Tag: Dell

Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

Dell’s EMC debt rising

emcTin-box shifter Michael Dell always knew that his outfit’s debt was going to be a bit high after buying EMC, but it is starting to look like it is getting heavier.

Dell’s debt was high after the company went private, but now it seems that the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. While there is still enough cash in the kitty to get hold of EMC, it means that there could be a fire sale of overlapping business soon after the sale takes place.

All this is because the weak quarterly results at Intel and the poorly received debt sale by disk-drive maker Western Digital are pushing up the costs of Dell’s coming debt issuance. Basically the bankers are a bit nervy about investing in hardware at the moment.

Dell’s ability to raise money through selling off some businesses is also suffering. His SecureWorks IPO is now priced at $14/share instead of the original $15.50 – $17.50 range, reducing the likely inflow of cash to Dell, and thus reducing its future debt needs less than it must have hoped.

All this could add tens of millions of dollars to Dell’s annual interest expense, something that Dell needs like a hole in the head. It is thought that to deal with the problem, Dell is going to have to flog anything not nailed down in the two companies. There are overlaps between the two companies which can be safely flogged off, but it is more likely that more cuts will have to be made.  It is expected that there will be large numbers of former EMC or Dell staff looking for jobs when the agreement goes through.

Dell starts IoT partner programme

michael-dell-2Tin Box shifter Michael Dell has started an IoT solutions partner programme designed to make it easier for partners to identify themselves as specialists in this area.

The vendor is contacting providers to encourage them to use its technology in their offerings to provide more features, including security and data analytics.

Dell has been listing the tech it provides for intelligent gateways, embedded PCs, security, manageability tools, data center and cloud infrastructure and data analytic tools. It also is building ‘use case blueprints’ that will make it easier for partners to deploy IoT gear.

The IoT partner programme has three tiers – executive, associate and registered.

Registered partners might be doing enough to get the public backing of Dell but do not have enough experience to get the sort of recommendation other tiers. Associates can deliver more differentiated and proven solutions when compared to the registered level. Executives are those that have a stand out proposition and are seen as ‘best in class’ with a proven ability to deliver.

The IoT partner programme includes working with firms including GE, SAP, Software AG, Microsoft, OSIsoft and others.

Dell also stressed that it would continue to build relationships with systems integrators that have vertical expertise.

 

Dell’s SecureWorks should get a $1.42 billion IPO

michael-dell-2Dell’s cyber security unit, SecureWorks, could be valued at up to $1.42 billion in its initial public offering, the first major US listing of a technology company this year.

SecureWorks said its offering was expected to be priced at $15.50-$17.50 per Class A share, raising as much as $157.5 million.

It is not the greatest time for SecureWorks to launch. IPO values plunged to a seven-year low in the first quarter, more than halving from a year earlier to $106.6 billion, as worries over slowing economic growth kept investors wary.

However as far as shareholders in SecureWorks are concerned, from such a low base, things can only get better.

Several cyber security firms such as FireEye, Rapid7 and Mimecast have gone public to take advantage of growing investor interest in them after a spate of hacking attacks on companies including major banks and retailers.

However, shares of Rapid7 and FireEye are now trading way below their IPO prices. Mimecast, which jumped 20 percent on its listing day, has also slipped below its offering price.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in October that Dell, the third-largest personal computer maker, had filed confidentially for listing SecureWorks, which it bought for $612 million in 2011.

Founded in 1999, SecureWorks has 4,200 clients in 59 countries.

 

EMC ponders selling Documentum

emcEMC is looking to sell its Documentum software unit in a move that parallels Dell’s efforts to sell off assets ahead of the companies’ pending merger.

According to Bloomberg, EMC had agreed to a Dell plan to shop the Documentum software business to prospective private equity buyers as part of an effort to offset the cost of acquiring EMC. However it is equally possible that EMC wants the cash to buy something nice.

Few EMC partners sell Documentum. EMC partners work at the infrastructure level, rather than the application level with document management. Documentum software tracks corporate documents. EMC acquired the company in 2003 for about $1.7 billion.

Dell expects its acquisition of EMC to close between May and October. Dell has been flogging off assets to offset the cost of the transaction. The acquisition deal is worth around $60 billion. Dell intends to take on as much as $49.5 billion in debt in order to complete it.

It has flogged off Perot Systems business to NTT Data of Japan for about $3.1 billion and is trying to find a buyer for SonicWall security business and Quest software.  This should get it $4 billion.

 

Thin clients are thin on the ground

skeleton-woman-615While thin client set ups have been touted as the “next big thing” for nearly two decades, it would appear that no-one can make cash from them.

