Oracle learns the dark side of hardware

Oracle is finally learning that the hardware business is not the software business. Revenue for the company’s Sun Microsystems-rooted servers fell 14 percent in the second quarter compared to the year-ago period. And gross margin on those hardware sales is returning to earth.

Why the big data startup boom will likely be short-lived

There has been a remarkable flowering of companies over the past year or two, all riding a wave of developer and investor enthusiasm for the loosely defined concept of “big data.” But given that the big data startup market is probably overvalued and headed for a lot of consolidation, these new companies’ days might be numbered.

Today in Social

Derrick Harris writes how EMC is wrapping its big data analysis tools in social media to boost enterprise collaboration. The idea is that social media will aid in discovery: employees other than business analysts directly charged with the task will trip over data findings they can use for business decisions. Opening up big data to non-scientists was one of the topics that came up at a recent GigaOM Pro webinar as well. That theme – and deeper dives into social enterprise collaboration – will be all over our Net:Work conference on the future of work today. I’ll be there, so drop by the Pro booth and tell us how we’re doing and help guide future research directions. If you can’t be there, check into our live feeds, and the next best thing is this analysis anthology.

Today in Cloud

Two different posts on flash storage crossed my desk yesterday. Athough perhaps overhyping things a little, both pointed to a growing maturity in the flash storage space. Chris Mellor at The Register writes about the threat posed to traditional enterprise storage vendors like EMC by Pure Storage’s all-flash array. And then Lucas Mearian at InfoWorld picks up on some Forrester research, going so far as to suggest that prospective customers “skip data tiering, go directly to all-SSD storage.” I looked at this area in a Weekly Update back in October, and it’s definitely a fascinating space. But are any of the all-flash startups really a threat to the big enterprise vendors? I still think they’re not… at least until one of those big storage vendors acquires them.