Sep. 10, 2013, 6:49 PM
- Cisco's (CSCO) $415M purchase of flash storage system vendor Whiptail marks the networking giant's official entry into the storage hardware market.
- Though Cisco has become a major player in the server market through its UCS line, and has had a large presence in storage networking for some time, it has been content to leave storage sales to partners such as EMC, IBM, and NetApp (NTAP), along with server/Ethernet switch rivals such as H-P and Dell.
- In a blog post explaining the deal, exec Paul Perez states Cisco concluded "UCS needed to be best-in-class at accelerating hot data layers" (i.e. mission-critical data), and that a flash storage offering was needed to achieve this goal.
- Perez declares Whiptail to offer "the highest scalability in performance and capacity of any scale-out flash vendor on the market today," (rivals such as Violin Memory might beg to differ), and imagines solutions leveraging Whiptail, UCS, and Nexus switches enabling customers to load "vast amounts of data in seconds and minutes, not hours or days," among other things.
- Whiptail relies on a proprietary OS built from the ground up to handle flash storage, something it argues yields superior performance.
- The startup's products compete directly against systems from EMC's XtremIO unit, and indirectly against other flash-based EMC products. They also compete against IBM's Texas Memory unit and NetApp's flash offerings.
- The Cisco-EMC partnership has already been pressured by the software-defined networking efforts of VMware's Nicira unit, which stand to make it easier for companies to replace Cisco gear with rival/commodity hardware (if adopted). There have been reports EMC has considered further encroaching on Cisco's turf by acquiring a networking hardware firm.
Sep. 9, 2013, 3:00 PM
- VMware (VMW +2.7%) is close to the highest levels it has seen since its January plunge after Mizuho lifts its PT to $100 from $90, while reiterating a Buy.
- Shares have been range-bound since late July, when they took off thanks to VMware's Q2 beat and favorable guidance. Sell-side commentary, much of which was downbeat before the Q2 report, has turned increasingly positive.
- Meanwhile, Paul Maritz, formerly VMware's CEO and now head of VMware and EMC's (EMC +1.4%) Pivotal spinoff, declares Pivotal, which offers a broad assortment of tools and services for Web/cloud developers, wants to help "come up with Linux for the cloud."
- Maritz's remarks suggest Pivotal is aiming to enable open-source alternatives to more proprietary cloud app development (PaaS) solutions from the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce, Amazon, and Oracle. Pivotal's Cloud Foundry PaaS platform is central to those efforts.
Sep. 9, 2013, 10:26 AM
- Virident, like Fusion-io (FIO +11.3%), offers PCI-Express-based server flash memory modules meant for performance-intensive applications. And beaten-down Fusion-io has been the subject of plenty of M&A speculation over the last two years.
- Virident asserts its FlashMAX II PCI-Express modules offer 2x the performance of rival solutions.The company also provides FlashMAX Connect, an innovative software solution for allowing FlashMAX II modules to be clustered, to mirror/replicate content, and to act as caches for 3rd-party storage.
- Western Digital (WDC -0.5%) should be able to greatly expand Virident's distribution. The purchase comes less than 3 months after WDC announced it's buying enterprise SSD vendor sTec for $207M.
- In addition to Fusion-io, Virident competes against EMC, which offers its XtremSF flash modules and other flash storage products, and private flash storage system vendors such as Nimble Storage and Violin Memory.
- Interestingly, Western Digital archrival Seagate (STX -0.8%) recently invested $40M in Virident and struck a reseller deal with the company. Though Seagate is probably getting a good return on its investment, it can't be happy to see Virident fall into WDC's arms. Will it counter by making a play for Fusion-io?
- Previous: Western Digital buying Virident for $685M
Sep. 4, 2013, 6:57 PM
- There's been no change in the list of top 10 holdings of Morningstar's Ultimate Stock Pickers so far this year, but one wonders about the fate of Microsoft (MSFT) after its much criticized purchase of Nokia's main handset business; it had been the top high-conviction holding in the group.
- The top 10 holdings: MSFT, GOOG, WFC, JNJ, BRK.B, AIG, PG, WMT, PEP, UPS.
