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

CloudBees launches certification and new private SaaS offering backed by Jenkins 2.0

2014, when the company pivoted away from its public PaaS offering to focus on Jenkins. That seems to have been the right move – headcount has grown from 60 to 164 since then, and revenue increased 150% year over year in 2015.

There’s pricing in there too and some notes on enterprise customers if you have 451 access.

Source: CloudBees launches certification and new private SaaS offering backed by Jenkins 2.0

“Are you Future Ready?”

Dell ads in Austin airport

There’s a quick overview of Dell’s new “we do all of IT” marketing push up. They’ve got their cloud management strategy in play:

The company doesn’t have its own public cloud infrastructure, but it’s happy to help set up a private cloud or link a customer to one of the major public clouds, such as those offered by Amazon, Google or Microsoft, and run it all for them. And if they want to run it themselves? Dell can build the software needed to manage all of those clouds in one place. Security concerns means that businesses will always need to maintain some level of in-house IT architecture, which needs to be maintained. Dell wants a piece of that action, even if the overall pie is shrinking.

And it looks like they’ve been growing account sizes (a possible indication that they’re selling more new stuff, not the same old stuff):

The company recently [back in Sep 2014] said that the aggressive strategy was paying off, with new lines of business within existing Dell accounts up 175% in North America for the quarter ending April 30, compared with the same quarter last year.

In an interview with their new hardware CTO, you can peek into what they’re thinking beyond “computers are awesome,” among other comments, e.g.:

“There’s been an interesting transition happening in the market where things used to be a web economy, and it’s in a transition to becoming an application economy. I would say that today we’re seeing an API economy. Customers’ focus isn’t necessarily on developing applications. Many do, but it’s really about how quickly can you tile together a service through the integration of multiple APIs from services that already exist?”

Dell’s problem in expanding their business has typically been, ironically, not getting low level enough to explain the “how” and “what” of their new stuff. They’re often big on “why” and end-result instead. I’d get all excited when they’d stoop down into the stack as their last hardware CTO was prone to do in recent years.

Having helped put together software and cloud strategy a few years ago when I worked there: I hope it works out for my old pals in Round Rock.

“Are you Future Ready?”

Red Hat’s cloud deals

“In fact, the number of top 30 deals that included OpenStack or OpenShift this quarter tripled from Q4 a year ago,” Whitehurst said. “Interestingly, one technology customer expanded their existing OpenShift deal this quarter and we now have our first $10 million plus OpenShift customer.”

Feedly grows subscribers 900% from 2013 to 2015

As a heavy RSS user, I care a lot about Feedly. So, when they announced that they’d gotten 50,000 paid subscribers, I threw together some quick math:

Feedly growth from 2013 to 2015
Feedly growth from 2013 to 2015

This isn’t a perfect comparision because the terms of subscriptions are different. The first 5,000 subscribers came from a Kickstarter selling a lifetime subscription for $99 (I was lucky enough to get in on that). The next batch – 45,000, I presume – are paying $45/year.

Still, there’s some cash. Hopefully it’s eough to keep it going. I actually just use Feedly for a backend as I do most of my reading in Newsify. What I’d really like is Flipboard to work with Feedly. But, you know, this isn’t the mid-2000s when things like that would happen.

@walmartlabs is now running in excess of 100,000 nodes of OpenStack on its compute layer. And that’s growing by the day.

It’s also the technology that ran parent company Walmart’s prodigious Cyber Monday and holiday season sales operations. If that’s not production, I’m not sure what is.

Cloud service providers in their many forms drive an astonishing 35 percent of server CPU revenues for Intel, and these customers are the first ones to drive the company to offer customized chips. This year, 23 percent of server CPU chips bought by cloud service providers will be custom, and Intel expects it to be more than half of server chips purchased by cloud companies in 2015. Intel has roughly 100 standard Xeon and Atom SKUs at any time, but this year did 35 custom SKUs on top of that, compared to 15 custom chips a year ago.

They dubbed it Slack and released it in August 2013. Since then, Slack has grown swiftly: more than 300,000 people use it each day, and the company has more than 73,000 paid users. The company has also raised a lot of venture capital funding—about $163 million since the company switched its focus to Slack.


Jimminy-fuck-crickets that’s a of lot of cash to raise. People do talk about Slack a lot. Any of you knuckleheads out there use it?

Momentum at Constellation Research, customer numbers

That old pay to play model just doesn’t suit us. So this makes it hard to make it all work. We know it’s tough, but we also know it’s worth pursuing. We do have to thank over 100 sell side (vendor) and 200+ buy side (end users) clients. And to address someone else’s comment, these aren’t webinar attendees (we’d be able to list 1000 clients in that case) These 200 represent folks who’ve engaged us for subscriptions, advisory services, or attended our programs.

