Tag: HP

Apple eclipses Intel

Intel-IDF-'14-Copy-SizeAs far as we can see, Apple’s announcement of its iWatch put chip giant Intel in the shade yesterday.

Yesterday  was supposed to be Intel’s day, but as it doesn’t really have very much to say about anything except wearable technology, it didn’t really stand a chance.

We’ve noticed that Apple has received accolades from what our own Nick Farrell calls the Tame Apple Press. He defines TAP as uncritical media outlets – magazines to you and me – both journalistic people and publishers that swallow marketing pap and regurgitate it as if Apple, or Intel for that matter,  was capable of telling any kind of truth.

Let me tell you, from past experience, Apple chooses very carefully the journalists it invites to its launches. As, for a matter of fact, does Intel.

It was, I think in 1990, that Apple announced something or other in London and dragged along the late Douglas Adams to give a witty presentation that wowed us all. However, I noticed that after the event had finished, Adams was talking to the Apple spinner about his reward – quite a lot of Apple DRAM.

Intel tries to play a similar game but is really cackhanded about it. It’s not really very good at marketing. Back in the old days it decided to set its legal department in my direction, and in other directions too. Then, under the captainship of Andy Grove, Intel was a bully and we all know that bullies need standing up to.

The corporate spin departments of these computing multinationals believe they can manipulate, bully, or even exclude journalists from the scene.  Just in the last 25 years I’ve been personally told by the likes of Microsoft, HP and Intel that “I’d never work in this industry again”.

Intel has turned into Mr Nasty yet again,in the 21st century,  but the truth is that it has had little or nothing to say for at least the last six years.  Apple doesn’t seem to have much to say either unless you’re one of the famous fanbois that really must have something strapped to your wrist.

The truth is that commodisation of the IT industry has weaved its wicked way – Apple won’t even release its famous iWatch until next year. Intel getting into wearables is risible. And Microsoft is struggling to even give the impression that it has a stratagem.

The second decade of the 21st century just goes to show that these monsters of the late 20th century are just straw dogs, and the way ahead is way different from they think. Here’s what an Intel spinner had to say about yours truly, in relation to Mark Hachman:

“From: Francisco, Daniel J Sent: 24 March 1999 23:35 Subject: RE: more from Mike Magee on Compaq Merced Since we’re giving our two cents:) It’s really a juggling act. We’ve had some luck (ie, Mark Hachman, EBN, and PC World editors) with tough love approach, telling them they’ll get more access to us if they are more objective and less sensational/negative in their articles. The trick is actually not giving them the “special” access after we go down that path. In the case of Magee, his reporting doesn’t indicate that he values the exec access and the efforts to build a stronger relationship. Hachman was the same way when we started working with him. There is no value for the special access until it stops and is given to someone else. Then they realize the benefits of “working with us.” Hachman’s writing has come full circle. And following this last IDF and his ridiculous coverage, I’d be hard-pressed to lobby for Magee to come to future IDFs, especially on Intel’s dollar. Dan”

Dancing Dan Francisco – he’s a nice chap but still a corporate spinner after his INTC corporation experiences. Idiots.

HP beefs up security

HPAccessData and HP are to get closer to each other by increasing security assessment and quick fixes for global organisations.

HP’s service arm, Rapid Incident Respons Services is intended to help corporations quickly investigate what’s gone wrong after a hack and provide forensic evidence of incidents.

HP will now provide further services using AccessData’s Resolution One to give advance warning of security threats and provide alerts to prevent networks, endpoints, mobile devices and applications being compromised.

AccessData claims its ResolutionOne offering will extend HP’s own service with capabilities including root cause analysis, full packet capture network forensics, data on hardware, assessment of malware, and auditing across enterprises.  ResolutionOne also lets security and response teams collaborate in real time with automated batch processing to eradicate threats.

AccessData says it has over 130,000 users in law enforcement, at law firms, government agencies and corporations.

