|By Michael Bushong||
|June 11, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
The shift from the mainframe to modern epochs in IT infrastructure has been well documented numerous times. Depending on the particular storyteller, the tale starts with deeply-integrated, vertical stacks that encompass everything from compute to networking in large systems that required small armies of people to deploy and manage.
As technology matured and the Internet exploded, what were once integrated functions were broken out into standalone components. This led to the second real epoch in IT infrastructure, most notable because it gave birth to the best of breeders.
This second epoch has served us well. We saw the birth of new architectures. We have perched upon new performance peaks. We have mastered new capabilities that have transformed the whole of IT. And because we are cobbling together our solutions from standalone components, we have been able to do all of this while we customize the architecture to suit our sometimes very unique needs.
But all of that has come at a cost: namely, complexity. We might experience that complexity firsthand in the form of policy madness. Or we might be secondhand consumers, choosing to deal with it by paying for service integration. Whichever we choose, we ultimately pay in one way or another.
The costs of infrastructure assembly—both time and money—are already shaping the market. Efforts like VCE and Exadata are good indicators of a change in how infrastructure and applications are consumed. Rather than relying on specialists who integrate products upon delivery, some customers are choosing to purchase already-integrated solutions.
The distinction here is integration as a service vs. integration as part of a product. In the former, integration is the outcome of some effort that happens after a product is shipped. In the latter, integration is an actual part of the product. The difference between the two might seem subtle, but it is important in terms of how the market will evolve.
If you believe that buying patterns will shift more towards a re-verticalization of IT, then individual constituents in the current IT stack will ultimately align to a relatively small number of overarching IT providers. You won’t have an integration layer in the market that handles this function (or more precisely, that layer becomes much smaller).
Today there is a swath of resellers and systems integrators that perform this integration function. In a re-verticalized market, the large suppliers handle the integration burden by assembling products that are already integrated and providing both the services and support around the final infrastructure as a whole.
This makes perfect business sense because right now those large players are leaving money on the table. If they can act as their own integrators, they can keep pricing low (essentially lowering prices but maintaining margins by cutting out the supplier in the middle).
Of course, this is not a transition that everyone can make. The largest suppliers have the customer relationships to pull this off. The smaller suppliers do not have the product center of gravity, and they lack the customer reach to operate at the kind of scale necessary to dominate.
These dynamics form the major case behind the mass consolidation of infrastructure suppliers, and arguably this is why Cisco’s CEO John Chambers has both set Cisco’s targets on being the number 1 IT supplier, and predicted a brutal consolidation of the networking space.
It is conceivable that the market can only support a small number of very large companies. Oracle and Cisco would seem poised to do well here, as would companies like HP. Dell is interesting depending on what other steps they take from a solutions perspective. IBM and maybe even companies like Intel start to look interesting.
There will be very large companies that end up on the outside looking in. It would not be surprising to see multi-billion-dollar companies struggle to grow in a changing environment like this. They might not outright die (epochs in IT are measured in decades, not individual years), but they could see a radical tapering of growth, which typically leads to other issues (talent, product pipeline, and so on).
Now while this new epoch of IT might be characterized by the mega suppliers, it won’t be only the large players that have a role. It is possible to deliver components as part of an integrated solution. But the platforms themselves will be fundamentally different, which means the next epoch components must be designed with a different endgame in mind.
The question is really about how companies exist in the second epoch while simultaneously preparing for the third. This is nontrivial – enough so that it deserves its own (future) blog post.
[Today’s fun fact: The first lighthouse to use electricity was the Statue of Liberty. Come on, baby, light my fire.]
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Jul. 24, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,097
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 24, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,805
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Jul. 24, 2016 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,032
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Jul. 24, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 877
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Jul. 24, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 688
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
Jul. 24, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,412
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
Jul. 24, 2016 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,300
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 24, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,972
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 24, 2016 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,870
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 24, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,137
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,224
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Jul. 24, 2016 01:15 AM EDT Reads: 889
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,230
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 23, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,865
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 23, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,240
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 23, 2016 10:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,445
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Jul. 23, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,952
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,672
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,780
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 23, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,035