Bean counters at IDC said that the market leaders HP and Dell suffered double-digit shipment drops last year. Apparently companies are walking away from, or cancelling their thin-client projects. Ironically mostly before the poor economic climate, thin clients were touted as a cost-saving measure.

Thin client projects are being canned or postponed in the face of the faltering economic climate and reduced public budgets, IDC said as it warned that shipments in the sector shrank last year.

According to IDC, thin and terminal-client shipments fell 6.9 per cent to 5.08 million in 2015, with market leaders Dell and HP enduring double-digit drops.

To be fair it is not all doom. Thin-clients did better than PCs which fell 10.6 per cent last year.  IDC insists that the outlook for thin clients and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remains favourable, although people have been saying that since networking became a thing.

Jay Chou, research manager, worldwide enterprise client device trackers at IDC said that while there was a certain amount of slowdown expected as many organisations had just refreshed their systems a year or two ago, the extent of economic and currency-related issues had a definite impact in the budget and timeline of other projects which were supposed to be in the pipeline.

“Nonetheless, awareness around VDI continues to improve, and IDC does expect an improved outlook ahead, especially as companies begin to think about moving beyond Windows 7.”

While the PC market may be consolidating into the hands of fewer players, the same cannot be said of thin clients, where market leaders Dell and HP lost market share hand over fist during the year.

The US duo’s collective share of thin-client shipments fell from 55.1 to 50.6 per cent between 2014 and 2015, with Dell seeing shipments drop 13.8 per cent and HP suffering a 15 per cent fall, IDC said.

NComputing came third as its shipments rose 12.8 per cent to 518,000, IDC said.

Dell shuffles his leadership deck

Dell logoTin box shifter Michael Dell has emailed his company, to talk about the organisation’s leadership team after it acquires EMC.

What is telling is that the future does not include Joe Tucci who is EMC’s president and chairman and the bloke who took the company onto the cloud route.  Tucci had indicated he wanted to clean out his desk sooner rather than later and is expected to retire.

“This new organisational structure will be effective immediately following the completion of the transaction. I want to thank Joe Tucci for his insights and assistance,” Dell said.

Meanwhile Dell said there was strong progress on our plans to combine Dell and EMC … The transaction is on schedule under the original timetable and the original terms.”

The mail goes on to name the following new leadership team:

Jeremy Burton, Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for brand, events, marketing analytics, digital and communications.

Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman and President, Operations and Client Solutions, responsible for Global Supply Chain and End User Computing organisations.

Howard Elias and Rory Read, Co-Chief Integration Officers, for the Dell|EMC integration.

David Goulden, President, Enterprise Systems Group, responsible for global infrastructure organization including servers, storage, networking, converged infrastructure and solutions.

Bill Scannell, President, Enterprise Sales, will report to Goulden and lead the global go-to-market organisation serving Enterprise customers.

Dell added: “I am also establishing an executive group, which will include the presidents of our business units and go-to-market organizations. The executive group will include: Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware; Mike Cote, President and CEO, SecureWorks; Rob Mee, CEO, Pivotal; and Rodney Rogers, CEO, Virtustream. This group will collaborate on innovative and differentiated solutions, optimize our operations to increase the speed and agility with which we serve our customers, and find ways to work together more efficiently and effectively as an organisation.”

Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, Amit Yoran who will be president of RSA, and Rohit Ghai, who scored the gig as president of the Enterprise Content Division.

Marius Haas will be president and chief commercial officer, responsible for the global go-to-market organisation serving Commercial customers.

Steven Price will lead HR and Karen Quintos will be “chief customer officer, “responsible for leading revenue and margin-enhancing programs, ensuring a consistent customer experience across multiple channels, and driving strategies to strengthen and build profitable customer relationships. Karen will also lead Corporate Citizenship, including social responsibility, entrepreneurship and diversity. John Swainson will remain at the helm of Dell Software, and Suresh Vaswani will keep his gig at the head of Dell Services.

Tom Sweet will be CFO.

Dell adds security add-on service

michael-dell-2Tin box shifter Dell has announced an add-on service to its SonicWALL firewall product.

The cloud offering, called the SonicWALL Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Service analysies files and traffic for threats using three filter engines.

These engines are the VMRay third-generation Analyzer, Lastline Breach Detection platform and the Dell SonicWALL Sonic Sandbox.

Dell thinks that, combined, they deliver better protection against the growing prevalence of zero-day attacks which are designed to evade sandboxes like badly behaved kittens.

In addition to having multiple analysis engines, the solution has hypervisor-level analysis and full-system emulation.

