CPI case study: IBM and SoftLayer would be greater together

Data from 451 Research’s Cloud Price Index suggests that IBM is missing a trick. By going all-in and baking SoftLayer with Bluemix, IBM would gain a leading position in the market in terms of completeness of services and global availability, as well as finally delivering a single user experience.

Owen over at 451 suggests that IBM hasn’t yet merged SoftLayer into Bluemix totally, missing out on a high ranking in cloud providers (by functionality, geographic availability, etc.). Also: “The company claims $10.2bn in cloud revenue, a growth rate of 46% Y/Y, and 20,000 new users per week.”

Source: CPI case study: IBM and SoftLayer would be greater together

Docker: IaaS or PaaS? Reflections on DockerCon EU (451 Research)

Relative size of PaaS vs. IaaS and Hadoop

As mentioned in my newsletter recently, I typed up a think piece on Docker (the company and the emerging ecosystem after it’s EU conference earlier this month. 451 clients can read it behind the paywall, but here’s the 451 Take:

The ecosystem around the Docker container technology is in the process of figuring out Docker’s identity while at the same time contending with a sudden rise in popularity. Although early attention on Docker paired it up against the likes of VMware at, let’s say, the IaaS level, as we investigate further, Docker looks like more of a PaaS innovator. VMware would certainly like that option, and Docker Inc spent much of its recent conference in Amsterdam talking more about Docker-as-PaaS – through the lens of ‘microservices’ – than Docker-as-IaaS. From this vantage point, it looks more like dotCloud never really stopped being a PaaS vendor and, instead, under its new name of Docker is just evolving the nature of PaaS.

You can read a few more pre-copydesk excerpts in that newsletter edition as well. Apply for a trial if you’re not a client (you should be!).

Docker: IaaS or PaaS? Reflections on DockerCon EU (451 Research)

StackStorm automates and monitors a core DevOps asset: the software delivery pipeline – 451 Report

I’ve been speaking with StackStorm on and off for a few months now. I finally got around to writing up a report on them, available for clients.

Here’s the 451 Take:

StackStorm fancies itself an automation company, and with experience from Opalis Software, it’s little wonder. What’s interesting about its approach is that it’s automating the DevOps pipeline, including the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) process. This may seem like a minor concern, namely, working on developer tools. And ‘developers don’t pay for anything,’ right? However, in cloud native application and DevOps teams, the CI/CD pipeline is the core factory for a company: it’s a mission-critical process that needs as much monitoring and automation as production itself. If your business depends on being able to deploy new code every week – or daily – anything that slows down that pipeline is bad, very bad. Not only that, integrating the pipeline with production monitoring and automation helps realize the full continuous delivery vision. Hence, StackStorm finds itself in an interesting position, vision-wise: we’ll take care of the new mission-critical asset for you, the DevOps pipeline. Few other vendors have that scope of vision, at the moment at least.

Check out the full report behind 451’s paywallapply for a trial if needed, there’s great stuff back there!

StackStorm automates and monitors a core DevOps asset: the software delivery pipeline – 451 Report

VMware consolidates its systems and cloud management suite into vRealize, with SaaS

Usage of VMware tools

My brief report of VMware re-swizzling it’s cloud management tools into the “vRealize” brand is up now. More than just a re-branding, the intention is to systematically refactor the collection of tolls (vCAC, Log Insights, their “cloud business” tools, and others) into a set of more stand-alone services that can be composed into different combinations, sort of microservices oriented, maybe. Here’s the 451 Take:

As we’ve noted previously, the VMware management portfolio had started to get too large to easily comprehend. Traditional Big Four vendors have long faced this challenge of simplifying their suites. The goal here is not only to make it easier for customers to evaluate and decide what to buy, but to make using the functionality in the suite easier for end users. The contrast between large suites of products and best-of-breed ‘products’ comes up most sharply in transition periods like the movement from plain old virtualization to cloud that we’re currently seeing. With the large portfolio it’s built and acquired over the years, VMware must do this consolidation to compete with best-of-breed competitors. It will take time. One positive note is that the use of SaaS may help defeat the perilous path of integrating the road maps and architectures of previously independent products if VMware can convince customers to go the ITMaaS route… a task in which others like ServiceNow are finding great success.

