Tag: Dell

Datacentre automation market worth billions

server-racksA report by Markets and Markets estimated that by 2019 the datacentre automation market will be worth $7.53 billion.

The report said that demand for fast data access and storage continues to rise and that’s creating more and more datacentres.  Datacentre automation is sometimes known as Software Defined Data Centres (SDDCs).  Automation helps management deal with scalability, flexibility, manageability and reduced costs.

The market research company said it segments the datacentre automation market by hardware such as network automation, server automation and storage automation.  It also values the secor by service including consulting services, installation and support.

The demand for data is forcing businesses to either build new datacentres or upgrade existing sites.

And the cost of datacentre infrastructure continues to increase at the same time as IT budgets continues to decrease.

Majr vendors in the industry include HP, Oracle, Dell, Brocade, Cisco, IBM, CA and BMC Software.

Dell comes back from the dead

i-walked-with-a-zombie-from-left-everettBeancounters at IDC are claiming that Dell’s US shipments grew 19.7 percent during the third calendar quarter of 2014.

If this is the case, then it would appear that business is turning around for the tin box shifter.

Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice chairman, Operations, and president, Client Solutions said that the reason for the increase was a strong notebook performance in the US and accompanying overall worldwide growth reflects the continued momentum. He said Dell did not intend to slow down.

“You can expect us to maintain our strategy of investing in the PC business, with more additions to our portfolio to be announced next week at Dell World,”Clarke said.

Dell was showing off its PC business in which it said had its seventh consecutive quarter of year-over-year gains in global share and grew more in the third quarter than its top two US competitors combined.

Dell also talked about its commercial portfolio which appeared to be focusing on higher performance PCs and thin clients.

Dell also claimed there was a growing demand for flexible 2-in-1 products in the work environment with the Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1.

Now that the outfit has gone private we have no way of checking any of this as it does not have to share anything and we have to take its word for it.

Forrest joins AMD

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<p>© ParamountAMD has hired a former Dell senior executive to lead the chipmaker’s push into microservers.

AMD said that Forrest Norrod will be senior vice president and general manager of AMD’s enterprise, embedded and semi-custom business group and report to Chief Executive Lisa Su.

Norrod, 49, ran Dell’s server business and joins AMD as the company develops chips for new low-power servers that might challenge heavyweight Intel in cutting-edge data centres.

AMD has been expanding into new markets including low-power “microservers” and game consoles, but progress has been slow.

Earlier this month, Su took over as CEO, replacing Rory Read. Norrod fills Su’s previous position, which she had held temporarily since July.

Following Su’s appointment as CEO, AMD announced on Oct. 16 it was cutting 7 percent of its workforce to reduce costs.

Dell was the man behind the creation of Dell’s first internal startup focused on the hyper-scale datacentre market as the vice president and general manager, Data Center Solutions (DCS). He held several engineering leadership roles previously at Dell, starting as CTO of Client Products before leading Enterprise Engineering and ultimately having responsibility for all of Dell’s global engineering teams.

Prior to Dell, he ran the integrated x86 CPU business at Cyrix and National Semiconductor.

Dell takes aim at HP business

Andy Zollo, channel director Dell EMEAThe decision by HP to split itself into two will offer opportunities for Dell to take more business.

That’s according to Andy Zollo, director of channels at Dell EMEA, who said today that its own plans will allow it to sell software, services and hardware to a number of new customers.

Zollo said that Dell had embarked on a series of roadshows throughout Europe over the last several weeks to educate its partners on opportunities open to them.

Dell – formerly known primarily as a hardware company – now has a wide portfolio of products and has appointed partner development managers to offer one single “backside to kick”.

He said Dell now has a much closer relationship with a wide range of partners aimed at introducing them to enterprise customers.

Zollo said that any major change to an organisation – such as recently happened with HP – tends to have a disruptive effect, and Dell will feed on the changes that are bound to happen.

PC shipments still shrinking

A not so mobile X86 PCWhile Intel turned in remarkably buoyant financial results last week, the news remains somewhat gloomy on the PC front.

