sid H. Davidson Jr. So I am a SoS – a Student of Sid.

People spoke about how Sid was touching their lifes in sometimes very profound ways. Colleagues as well as current and former students talked about the help and support they received from Sid Davidson. It was amazing and humbling to hear what one person can do for so many others.

He was able to advise young students and help them find their direction – encouraging them to try harder and aim higher than they thought they should. Older students who somewhat lost their ways, found someone in Sid that listened and gave them a new purpose; convincing them to leave established paths and try something new and more rewarding (He wanted me become a lawyer or a paralegal :-)).

It was humbling as I was questioning myself, what have I done so far with my life – and it just does not measure up to his legacy. He was a world class teacher and for this you have to be an incredible human being. And he was just that – the best.

The way he taught law you thought he was an experienced lawyer. But he wasn’t he was outstanding as an instructor – humble, funny and with only one purpose help students thrive. I made him a lawyer because I wanted to, and I made him older than he actually was, but  don’t ask me why. He died 79 years old. He was about the same age as my mom. She died about a year ago, which was something else i was thinking at the memorial. This type of event makes you reflect about a lot of things – I guess…

Farewell Sid – you will be deeply missed by many as I learned this Wednesday