Much of the time is spent explaining why VMware would do this rather than speeds and feeds’ing through the software. 451 clients can read the full report, or apply for a trial if you’d like to take a peek.

VMware consolidates its systems and cloud management suite into vRealize, with SaaS

SolidFire’s OpenStack reference architecture is driving new sales and thought leadership

Reference architecture

My report on SolidFire’s OpenStack reference architecture (RA) is now up. In addition to covering the RA itself, I was more curious to hear how the business had been going that is, “is it a thing?” As I put in my newsletter the day of the briefing, it seems like the answer is yes.

Here’s the 451 Take:

SolidFire’s flash-driven software-defined storage approach has always been interesting: It promises to act as a generic pool of very fast storage, supporting multiple workloads on each box, with different performance characteristics as desired. The company has been looking to move beyond being just another storage provider, and its reference architectures in OpenStack and VMware, sold under the Agile Infrastructure brand, seem to be doing just that. SolidFire says the resulting thought-leadership has changed many of its customer conversations to a holistic cloud discussion rather than it being just a parts supplier for cloud projects. Our ongoing work in cloud and OpenStack shows that end users are eager for simpler and easier approaches to getting up and running with public and private cloud, and with so many companies planning cloud projects in the next two years, SolidFire should find plenty of traction.

Clients can read the full report with some future looking plans, commentary on momentum and pipeline, and a similar RA for VMware that SolidFire just released

SolidFire’s OpenStack reference architecture is driving new sales and thought leadership

In an API-driven cloud, Intigua wants to wrap APIs around your management midsection

Intigua's stack vision

A report I wrote on Intigua is up now. Here’s the 451 Take for y’all now:

Intigua has always been a company with a difficult marketing proposition, having started off as a packaging and deployment balm for systems management agents. While there is certainly utility to ‘managing the managers,’ a broader positioning and purpose was clearly needed. Intigua’s new positioning as an enabler of cloud management APIs looks encouraging, and if the company can extend into ‘orchestration’ as a consequence, it can start addressing one of the major gaps of large enterprises that are ‘going cloud.’ It’s nice that all of those cloud-native companies can manage tens of applications with their devops and cloud approaches – but how will the large companies of the world manage the tens of thousands of applications they’re beset with?

In talking with some folks who’ve been dealing with so-called “APIs” at the infrastructure stack…there’s a lot of work to do to make the management layer APIs behave like one would expect. Because WS-*.

Intigua bought re-print rights to the last piece I wrote on them, so you can read it for free on their site.

Client can read the full report, and try a trial if you’re not signed up with us yet.

In an API-driven cloud, Intigua wants to wrap APIs around your management midsection

Zenoss is on the hunt for large enterprises with a little help from Hadoop and Docker (451 Report)

Zenoss Sponsored Netbook

Back in my RedMonk days, I spoke with Zenoss a lot, so it was nice to finally catch-up with them again. They’re moving up-market and adding spending much time beefing up their back-end to handle the resulting, larger scale demands for a systems management platform in the enterprise space.

The full report is available for 451 clients, but here’s the 451 Take:

Zenoss has been undergoing much change in recent years. While other startups were snatched up and folded into larger vendors’ emerging cloud portfolios, Zenoss remained independent. The company has been transforming from its open source roots and now is solidly a commercial company, focusing upmarket on $45,000+ deals instead of smaller accounts. This is a wise move that lifts Zenoss out of competing at the low end (where the expansive nature of the platform makes the proposition too expensive) and allows it to focus on large enterprises that tend to like overstuffed systems management portfolios vs. the point tools from the likes of SolarWinds and others, which gobble up cash in the midmarket and below. As companies are switching their IT over to more cloud-like infrastructures, management vendors like Zenoss that can keep up with the new demands should find opportunities for growth.

Is it working? Further in the report we cover the financial metrics that are known:

The company says it has seen 30% Y/Y revenue growth and is now ‘north’ of $20m in annual revenue (Inc. reported its 2013 revenue at $22.4m). Zenoss says this is a record high and that it has a 93% renewal rate.

