IBM goes all consumer-y in its bid for continued relevance

IBM’s partnership with Twitter (Twitter!) is all about making the company’s Watson and other tools more aware of what’s going on in today’s world. That means Twitter data — all that fodder for sentiment analysis, etc. — will flow into various IBM services. And, IBM being IBM — it will also mean a new “Twitter” certification for some 10,000 IBM consultants.

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 1.04.47 PMThe [company]Twitter[/company] deal announced this week is the latest in a series of moves to bring [company]IBM[/company], once seen as the gold standard of enterprise IT, more into the 21st century where data flows in not just from relational databases but from devices and social media streams.

In July it inked a deal with Apple hereby IBM will develop iOS versions of its enterprise software and support iPhones and iPads in enterprise accounts.

Big Blue, which once scored headlines (and not the good kind) by refusing to let employees use unvetted iPhones or social applications — now seems fully aboard the consumerization-of-IT bandwagon. And it doesn’t take a genius to wonder why given that this consumerization of IT or bring-your-own-device/applications/cloud trend has taken hold. The real question is what took so long.

Just to show how much the tech-vendor landscape has changed, Facebook, probably the ultimate in consumer IT, surpassed IBM in market capitalization in August and hasn’t looked back. Facebook, via its Open Compute Project effort, is also helping shape how the massive scale data centers of the future will run. What does it say about this era when Facebook may be a more significant force in driving data center operations than IBM?


IBM Market Cap Chart

IBM Market Cap data by YCharts


Jeremy Burton sketches in EMC cloud plans


On this week’s Structure Show, Jeremy Burton, EMC’s president of product and marketing talks about how EMC’s storage know-how — in hardware and software — forms a firm foundation for that company’s hybrid cloud game plan.

He also talks up how EMC’s recent acquisitions — Cloudscaling, Maginatics and Spanning — will fit into that roadmap.

DSSD, the Andy Bechtolsheim-backed solid-state storage startup EMC bought last year and Viper, its software-defined storage layer, will be key foundations for future products. There will be plenty of room and demand in this world for both cheap, commodity hardware and more specialized super-fast hardware to nuke latency for apps that demand it.

Some next-gen apps will be virtualized, but many will not be and for those EMC cannot rely on the VMware or Microsoft orchestration layers. For those apps, Burton said, “We’re looking for to be the foundational [management and orchestration] layer for our next-generation converged infrastructure. It’s got a big role to play.”

Maginatics, is for people with on-premises data want to use cheap public cloud perhaps for storing their cold or not-often-used data. Maginatics cloud gateway with its global virtual file system and deduplication “will be the basis of a set of storage and data protection in the cloud services,” Burton said.

Spanning is for companies that run Office 365 and/or and other SaaS apps that want to make absolutely sure their data and apps area backed up.

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Hosts: Barbara Darrow and Derrick Harris

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Jeremy Burton, EMC president of product and marketing.

Jeremy Burton, EMC president of product and marketing.

Gear up for OpenStack, Amazon events

Don’t like this week’s cloud news? Give it a few days.

This week Gigaom’s David Meyer will be reporting from the OpenStack Summit in Paris. And the following week we’ll have all the news from AWS Re:invent in Las Vegas.