Also, in that same comment from Ray, a fun analysis of doing staffing at an analyst firm.

Momentum at Constellation Research, customer numbers

Dell’s end-user device management portfolio, KACE, has grown revenue 5x since acquisition (451 Report)

I checked in with Dell’s end-user device management folks, KACE, recently and wrote up a report. Patching and all that isn’t exactly thrilling (but, as they say, necessary), however, it’s interesting to see the momentum the acquisition has had since 2010. Because we’d been collecting revenue from KACE over the years (thanks to Dennis), we could estimate what growing the business 5x looked like.

The full report which goes over recent updates, competition, etc. is up for clients. Here’s the 451 Take:

While end-user device management may seem one of the less glamorous sides of IT, it’s a vital ‘keeping the lights on’ function. If you showed up to work and there was no device to send emails from, everything would (perhaps delightfully!) grind to a halt. Nowadays, end-user device management is all about enabling employees to use different types of devices rather than straitjacketing them into outdated ones, and KACE seems to be keeping up with the times. We’re equally interested in KACE’s progress as an indication of how the vision for the Dell Software group is playing out. It seems to be going well, with KACE revenue having increased 5x to about $100m by our estimate. While this represents just 5-6% of Dell Software’s $1.8bn revenue, that growth should be viewed as good. Of course, as software, its margins should be far and away higher than Dell’s hardware business. John Swainson, Dell Software group’s president, has commented that he’d expect to see software contributing 25% of Dell’s profits, never mind the relative top-line. Indeed, as IBM has shown over the years, that’s the point of a software group inside a systems group – cash contribution.

As always, I like to get a sense of the numbers and the relative size of things. The KACE group was one of the first software assets (albeit packaged as an appliance) that caught my attention and impressed me about Dell ambling into software, back in 2011.

And, as always, you can apply for a trial and mention me to get a preview of the stuff we have behind the paywall.

Dell’s end-user device management portfolio, KACE, has grown revenue 5x since acquisition (451 Report)

Cisco’s 19 years of mega-growth

Since being tapped to lead Cisco in 1995, Chambers has grown the company from a $2.2 billion hardware manufacturer to a $48.6 billion network hardware, software, security and services powerhouse that’s more bullish than ever on becoming the world’s No. 1 IT company. Cisco had 3,827 employees when Chambers was appointed CEO. Today, there are more than 70,000.

Also, a somewhat random DevOps callout from a senior executive:

“We are going to move the entire engineering organization to a DevOps and an Agile development model,” Lloyd said. “That’s hard work. But, in many cases, it’s a different way of doing things that will allow us to do things quicker, faster and much more customer-centric.”

And, on whatever InterCloud is, perhaps “EverythingCloud”?:

“Intercloud is a step beyond a public cloud,” Chambers said. “Think of Intercloud as Cisco services delivered from a cloud: hosted communication, security, collaboration. Think of it as our customers’ private cloud capabilities. Think of it as our partners’ and Cisco’s architectural implementation of this, if you will, in terms of our partner clouds. And think of it in terms of a public cloud.”

Cisco’s 19 years of mega-growth

Microsoft estimates it has 14% device share

At it partner conference, Microsoft’s Kevin Turner portrays the company as having 14% device (PC, smartphone, tablets) share:

In a world of 14 per cent device share, we have a new mindset: you have to have a challenger mindset. Everyone has to have a challenger mindset.

Pretty astonishing if that’s the case, or near it. El Reg covered that a 14% number, from Gartner, earlier as well with more breakout.

Meanwhile, some momentum elsewhere:

Turner claimed 785 customers had been “rescued” from Google in the last 18 months, that Microsoft is “eating VMware’s lunch” with Hyper-V, that Windows Azure added 42,000 customers during the last year and that SharePoint is a $2bn-a-year business.

Some additional quotes from that talk here too, going over VMware account wins.

Microsoft estimates it has 14% device share

CFEngine marching along

More than 10 million servers in the world are managed by CFEngine today, which is around a quarter of all of the machines installed, depending on whose estimate of the server base you use. Around 10,000 companies worldwide are using CFEngine in at least 100 countries globally.

CFEngine marching along

Self-service IT to bring in $10m/qtr for BMC

MyIT 2.0 started shipping at the end of April, and is already off to a fast start with nearly $5M in deals during BMC’s fourth quarter — including major telecom, financial services, transportation and consumer packaged goods customers. BMC expects MyIT 2.0 will generate $10 million per quarter in revenue going forward, with pull-through revenue for other parts of our business.

And, back in my, the company said it had over 900 SaaS customers across it’s SaaS portfolio.

