HP Finally Boards the Mega Data Center Bandwagon

proliantHewlett Packard (s hpq)  today announced a new line of servers, a data center mapping program and some consulting and financing services aimed at companies that build out mega data centers. Potential purchasers of the new HP machines include those building cloud computing offerings and enterprise customers trying to build their own clouds or high-performance computing clusters.

Problem is, HP is late to the mega data center party. Read More about HP Finally Boards the Mega Data Center Bandwagon

Computer Sciences’ New Cloud Strategy Focuses on Security

Computer Sciences Corp. (s csc), the IT service organization, today laid out its strategy for the cloud. Unsurprisingly, CSC’s cloud products will focus on being reliable and secure enough for enterprises and the federal government. CSC will continue providing its managed hosting business, but later this year will launch an infrastructure-as-a-service product that will provide secure cloud computing and storage that takes into account geographical location and differing regulatory environments. It will also build out a platform and offer software that will help companies connect other clouds to their secure CSC clouds or to the CSC platform. Pricing and further services built on top of CSC’s clouds and other clouds will be announced in the next few months.

Most interesting to me was that Brian Boruff, vice president of CSC’s Cloud Computing business, said the company was leaning toward building its cloud infrastructure with Cisco’s new unified computing system. Read More about Computer Sciences’ New Cloud Strategy Focuses on Security

How the Cloud Will Disrupt the IT Status Quo

[qi:051] The transition to delivering software, services and compute infrastructure via the web will change the dynamics of the IT industry, shifting power away from the services players such as IBM (s ibm) and HP (s hpq) and toward companies running monolithic data center operations such as Salesforce.com (s crm), Amazon (s amzn) or Microsoft, according to three Forrester analysts I spoke with last week. James Staten, John Rymer and Ted Schadler, who all cover what Forrester calls cloud computing and I would call delivering a variety of technology via the web, talked about how learning how to scale and deliver a single type of application or service is the best way to eke out margins in the cloud.

Staten uses the consistently growing and relatively stable revenue growth provided by software as a service as compared to the cyclical sales cycles for old-school enterprise software as an example of how delivering technology products such as infrastructure as a service will play out. Plus, if different types of clouds are delivered as a service, it becomes a fundamental disadvantage to vendors such as HP or IBM, which have built up an expertise around managing heterogeneous data centers, says Staten. Read More about How the Cloud Will Disrupt the IT Status Quo

Vid-Biz: Sony, Cisco, Congdon

Sony Pictures Pulls Content from Joost; studio is putting stuff on Hulu and YouTube, but has not renewed its agreement with the once-hot web TV service. (CNET)
Cisco Partners with Avail Media for IPTV Service; the “soup-to-nuts” service processes TV programming, distributes it to telcos and their IPTV customers. (Multichannel News)
FLO TV Signs Amanda Congdon’s Series; Sometimes Daily moves to the mobile platform. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Ian Brotherston Tapped as New Dailymotion CEO; move to replace former CEO Mark Zeleski had been anticipated; Brotherston previously worked at AT&T and BT. (TVWeek)
House to Discuss Canoe Ventures; Democrats on the House Communications, Technology & Internet Subcommittee expected to bring up the cable consortium’s ad targeting service during a hearing on online privacy and targeted marketing. (Broadcasting & Cable)
AT&T U-Verse Added 284,000 Net Subs in Q1; growth is almost double what it was in Q1 2008. (Business Insider)

The GigaOM Interview: Russ Daniels, HP’s Cloud Guru

russdanielsThere’s a lot of marketing been done to promote the cloud, but few of the big computing companies have come out with clear strategies related to providing computing or other technology as a service that’s paid for on a per-instance basis. Sun Microsystems plans to launch a cloud later this summer and is working on standards for cloud computing, and IBM is putting out a lot of press releases, but HP has actually explained how it views the cloud, notably how it thinks the concept of on-demand computing will change corporate IT departments.
So I chatted with Russ Daniels, vice president and chief technology officer of HP’s Cloud Services Strategy division, to see where HP stood on openness in the cloud and how the rise of external clouds might affect the hardware business. Hewlett-Packard sells hardware to cloud providers, offers several services via the web (some would call them cloud services) and is working to help enterprises capture the value of virtualized and automated IT systems.  An edited version of my conversation with Daniels follows. Read More about The GigaOM Interview: Russ Daniels, HP’s Cloud Guru