- Among purchases during the most recent period, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) topped the top 10 list of high-conviction buys, followed by WFC, GM, SLB, INTC, AAPL, XOM, APA, CHRW, EMC.
Aug. 26, 2013, 5:59 PM
- VMware (VMW) is teaming up with parent EMC to create storage virtualization solutions for SMBs. The solutions will leverage VMware's new Virtual SAN solution, which creates shared storage pools for virtual servers using storage attached to servers (thus eliminating the need for traditional storage networks), along with EMC hardware and software.
- Virtual SAN bears some resemblance to the software developed by ScaleIO, a startup acquired by EMC in July. ScaleIO, Virtual SAN, and EMC's ViPR storage management platforms (covers both EMC and non-EMC gear) point to a growing willingness by EMC to cannibalize sales of traditional storage arrays in the name of selling higher-level software solutions.
- VMware has updated its core vSphere virtualization platform to offer faster disaster recovery and better flash memory performance, and to feature extensions for handling big data workloads. Several other products found within VMware's expansive vCloud Suite (e.g. software automation tools, cloud management software) have also been updated.
- VMware's vCloud Hybrid Service, which allows on-premise workloads to be paired with VMware-managed public cloud workloads (and to move workloads between the settings), is now generally available. CenturyLink's (CTL) Savvis unit will provide some of the public cloud data centers. vCloud Hybrid will face stiff competition from Amazon and Microsoft, who already have large established bases.
- VMware is partnering with Pivotal (set to be taken public by VMware and EMC) to create Pivotal CF, a cloud app development service (PaaS) based on Pivotal's open-source Cloud Foundry platform and available on vCloud Hybrid. Pivotal CF will compete against Salesforce and Microsoft's established offerings.
- Previous: VMware announces new networking platform
Aug. 26, 2013, 1:49 PM
- VMware's (VMW -0.6%) VMworld product announcements have commenced. The most noteworthy is the introduction of VMware NSX, a management/virtualization platform that combines Nicira's software-defined networking (SDN) platform with the networking/security tools found in VMware's vCloud Suite (they allow virtual networking appliances to be set up). NSX is integrated with VMware's vSphere virtualization platform.
- NSX allows VMware to offer a common platform for managing/configuring physical switches, virtual appliances, and the services delivered over them. It amounts to a fresh shot across VMware partner Cisco's (CSCO +0.4%) bow, since it shifts network intelligence away from Cisco's switches and related management tools, and could make it easier to replace Cisco hardware with commodity gear.
- Cisco, which sold off when VMware's purchase of Nicira was announced, is attempting to counter VMware and other SDN players through its proprietary ONE SDN controller and related onePK API, both of which are set to be supported by the company's entire switch/router lineup.
- Brocade (BRCD -0.8%) Vyatta virtual router unit has also been targeting the virtual appliance market.
- Juniper (JNPR -0.2%), which is taking a more collaborative approach to SDN than Cisco (likely due to its smaller market position), plans to have its switches support NSX. Dell, H-P, and startup Arista are also on board.
- Many of the initial hardware supporters are relying on Broadcom's (BRCM -0.6%) Trident II network processor. The chipmaker has long viewed SDN (thanks to its enabling of commodity switch use) as a growth opportunity.
- Early users of NSX include Citi, eBay, and GE.
Aug. 19, 2013, 12:29 PM
- Countering last week's Reuters report, AllThingsD's Hesseldahl reports China's Ministry of Public Security isn't investigating IBM, EMC, and Oracle (ORCL) over security concerns.
- However, Hesseldahl does state U.S. tech companies are on edge over "a noticeable escalation in tension between the U.S. and China on the cyber-security front." Recent NSA spying disclosures, hacking incidents blamed on the Chinese government, and efforts to prevent Huawei and ZTE from selling equipment to U.S. carriers are the clear triggers.
- A source at a U.S. company notes "there has been a clear uptick in mentions in [Chinese] tech and business media of a growing desire among Chinese IT customers to 'buy Chinese.'"