Dell’s system sends suspicious files to the cloud for analysis and there is no limit on the file size so it can capture a lot of malware in its net. Once a threat has been detected, Dell sends remediation signatures through its existing solutions.

Dell thinks that it can block malware at the gateway, and provide a much more effective protection of the network.

The Dell SonicWALL Capture ATP Service solution is currently available as a beta and will be available for purchase “by mid-year 2016.”

EU gives Dell deal the thumbs up

Happy man portrait

Happy man portrait

Tin box shifter Michael Dell is going to be given unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $67 billion bid for data storage company EMC.

Dell unveiled the deal in October last year, the largest ever in the technology industry sector, and designed to enable Dell to better challenge rivals Cisco Systems Inc, IBM and HP in cloud computing, mobility and cyber security.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso has so far said nothing, but leaks in Brussels [shurely that should be sprouts.ed] claim that the when the Commission gives its ruling on the deal by February 29 Dell will be a happy bunny.

 

Dell founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell took the company private three years ago with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake.

The computer maker has arranged a debt package for up to $49.5 billion to help finance the EMC deal, the second-largest M&A financing on record.

 

VMware share drop hurts Dell’s EMC bid

Michael DellTin box shifter Michael Dell is warning investors that the $14 billion drop in the market capitalisation of VMware is playing havoc with his attempt to get cash for EMC.

A Dell spokesman said the total value of the blockbuster acquisition has dropped by about $10 billion from its original $67 billion, to $57 billion.

In an SEC filing, Dell noted that “the market value” of the VMware tracking stock has “declined, thereby reducing the implied value of the stock portion of the merger consideration”.

On October 9, the last business day before the Dell-EMC announcement was made, VMware, 80 percent of which is owned by EMC, had a market capitalisation of $33.2 billion and a stock price of $78.65 a share. Now, its market cap is about $19.2 billion, and its stock price is hovering around $45.54.

A Dell spokesman said the EMC acquisition price of $24.05 per share was “locked, that doesn’t move, but because VMware has moved down, the value of the portion of the merger consideration linked with the tracker is going to be in that range of decline”. Whatever that means.

Dell plots more buy-outs

michael-dell-2Michael Dell has said that even more “significant” consolidation could be on the cards in the tech space, hinting that his firm could continue its shopping spree.

Dell is in the midst of a mega-deal to acquire EMC for $67 billion, which is expected to close some time between May and October.

Speaking at the company’s FY17 Field Readiness Seminar in the US, a transcript of which has been filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Michael Dell told staff that the EMC deal might not be a one-off in the industry.

“Customers need a trusted partner in this journey; in navigating this period of incredible change; and we will be the best partner for companies and organisations of all sizes,” he said.

“Customers face a real challenge in funding the digital transformation, and what they have to do is make the existing infrastructure more efficient to be able to fund the digital transformation, and we’re going to help them do exactly that. During this period, I also expect there to be significant consolidation. And we’re very well positioned to be a consolidator.”

Elsewhere at the FRS event, Dell (pictured) urged his staff not to pay attention to media reports suggesting the EMC deal could fall through, branding such articles “click bait”.

“You may have read a story that questions if this deal is going to happen. If you have, you’re wasting your time,” he said.

“The media business is under a lot of stress and their business model is sort of cratering. And what they do to survive in those tough times is they create something called click bait. They create an inflammatory headline – so and so was impregnated by aliens, or whatever, click on here to read about this story, see some ads, try to get some money. So don’t fall for that, OK?

“There’s going to be those kind of stories, just like there were during the privatisation. Do you all remember when we were going private there were all kinds of stories and they basically turned out to be nonsense? So don’t waste your time with that.”

He added that his company is “absolutely” going ahead with the deal according to the original timeline and terms “at full speed ahead”.

EMC UK bigwig defects to Pure Storage

swimming-ratIt seems that not all are happy with what is happening at EMC now that Dell is fairly certain to get his paws on the company.

Gary Matson began working at EMC in October as district manager after joining from Arrow.  Now he has left the company after four months to lead Pure Storage’s UK and Ireland (UKI) channel.

His new job  is as a sales professional with Distribution, Vendor, SI, and ISV experience  working with partners to deliver IT solutions.

Neither Pure Storage nor EMC were immediately available to confirm the move or comment, but Matson updated his LinkedIn profile this week.

For those who came in late,  Pure Storage and EMC are rivals and there is much bad blood between them. A number of EMC staff have defected to Pure Storage over the past year or so.