Figures released by IDC showed that shipments to consumers in the potentially lucrative Asia Pacific region in the third quarter of this year fell by five percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Sales were up compared to the previous quarter by eight percent and totalled 26.6 million units.

China and India showed better than expected shipments in the quarter.

Handoko Andi, research manager for client devices at IDC said: “[Windows] XP migration helped boost commercial PC spending earlier this year.  But in recent quarters, we have seen Microsoft add a lot to the entry level segment by launching the Windows 8.1 with Bing programme.”

Lenovo is numero uno iin the region, followed by Dell, HP, Acer and Asus.  HP showed a decline of 16.1 percent in shipments in the region compared to the same quarter last year, while Acer showed an 11.2 percent decline.

Notebook shipments creep up

notebooksSales of notebooks in the third quarter of this year are only up by 2.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, despite bullish talk by vendors like Microsoft and Intel.

Digitimes Research said shipments for the calendar third quarter amounted to 45.198 million units, with HP being the top dog worldwide.

HP had a market share of 21 percent, Lenovo 20.9 percent, Dell 12.5 percent, Acer 9.7 percent, Apple 8.5 percent, Asustek 8.3 percent and Toshiba 6.2 percent, the Taiwanese research unit estimated.

These of course are the brand names, but many of the notebooks are made by original design manufacturers (ODMs) based in Taiwan.  These ODMs accounted for a significant 36,958 notebooks in the quarter.

The ODM battle is fought between Compal (34.5%), Wistron (15.7%), Inventec (6.7%) and Pegatron (5.7%).

Digitimes Research also breaks out the shipments in terms of screen sizes with 8.2 percent being sub 12 inch models, 13 percent 12 inch notebooks, 13 percent 13 inch units, 22.7 percent 14 inch units, 47.2 percent 15 inch notebooks and 6.1 percent 16 inches and above.

The market research unit does not, however, appear to have provided figures for touch and non touch screen machines.

Battery will warn you before it explodes

Picture, Stanford UniversityScientists at Stanford University claim to have developed a so-called “smart” lithium ion battery that warns people before it overheats and bursts into an inferno.

The scientists claim that the early warning system uses a very thin copper sensor deposited on top of a conventional battery separator.

The use of such a device is clear, following a recent accident where a person’s smartphone burst into flames while she was using it.

Yi Cui, associate professor of materials science at Stanford, said: “Our goal is to create an early warning system that saves lives and property.  The system can detect problems that occur during the normal operation of a battery, but it does not apply to batteries damaged in a collion or other incident.”

Last year Boeing grounded its 787 Dreamliner fleet after batteries caught fire.  Then there was the famous incident in 2006 when a Dell notebook caught fire in Japan.

But while the odds of batteries catching fire are one in a million, said Cui, hundreds of millions of computers and smartphones are sold every year.

The smart separator will alert people when it’s time to change their batteries, just in case.

Notebook players change their focus

server-racksA few weeks back we reported that the lucrative datacentre market could well be the target for new vendors to enter the fray.

Now there’s some hard evidence for that. Taiwanese firm Quanta Computer, which previously played in the original design manufacturer (ODM) game, and made notebooks for the major brands, has branched out into the server market.

Digitimes reports that Quanta has completely re-invented itself and is positioning itself to sell into the European datacentre market.

It is offering servers and services to European datacentres and has hired a sales team specifically for the territory.

It faces stiff competition from the likes of HP and Dell. But the advantage it has is that it has its own manufacturing and further has played the very slim margin game when it made notebooks for multinational brands like HP and Dell.

The move is likely to be good value for the datacentre buyers because there’s no doubt such moves will prompt something of a price war in the sector.

Lenovo carves up Chinese server pie

lenovo-logoAs we reported yesterday, Lenovo will acquire Intel’s X86 server business this week and that means it will be the biggest server company in mainland China.

Market research firm IDC released its figures for server sales in China for the first half of this year and Lenovo – which includes prior IBM system business – comes out the leader at 23.91 percent (see chart).

IDC said that the Lenovo/IBM X86 server line and IBM’s System x mainframes are highly complementary and Lenovo will use that synergy to sell more X86 systems into large organisations.