Aug. 16, 2013, 2:46 AM
- China's Ministry of Public Security and a cabinet-level research center are reportedly planning to investigate IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL) and EMC (EMC) over security issues.
- The prospective inquiry comes after Edward Snowden's revelations of the National Security Agency's surveillance of user data at major tech companies, and that it hacked into critical networks at Chinese and Hong Kong universities.
- It also follows U.S. accusations of widespread Chinese hacking and amid American hostility to telecom infrastructure companies Huawei and ZTE because of security concerns.
- The probe would add to a growing number of Chinese investigations into major foreign firms, although these have focused on their business practices.
Aug. 7, 2013, 4:30 PM| Comment!
Jul. 24, 2013, 9:28 AMEMC +7.2% following its Q2 report, aided by VMware's numbers. The storage giant is reiterating guidance for 2013 revenue of $23.5B and EPS of $1.85 (consensus is at $23.4B and $1.86). Information Storage sales +4% Y/Y, better than Q1's +1%, thanks to a 39% increase for Emerging Storage (inc. Isilon, Atmos, and XtremIO, +24% prior). EPS lifted by the $668M spent on buybacks, as part of EMC's plan to spend $3.5B in 2013 and 1H14. High-end storage (Symmetrix) is said to have grown and gained share, but no numbers given. Also no details on mid-range sales. RSA Security +3% (+12% prior). Opex +8% Y/Y vs. 6% rev. growth. Pivotal spinoff had revenue of $70M, +11% Y/Y. U.S. sales +4%, EMEA +6%, Asia-Pac +12%, LatAm +12%. (PR) | Comment!
Jul. 24, 2013, 9:16 AM
Jul. 24, 2013, 7:21 AM
Jul. 24, 2013, 1:09 AMVMware (VMW) finished +12% AH following its Q2 beat and in-line guidance. License revenue only +2.6% Y/Y in Q2, but Q3 growth is seen totaling 9%-13%, and 2013 license growth 6%-10%. Service revenue +18% Y/Y, and the unearned revenue balance +$110M Q/Q to $3.6B. VMware mentioned on its CC Asia-Pac bookings grew 40%+ Y/Y, Americas ~20%, and Europe at a "mid-teens" rate, if one excludes the Pivotal spinoff and divestitures. 35% of license bookings involved products other than standalone vSphere (indicates solid vCloud Suite uptake); 37% of bookings involved ELAs vs. 29% in Q1; and end-user computing (PC virtualization, mobile software) license bookings rose at a mid-teens rate. EMC +4.3%. | 1 Comment
Jul. 24, 2013, 12:05 AMNotable earnings before Wednesday’s open: ABC, AOS, ARMH, ARW, ATI, BA, CAT, CFR, CKSW, CP, CVE, DAL, DPS, ECA, ELN, EMC, EVR, F, GD, GNTX, ICON, LAD, LCC, LL, LLY, MCO, MDCO, MSA, MSI, MTH, NDAQ, NOC, NOR, NYCB, OC, OCR, PCH, PEP, PLD, PVR, PX, RAI, RCI, RDN, RES, RLGY, SAVE, STX, TEL, TMO, TROW, TUP, WLP, WYN | Comment!
Jul. 23, 2013, 5:30 PMNotable earnings before Wednesday’s open: ABC, AOS, ARMH, ARW, ATI, BA, CAT, CFR, CKSW, CP, CVE, DAL, DPS, ECA, ELN, EMC, EVR, F, GD, GNTX, ICON, LAD, LCC, LL, LLY, MCO, MDCO, MSA, MSI, MTH, NDAQ, NOC, NOR, NYCB, OC, OCR, PCH, PEP, PLD, PVR, PX, RAI, RCI, RDN, RES, RLGY, SAVE, STX, TEL, TMO, TROW, TUP, WLP, WYN | Comment!
Jul. 23, 2013, 5:17 PM
EMC vs. ETF Alternatives
EMC Corp supports the businesses and service providers to transform information technology (IT) operations to an as a service model (ITaaS). It operates in three segments: EMC Information Infrastructure, Pivotal and VMware Virtual Infrastructure.
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