Sumo Logic and the Challenge of Full-stack System Management

Modern application development and deployment is built around the principles of virtualization, agility, scalability, and manageability.

Topics: Application Development & Deployment Systems Management

What HPE Synergy’s Composable Infrastructure Means to Application Development and Deployment

On December 1 2015, HPE announced its composable hybrid infrastructure, called HPE Synergy. I wanted to take a look at the announcement from both the technological side and from the developer's practical perspective.

Topics: Application Development & Deployment hybrid cloud HPE

AWS' 3-Part Formula for Driving Agility in the Cloud

It has often been said that there is strength in numbers. At the NYC AWS Summit, AWS CTO Werner Vogels flexed Amazon’s collective cloud muscles by pointing out that AWS has 10x the cloud capacity in use than all of the other cloud providers put together. I guess there are exceptions to that old "strength in numbers" aphorism. 

Topics: Cloud Computing Application Development & Deployment AWS

Microsoft Reinvents 3D Glasses with HoloLens

Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference in San Francisco was the focus of a wide variety of application development announcements. While Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform would rate as one of the most important announcements of the conference, Microsoft’s HoloLens stole the show when it came to visual impact and astonishment. While Microsoft is being unusually tight lipped about when the HoloLens device will be made available or its price, their objective at Build 2015 was to create a spectacle and solicit some carefully orchestrated developer feedback. Although Microsoft refused to talk about what went into the development of HoloLens, they did allow us to demo it in a highly controlled setting.

Topics: Microsoft Application Development & Deployment

Maximizing the Difference: A Better Way to Understand Developer Needs

In my last blog, regarding the 12 questions that separate PaaS leaders from laggards, questions 8 and 9 asked about what features developers wanted to see in PaaS products and what importance developers would attach to each of these features. The challenge was that I had a list of 20 features. Expecting a developer to reliably rank order 20 features is as likely as Larry Ellison getting married again. However, in the market research space, there is a type of discrete choice analysis named maximum-difference. Max-diff is an approach for understanding preference or importance. The reason max-diff warrants attention is that the scores generated are both linear and consistent. That means that if you have a list of features and feature A has a score of X and feature B has a score of say 2X, then feature B is twice as important as feature A. This added precision in understanding feature preference or importance makes portfolio analysis far easier, especially when comparing feature set costs with feature set preference. This precision also provides a reliable foundation for comparing the preference for one vendor relative to other vendors. For this reason, max-diff analysis is widely used to understand brand preference, customer satisfaction, feature preference, and message testing.

Topics: Application Development & Deployment

Informatica and the Challenge of Data Unification

Informatica is clearly a leader in data integration. In fact, a case could be made for Informatica being the leader in data integration. Since superlatives are not typically part of my lexicon, this represents something of an accomplishment on Informatica’s part. Informatica has been around for just over 20 years and is now driving over $1 billion in revenue. Informatica is unique because it’s the only large leading vendor in the data integration space that is a pure-play in integration. This means that Informatica’s future is inexorably tied to how enterprises leverage data. This is a good thing.

When you look at IT, you find that everything is data driven. Solutions and tools differ only by what data they align with and how they put this data to use. The reason we can say this with confidence is that every event is the result of one or more changes in state. As a result, whether we chose to formally recognize these changes in state from a data standpoint, they are responsible for initiating IT activities. For a comprehensive discussion of this topic, see ESG’s market summary report on Decision Analytics: Building the Foundation for Predictive Intelligence and Beyond.

Topics: Cloud Computing Internet of Things Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software Data Management

Larry Ellison's Softwar: The War to End All Wars?

Larry Ellison is the last of the accomplished first generation founder/CEOs to step down. Larry and Oracle’s impact in IT has been remarkable and will persist for years to come. Although IBM was responsible for developing the relationship architecture that made relational databases tick (Codd and Date), Larry and Oracle emerged as the most successful vendor of RDBMS products. IBM, Informix, Sybase, and Oracle competed intensely during the 1990s and marketing messages sometimes got personal. Whether or not nature or nurture was the driving force behind Larry is hard to say but the result was that Oracle established market leadership thorough a combination of continuous product innovation and faster cycle times. The impact was that Oracle rose to become the largest RDBMS vendor in the world.

Oracle continues to drive high levels of innovation into its database which has allowed the company to remain differentiated as the relational market matured while simultaneously justifying a price premium for their product. While Oracle has become a company that customers love to hate, data management is so mission critical to every organization that data management products have an incredible stickiness. This combined with the fact that it’s hard to get sacked by recommending Oracle has helped Oracle gain an amazing amount of account control. As Oracle’s database business began throwing off an increasing amount of cash, this has helped Oracle expand into a variety of related markets through internal development and acquisition. However, this expansion has not been easy. Oracle’s efforts to build an application server largely failed resulting in the acquisition of BEA and their market leading product. While this is a story that would be played out repeatedly regarding technology, Oracle marketing must be given significant credit for focusing attention on the positives. Larry’s obsession with being #1 and making sure there was appropriate market awareness around these facts and claims is legendary. But it’s hard to argue with the results.

Topics: Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software Data Management Oracle

HP Acquires Eucalyptus

HP announced on September 11, 2014 that they had entered into an agreement to acquire Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a vendor of private IaaS services. Eucalyptus is a startup with fewer than 100 employees and around $55 million in venture funding. Eucalyptus doesn’t have an application development and deployment (AD&D) play but could certainly provide the foundation for a private PaaS. HP, despite their unusual acquisition of Mercury Interactive back in 2006, is otherwise not in the AD&D business. However, Eucalyptus does put HP a partnership or acquisition away from PaaS, so let’s look at the potential motivation of the deal.

The Eucalyptus acquisition is about helping HP customers gain better leverage from their investments. Eucalyptus is a way to show material value to HP’s installed back of server, storage, and networking customers and show that HP can be forward-looking. This is also a low risk acquisition for HP for two reasons. First the acquisition didn’t cost HP that much (less than $100 million, it is rumored) and second, the Eucalyptus technology will help build out HP’s Helion brand, which will enhance its private IaaS appeal.

Topics: Cloud Computing Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software SaaS Systems Management Public Cloud Service Cloud Platforms & Services

The Apple and IBM Partnership

IBM’s announcement on July 15 2014 that they are entering into a global partnership with Apple to transform enterprise mobility has both substance and spin.

The significance of this announcement stems from the enterprise level security, lifecycle support, and integration that IBM is bringing to iOS. IBM’s MaaS360 brings comprehensive mobile device management to bear so users will have a highly secure workplace container for enterprise content. IBM and Apple are also addressing iOS lifecycle concerns. IBM will offer a managed service whereby Apple provides IBM with a beta version of the upcoming iOS release and IBM will test and remediate issues for iOS applications. This way, when Apple suggests that a user upgrade to the latest version of iOS, an enterprise can avoid the potential for broken applications. IBM will also extend BlueMix so that it supports the 4,000 APIs of Apple’s iOS 8 (BlueMix Mobile for iOS). This brings enterprise scale to Apple-based mobile environments.

Topics: IBM Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software Enterprise Mobility