Cisco’s Unified Server Takes Memory to the Max

A month after Cisco (s CSCO) unveiled its Unified Computing System, it has finally released pricing, processing power and memory details. The bottom line is this: the performance of the servers and overall system seem to be in line with competing products from HP (s HPQ) and IBM (s IBM) built on Intel’s latest Xeon 5500 chips, but Cisco’s offerings have more than twice the memory. That’s essential, because the goal of the Cisco box is to take virtualization to the next level.
Each system maxes out at 320 blades that have access to 384 GB of memory, compared to about 144 GB in a typical high-memory server configuration. Cisco’s blades use that extra memory to virtualize as much as possible. In addition to virtualizing the hardware so software can be abstracted, Cisco is now trying to virtualize the networking interface so the hardware can talk to whatever device it needs to on the network without manual intervention from the IT staff and a lot of cabling. In the process, Cisco has abstracted the firmware and network cards associated with each of its blades. Read More about Cisco’s Unified Server Takes Memory to the Max

Fusion-io Gets $47.5M and Flash Storage Gets Interesting

Updated: Fusion-io said today it has raised $47.5 million in second-round funding led by Lightspeed Venture, and formally announced David Bradford as CEO. The enterprise Flash drive startup also saw Series A investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Dell Ventures and Sumitomo Ventures, return for this round of funding. The company is one of several trying to deal with the data deluge by using Flash memory to speed up access to stored information inside the data center.
Bradford, who had taken over the CEO role after former CEO Don Basile left the company earlier this year, was previously a senior V-P at Fusion-io. Earlier in his career, Bradford was an executive at Novell (s NOVL), which explains a quote in Fusion-io’s funding announcement that was offered by Google (s GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, who employed Bradford at Novell. I would have found it more interesting if Google were buying Fusion-io’s drives. Read More about Fusion-io Gets $47.5M and Flash Storage Gets Interesting

Why You Should Care About Intel’s New Server Chip

151569Intel (s INTC) today unveiled its latest and greatest Nehalem chip for servers (now known as the Xeon 5500 series), setting off a round of announcements and articles comparing technical specifications across server vendors. And at 2.93 GHz (with certain tweaks it can get up to 3.33 Ghz), indeed, the chip is screamingly fast. Which is all well and good, but if you’re still unclear as to what all the fuss is about, we’ve broken down for you three areas where Intel’s Nehalem chip changes the game. Read More about Why You Should Care About Intel’s New Server Chip

Dell Ties Servers and Services Even Closer

Dell today launched several enterprise products aimed at cutting back on one of the more stubborn costs in an IT department — the IT professionals. Its new lines of servers include features such as ImageDirect, which eliminates the IT professional’s role in installing an image on a server. From CNet:

It’s all part of the “new Dell,” according to Brad Anderson, Dell’s senior vice president in charge of enterprise products. Five years ago, Dell was primarily concerned with cost-efficient supply chains. Now, he says, that same company sees “cost isn’t just hardware and services, but the personnel around it.”

Dell automates and measures the heck out of things. No detail is too small if it will shave off time and money from a company’s manufacturing process. A friend of mine who works there once told me that shortly after Dell made a cost-cutting announcement, she noticed that the automatic paper towel dispenser in the bathroom had started spitting out half the length of paper towel — presumably saving some small amount of money. Read More about Dell Ties Servers and Services Even Closer

Cisco’s Data Center Moves to Spark More M&A

Update: Last week Cisco (s CSCO) announced its move into the data center (something Om prophesied a year ago) with what it called a Unified Computing System that will compete with offerings primarily from HP (s HPQ) and IBM (s IBM). A few days later, rumors circulated that IBM might buy Sun Microsystems (s JAVA) for $6.5 billion (or that maybe Cisco should). And as these tech titans fight for supremacy of the data center, at least one analyst firm believes the end result will be even more M&A.
The way it’s likely to play out is Cisco will strive to look more like HP and IBM, while they in turn may seek to look more like Cisco, with its networking focus. A UBS report issued yesterday offers a rundown as to how this all may happen. Read More about Cisco’s Data Center Moves to Spark More M&A