In fact his this time last year, EMC’s former UK boss James Petter cleaned out his desk and headed over to Pure Storage . EMC’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Martin left the company to take on the same job at Pure Storage.

Pure Storage is big on the channel. In a recent 10-Q filing published last month. It promised to continue to invest in the channel programme and boost its global channel network.  To be fair, so is Dell and EMC, but it is unclear why EMC is losing its talent to such a smaller outfit.

Dell may continue to spin off RSA

Dell logoRSA President Amit Yoran has hinted that the long-awaited spinoff of RSA as a separate, private company might still be happening.

In an email, Yoran said that Dell had spent a few hours this week at RSA, discussing the RSA business and where that fits into the Dell “egosystem”. For those who came in late, Dell is going to buy EMC, the parent company of RSA, for $67 billion.

Yoran said that creating growth in security is a business that Dell clearly understands, and the relationship between Dell and Secureworks was also “thoughtfully constructed to create leverage”.

Dell announced earlier this month that it plans an initial public offering of the Secureworks business.

“Michael is also aware of our transformation activities at RSA and very supportive. He is keen to continue learning more about RSA and come up with meaningful ways EMC, Dell and he can contribute to our success in the future. It’s all about creating leverage and accelerating our growth.”

Dell was adamant about the benefits of taking a company private in order to foster growth, Yoran added.

“Dell was also very articulate about the benefits of operating as a private company, including our ability to plan and execute on a longer time horizon without the blinding focus on 90 day reporting cycles. Having spent a vast majority of my career running private companies, I couldn’t agree more.”

He did not say that RSA was in talks to spin off as a private company, but EMC was in serious talks to spin off RSA into an independent company for months before the Dell acquisition. What Yoran is saying fits very much into that concept.

Dell mocks HPE’s composing efforts

Larry_Nickel_composing_in_2004HP Enterprises composing efforts were dubbed a minor effort which will soon b flat, by Dell.

HPE this week unveiled plans to release the new composable architecture early next year. It’s being called Synergy, and HPE CEO Meg Whitman claimed the product was revolutionary.

We were suspicious because it involved the non-word Synergy and the word composable which keeps getting underlined by our word processor as being made up.  Tech companies use the word synergy and made up words when they are describing a non-event and hope that managers will nod when they see the outfit is talking jargon.

Dell also slagged off HPE’s new “composable” Synergy architecture, saying the new infrastructure product is impractical, expensive and doomed to be one of the IT market’s “derelict big ideas”.

Writing in his Dell bog, Dell fellow Robert Hormuth attacked the idea of composable infrastructure and the fact that it is “being driven by a single company”.

Hormuth said punters don’t want their infrastructure composable. They want approaches that work across many vendors and many technologies.

“Organisations require solutions that are simple, inexpensive, agile and scalable over proprietary, monolithic and expensive,” he said.

He said that the HP idea was only supported by HP. It is not open so it lacks flexibility and choice. “We’re looking forward to the evolution of standards-based approaches for composable infrastructure – which will inevitably increase customer choices and leverage expertise by controlling cost. After all, the marketplace is littered with derelict big ideas that were pushed by a single enterprise technology vendor. Right now, composable infrastructure could be one of those big ideas.”

Hormuth, in his blog post, touted Dell’s Active System Manager architecture as more practical, affordable and flexible than composable infrastructure.

HPE Vice President Paul Miller told  CRN, “If you don’t have a composable infrastructure yet, then of course it is not practical for you to sell one. What is not practical about having a system that gives you fluid pools of compute, storage and fabric, that enables you to stand up infrastructure for a workload in three minutes or less?”

The new HPE architecture is being billed as the first ever designed to bridge traditional and cloud-native applications into fluid resource pools that can be deployed at “cloud speed.” That could eliminate the big advantage that Amazon Web Services has had over internal IT departments that have struggled to provision workloads instantly like AWS can.

Dell, EMC prepare for channel merger

Sarah Shields, DellEMC and Dell have gone into overdrive in the expectation that the two companies will merge.

Sarah Shields, general manager of Dell UK, said that both companies had put senior members in place to work on the integration plans. She said that EMC products are complementary to Dell’s.

“The integration is a bit of a no-brainer,” she said. She said there are some obvious synergies and she herself was looking at the EMC programmes already in place.

“From our point of view it’s business as usual and so far it’s looking very positive,” she said.

She said that Dell shifted its business model to include the channel eight years ago, and although she declined to give figures, said channel business accounted for 40 percent of the company’s revenues.

She said that while business worldwide had been challenging last years, Dell had continued to grow. She said that both channel revenues and units were both positive.