Beware of vendors bearing sponsored research

There are a couple of things I’ve learned in way-too-many years covering technology. First: never put much stock in vendor-sponsored research. Would Vendor A really publicize the release of benchmarks that show its product is less feature rich/more expensive/slower than Vendor B’s? Um, no.  As a former IDC research analyst once cautioned more than a decade ago, “you can slice and dice numbers to say anything you want.” And he who pays wins. Always.

Second: Cost is not always the primary consideration in technology buying choices, but it’s nearly always one factor. Business buyers considering cloud, for example, will want to think whatever they buy is at least in the ballpark of the price leader — and then may opt for a more expensive option. Say one with better support and service (which is what Rackspace is betting on). Or perhaps something better suited for enterprise workloads which do not have the same requirements as [company]Netflix[/company] or another [company]Amazon[/company] poster-child account for webscale computing. That is where I would expect VMware, which owns most of server virtualization loads inside company data centers, to put its bets.

But [company]VMware[/company] has decided it needs to show that its year-old vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS) initially pushed as a competitor to AWS public cloud, then not so much, is now again being pushed as the cloud to beat AWS, Azure etc. not just on performance but on raw price. VMware SVP Bill Fathers said as much directly at the end of his Structure 2014 talk in June (see video below). And two weeks ago,  VMware VP of Cloud Services Mathew Lodge blogged about the results  of the aforementioned benchmarks  — conducted by Principled Research — that purported to show vCHS to be much less expensive than AWS and/or [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure.

I ducked the issue, figuring citing lesson number one above. But some outlets took up the challenge. CRN posted an initial take then a follow up that showed even VMware partners doubted many of the findings. Ben Kepes took a deeper look at Forbes. Net reaction, profound skepticism but hey,there’s no such thing as bad ink, right?



IBM, Lenovo server deal good to go

U.S. regulators have approved the $2.3 billion sale of [company]IBM’s[/company] server business to [company]Lenovo[/company]. The proposed sale was announced in late January and approved by Chinese authorities in July leaving the only hurdle remaining the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) which has now given the nod to teh deal, according to an IBM statement on Friday.

As part of this deal  Lenovo will gain IBM’s

“System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations.”


Structure Show Podcast

Chris Aker, founder of dev-friendly [company]Linode[/company],  on why AWS isn’t the be-all-and-end-all for cloud providers

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

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