But Dell has been highly competitive in the Chinese market, and Lenovo’s entrance into this space is likely to lead to even more competition.

IDC thinks that Lenovo will integrate channels to market of IBM’s System x machines with its own routes to market and the entry of Lenovo as a player is likely to lead to better cooperation with Microsoft and VMWare.

And in the global market, Lenovo shows up as a leader with a market share of 11.7 percent.
Global X86 server market 1H 2014
China X86 server market H12014

IBM Lenovo sale is a done deal

A not so mobile X86 PCLenovo’s offer to buy the remainder of IBM’s X86 business is likely to be concluded this Wednesday.

IBM is disposing of the deal to the Chinese manufacturer for $1.8 billion and when the acquisition is complete, it will finally have washed its hands of all of its X86 business.

That doesn’t mean its out of the hardware business completely, of course.  It will carry on selling its mainframes and a number of other high profit and enterprise standard appliances.

It was the first to launch an X86 personal computer back in the 1980s but its exclusive hold in the market was swiftly dented by competition from clone makers such as Dell and Compaq.

The deal will be completed because it waited approval from the European Union, China and the USA. But authorities in these territories have raised no objections to the sale.

When the deal is complete, it will catapult Lenovo into the major league of X86 players and will let it diversify its business by targeting the lucrative high end of the market.

Private Dell goes up-market

michael-dell-2Now that it no longer has to worry about pesky shareholders, Michael Dell is changing its cunning plan and is moving up-market.

ITWorld has noticed that Dell is adding new hardware and software features that could make an otherwise mundane PC or tablet more attractive to customers. In a move which copies Apple, Dell hopes to establish a reputation as an innovator and establish a fan base among those who will pay more.

The example touted is Dell’s 8-inch Venue 8 7000 tablet, which made an appearance at the Intel Developer Forum, it’s the world’s thinnest tablet at 6 millimeters thick and includes Intel’s RealSense 3D depth-sensing camera. The camera can determine size, distance and contours of objects, which could enhance videoconferencing or make it easier to capture a 3D image for 3D printing.  It is nicely designed, something that is not normally associated with Dell’s tin box image.

Kirk Schell, vice president of the commercial PC product group said that the privatization has helped tune out distractions and helped the company focus on improving products.

The upshot is that now Dell is not reporting to Wall Street, it can be more competitive and boast some industry firsts, such as bringing wireless charging capabilities to tablets with a dock for Venue 8.

Dell was among the first to introduce a 5K screen with the UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD, which can display images at a 5120 x 2880 pixel resolution and will become available later this year.  Dell also has its own gaming console, the Alienware Alpha Steam Machine, which will compete against Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. The Steam Machine ship in November with Windows 8.1 as the default OS. Users in the future will have the option to install the Linux-based SteamOS, which is being developed by Valve, the world’s largest independent game distributor.

Dell is likely to continue making low-cost PCs, at least in the short term, but it seems that its interest is moving away from that market.

It is investing in architects, human factor engineers, material scientists, software people. You can and should differentiate, Schell said.

Dell rules the PC monitor roost

Dell logoPC monitor unit shipments amounted to 32.5 million units in the second quarter of this year – and that’s a fall of 2.9 percent compared to the year before.

IDC released findings on the quarter, said that tendency will continue over the next three years.

But LCD technology had a 93 percent market share in the second quarter, an increase of 10.5 percent compared to the same quarter a year before.

The favoured screen size is 21.x-inches, and had a market share of 22.5 percent in the quarter.

While touch screen monitors continue to hold only a tiny part of the total PC monitor share of 0.4 percent, there was stronger growth in the USA than in other markets.

Dell managed to stay number one in the quarter, with market share of 15.4 percent, representing five million units.

Samsung, at number two, had a 17.9 percent share in market value. In revenue terms, it was number one, shipping $1.04 billion wrth of units in the quarter.

HP is the number three worldwide, but held the number one position in Western Europe, and the number two position in the US.

Next year’s server wars may be cancelled

soldiers-2The major battle in the server space planned for next year may be only a minor skirmish with the usual suspects winning.