Self-service IT to bring in $10m/qtr for BMC

One of the better summaries of enterprise OpenStack adoption

In a story about Mirantis running on IBM SoftLayer:

Gauging the uptake of OpenStack in enterprises has been tricky, whether it’s deployed afresh or to replace existing Amazon EC2 or VMware installations. Interest in hiring OpenStack talent is growing, and vendors such as Red Hat are tying in OpenStack closely with their respective Linux distributions. But signs show that the average OpenStack installation is rather modest and OpenStack has struggled to find larger market share — possibly, as InfoWorld’s Dave Linthicum observed, due to its continued lack of robust networking features.

Hopefully company’s using OpenStack will start talking more, then we’ll have a fuller picture of it’s adoption, namely, in private cloud.

In our 451 usage surveys, OpenStack ranks high – second, next to VMware, see chart above – so it seems like there’s usage out there. Quoting from that TheInfoPro piece:

While 36% of respondents already have a cloud platform in production use, 35% will be selecting and deploying a cloud platform for the first time in the next two years or more, and it is not unreasonable to expect that some early adopters will switch horses as the race continues to evolve. As a direct result of its dominance in the enterprise workload virtualization market, and corresponding investment in licensing and expertise, VMware is usually guaranteed a place at the table. However, it is by no means guaranteed a leading position in the cloud platform race that is still very much in its early stages. – See more at: http://theinfopro.blogs.451research.com/index.php/2014/06/the-openstack-tipping-point-will-it-go-over-the-edge/#sthash.4WcArbgu.dpuf

One of the better summaries of enterprise OpenStack adoption

SAP HANA momemtum

SAP’s own Business Suite application stack running atop HANA has broken through 1,000 customers and is one of the fastest-growing products in the company’s four decades of operation.

Also, some notes in what OSes are used to run SAP, esp. the database portion: UNIX almost never for new deploys.

SAP HANA momemtum

ING infects Capital One with Agile

When Capital One started to roll out agile development in 2011, Wolfs said it amounted to just one percent of software that was delivered. Today, 85 percent of software is delivered by the agile method. With agile, Capital One now also releases approximately 400 product releases a month, has cut delivery times to three to six months while “cutting costs significantly” and has 95 percent of products meet expectations on the first release, according to Wolfs.

That 400 releases figure speaks to the scale of the applications supported in large banks. Getting a handle on the population of custom written software (that is, NOT package software in use, but software the enterprise has written itself) is difficult, so tracers like this are helpful.

ING infects Capital One with Agile

People using mobile apps more than the mobile web: “The data tells a clear story that apps, which were considered a mere fad a few years ago, are completely dominating mobile, and the browser has become a single application swimming in a sea of apps.” From Flurry

DigitalOcean gets $37.2m from a16z, with ~100k customers

Some pundits may argue that it is also going up against Amazon Web Services, but this is not the case: at around 5,000 Intel-powered Dell and SuperMicro servers the company fields around five percent of Rackspace’s fleet, and at most one per cent of Amazon’s.

This funding caps off a period of torrential growth for the company. In January 2013, it had about 2,000 customers and by the end of the year it was closer to 100,000, Uretsky said.

Hey, that SoftLayer investment worked out well.

DigitalOcean gets $37.2m from a16z, with ~100k customers

Dropbox at “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue

Of all the start-ups, though, Dropbox has seemed to enjoy the most meteoric growth. It just reached 200 million users—or about 10 times as many people as it had at the end of 2010. Its revenue has grown 20 fold since late 2010 and is now in the “hundreds of millions of dollars” per year range, say the people familiar with Dropbox’s funding plans.

It’s be cool to know the margins.

Dropbox at “hundreds of millions of dollars” in revenue

451 Research: Boundary wants to be your MOM – Boundary

Most of what I write professionally is behind a paywall now, so it’s fun when something gets unleashed. One of our clients, Boundary, re-printed a piece on them I wrote recently, which provides an update and overview of their business, and speaks to their new VPC-driven private cloud offering.

Here’s an excerpt of the customers section, which is good for a quick, numbers-driven take on Boundary’s momentum:

Boundary reports 100 paying customers and about 1,000 non-paying customers in its ‘freemium’ model. Its primary customer base thus far has been cloud-native customers such as SaaS companies – Okta and Urban Airship, for example. The company says these types of customers account for 50% of its customer base. Boundary does have ‘traditional’ customers like Johnson & Johnson, which accounts for about 80% of revenue. The company says its average deal size is now $60,000, up from $25,000 in July 2013 (both figures annually, per customer), with several customers spending more than $100,000 per year. In each case, these customers have been looking to support applications they’ve written that are deployed to the public cloud. Boundary says that many customers are from the IBM Netcool customer base and are looking for better event management. The private cloud version of Boundary should help address that pull further, allowing monitoring of applications on both sides of the firewall, not just in the public cloud.

451 Research: Boundary wants to be your MOM – Boundary