If you’re not a client, sign-up for a trial to take a peek behind our paywall.

Zenoss is on the hunt for large enterprises with a little help from Hadoop and Docker (451 Report)

Teradici’s remote workstation access product paves the way for a new type of WaaS (451 Report)

As you may recall, I write about virtual desktop stuff from time-to-time. Teradici recently launched a new workstation remote access package for engineers and CAD/CAM types. My 451 report on the topic is out, co-authored with Scott Ottaway.

Teradici is an interesting company in this space as they get most of their revenue (70-75%) from OEM’ing their PCoIP technology to the likes of VMware, Amazon, HP, and many others for embedded use in those OEM’ers products and services.

Here’s the 451 Take:

As the needs for end-user computing devices continue to fragment, Teradici is wise to expand its portfolio and look downmarket. Its focus on specific use cases with high-end line-of-business applications is smart because of the potential revenue for these applications. We feel there will be a constant need for virtual desktops in the engineering and security fields, which like the controlled access. As new devices get into companies through BYOD programs, the demand for virtual desktop services is likely to increase for companies that need to support access to ‘traditional’ desktop applications from these new devices. Adding the ability to connect to workstations as a service in the public cloud should be appealing, especially for smaller businesses that may want to shift large up-front capital costs to ongoing operating expenses, renting monthly instead of buying up front. The company will have to pay special attention to building up its direct sales and marketing operations and expand beyond single OEM customers to maximize its growth opportunities.

It’s a nice strategic move for the company to try and amp up it’s non-OEM business.

Client can read the full report, or sign up for a trial (why not?).

Teradici’s remote workstation access product paves the way for a new type of WaaS (451 Report)

Contentful seeks to purify content management with RESTful APIs and cloud services (451 Report)

Nike in-store touchscreen

I spoke with the folks at Contentful recently. They have an interesting smoothie of API management and CMS that looks hopeful to people like me who remember “mashups.”

Anyhow, as always, the full report is available for clients, but here’s the 451 Take:

As companies seek to become ‘digital enterprises,’ many are faced with the challenge of omni-channel marketing and content distribution: delivering content to Web browsers, mobile and tablet browsers, and even in-car systems, for example. While dreams of ‘mashups’ in the past sought to deliver programmer-friendly ways of accessing cleaned, tidy data over standard Web protocols, that technology doesn’t seem to have rolled out to the market beyond early prototypes popular at conferences – after all, who says ‘mashup’ any more? Contentful is bringing an interesting, RESTful, public cloud API approach to content management. The company’s challenge will be to out-innovate larger competitors that have much to lose in the small content management market.

You can also apply to get trial access (why not?) to read this report and more of what we have tucked away behind the paywall.

Contentful seeks to purify content management with RESTful APIs and cloud services (451 Report)

Rackspace continues to bring DevOps to the mainstream with new services (451 Report)

Chart shows people want to deploy more frequently

My recent report on Rackspace’s DevOps services is up. For a flat rate of $5,000 a month on-top of your cloud services they’ll do all sorts of DevOps-y things for for you.

The full report is available for clients, but here’s the 451 Take:

In our studies on DevOps, we’re constantly finding that companies would like to decrease the time it takes to get new applications and features into production. In one of our recent DevOps studies, more than 50% of mainstream (that is, non-technology) companies wanted to deploy their applications more frequently, especially companies with more than 100,000 employees. While much of what is required to achieve the benefits of DevOps is about ‘culture’ change (changing processes and roles within companies), that’s always been an obtuse thing to implement. On the other hand, there are quickly evolving tools and best practices that are more straightforward. Rackspace is doing an admirable job of bundling these tools and practices into two services that aim to help companies do DevOps. This type of offering, of course, aligns nicely with Rackspace’s new ‘we’re not just another cheap cloud’ managed cloud positioning. The DevOps market is in the early stages, but exploring specialized offerings like this will be key for Rackspace in building out its ‘managed cloud’ portfolio and positioning.

If you’re not a client, why not try a trial?

Rackspace continues to bring DevOps to the mainstream with new services (451 Report)