Intel needs to see off the expected competition from ARM and is going to chuck a lot more cash in the area to keep its position as market leader. What we are seeing from the Intel Developer Forum is that its answer will be a a new Xeon D family of chips.

Xeon D chips will be the first server chips based on the Broadwell architecture, and will go into dense servers starting next year. But these are not your normal server chips, they are effectively systems on a chip which means that they will be deliberately targeting anything “low level and power efficient” that ARM is expected to come up with.

It means that Intel does not think that its Xeon E3 and Atom chips code-named Avoton will be up to the task of taking on ARM. The Xeon D chip will be faster, but more power hungry than Avoton, which is based on an architecture called Silvermont used in mobile chips.

But Intel thinks that the Xeon D will provide more performance-per-watt, which punters will find attractive.

Intel does have some other advantages in any coming server war. Intel’s chips already go into more than 90 percent of servers, and server makers like Dell have said that the chances for success of ARM servers are diminishing due to product delays. Intel also has a head-start on software development over ARM.

ARM’s server chips are based on the ARMv8 architecture, and have integrated networking, storage and I/O controllers. Its key weapon against Intel is still lower power consumption, something Chipzilla is fast catching up on.

A variety of companies had indicated interest in making server processors based on blueprints from ARM,  but so far ARM 64-bit server processors have not been made available commercially.

Chip makers like Applied Micro and Advanced Micro Devices have delayed shipment of ARM-based chips.

Dell is offering prototype ARM servers for benchmarking and application development. Hewlett-Packard announced plans to use ARM processors in its Moonshot “dense” server, which uses x86 chips, but hasn’t announced a definitive release date for the ARM edition.

The other player in any coming war AMD is also expanding its low-power server processor lines,  which could also will hurt adoption of ARM servers.

The other big hurdle for ARM is the fact that most firms already have software and hardware based around x86. To adopt ARM-based servers, companies will not only have to invest in new servers and components, but also port applications to the architecture.

This could make a switch to ARM very expensive in terms of capital and final cost of ownership. Then there are some licensing issues surrounding the adoption of ARM servers, as companies will have to pay more for software per core used in them, Norrod said.

ARM is also finding its allies thin on the ground. ARM server pioneer Calxeda folded operations and earlier this year Nvidia scrapped server chip plans. Samsung has also abandoned ARM server chip development.

PC sales up. Secretly

A not so mobile X86 PCSales of PCs in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region showed growth in the second quarter, stopping a continuous seven quarter decline. That applies to both notebooks and desktop machnes.

So says market research company IDC, which said growth in the quarter amounted to 2.2 percent, up by 4.5 million units.

Oddly, the bulk of the growth came in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine and Afghanistan.  Why is that odd? Because, according to Fouad Rafiq Charakla, research manager at IDC, no vendor make any official shipments of PCs into these countries.

Saudi Arabia and Pakisan showed growth in the region.  “The healthy shipments seen in most countries can either be attributed to a recovery from instability – be it economic political or social – or to previously low PC penetration rates. Bearing this in mind, Egypt and Nigeria are expected to be among the region’s fastest growing PC markets in 2014,” Charakla said.

The top dogs in the region are HP, Lenovo, and Dell. But the last suffered a shortfall year on year. Acer and Asus came fourth and fifth respectively.

Dell updates PC line

Dell logoGiant PC supplier Dell said it has released redesigned additions to its Latitude and Optiplex PCs.

The Latitude 7000 Series 2 in 1, the Latitude 3000 and 5000 series laptops and the Optiplex 9020 and 3020 desktop PCs come with a set of fresh functions.

Dell claims its the only vendor to offer encryption, advanced authentication and malware prevention from a single source – and this helps its customers save time and cost.

The Latitude 7000 machine combines a business Ultrabook and a detachable tablet in one device, with a 12.20inch display and an instant go feature similar to those found in smartphones and tablets.

The Optiplex machines have a chassis design of only 1.2 litres and are aimed at places where space is at a premium.

Dell said its Chromebox   – a cloud based unit – offers multiple ports, Ultra HD resolution and several mounting options.

Dell also introduced the 55 Monitor, which, as its name suggests, has a 55-inch wide screen.

All machines are already available or will be available during this month.