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.

Storage revenues fall

storageWhile still worth $5.9 billion, external storage systems revenue fell by 1.4 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to IDC.

The market research company said a decline in high end systems was coupled with a drop in midrange storage sales too.

While EMC stayed in first place, its market share fell in the quarter from 31.2 percent the year before to 30.1 percent.  NetApp and IBM tied in second place but they also saw drops in their sale.

HP appears to have profited from their market share drop, as it moved to fourth place, while Dell and Hitachi tied for the fifth position.

Moving from external disk storage to the total storage market the top four vendors were EMC, HP, IBM and Dell.

Intel falls into ARM’s arms

Intel-logoIn one of those strange twists of fate that dog the semiconductor industry, it appears X86 giant Intel is now one of the biggest licensees of ARM tech on the planet, now it is a foundry business. ARM, of course, offers an advantage over X86 servers in terms of both functionality and heat. Intel is considerably boosting ARM revenues, according to well informed sources close to the facts.

Actually, INTC has always had a lot of foundry business. It was forced by American authorities to guarantee that production of DEC’s Alpha microprocessor continued until the end of the decade, as we reported earlier at the INQster and the Rogister years back. Intel also had and probably still has a StrongARM licence – an opportunity Chipzilla signally missed back in the days.

It also still makes HP chips. Perhaps that is because of the peculiar nature of the partnership between Intel and HP.

Intel reacted very badly to the news.

Anna Cheng, the UK spinner for Intel, sent a snottogram to the Eyes saying that the world+dog knew it made ARM chips. She said that she objected to the fact that the Eyes blank carbon copied other people at Intel – including Chuck Mulloy – asking for clarification. She scolded the Eyes for not going through proper channels.

We responded by saying that we had in our possession many Intel “confidential” emails describing me – in no uncertain terms – as an old buffer.

ARM refused to comment, but it is quids in because of Intel’s decision to fab up the unique British designs…

HP and shareholders deal in doubt

Meg Whitman, photo by Mike MageeA US judge is not happy about a proposed agreement struck between HP and plaintiff shareholders to settle a lawsuit over the computing giant’s acquisition of Autonomy.

US District Judge Charles Breyer rejected several million dollars in fees that shareholder attorneys would have recouped under the settlement.

But he added that he would have to make further inquiries into whether dismissing claims against HP officers, including current Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, was fair for shareholders.

Under the terms of the settlement, shareholders agreed to drop all claims against HP’s current and former executives, including Whitman, board members and advisers to the company. Instead the two sides would team up to bash former Autonomy executives, including Chief Executive Michael Lynch.

Laughing all the way to the bank were the shareholder attorneys who would have collected $18 million in fees.

The court heard how HP is also gunning for British unit of Deloitte & Touche over its role in auditing Autonomy.

HP’s allegations of accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures at Autonomy have prompted an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the UK’s Serious Fraud Office. However so far there have been no actual charges levelled against Lynch and co.

Former Autonomy Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain objected to the settlement too saying that it was a “whitewash” and asked that he be allowed to review internal HP documents that absolved Whitman and others of wrongdoing.

HP has vigorously contested Hussain’s ability to review documents that gets Whitman off the hook.

Breyer said he would need to weigh the evidence against HP officers as part of his analysis on whether the deal absolving them of liability is fair for shareholders.

Bryer said that something went terribly wrong with the Autonomy acquisition.

 

Microsoft takes on Chrome

Chrome-4-Wallpaper-Background-HdSoftware giant Microsoft appears to be attempting to give the Chromebook a run for its money.

Vole has arranged a few deals with some of its hardware partners to create $199 to $249 Windows laptops which are based around cloud storage systems.

HP will be Microsoft’s number one chum and will lead the way to lower-priced Microsoft Windows computers this year.

First off the block will be a $199 laptop dubbed the HP Stream 14. Details for the device leaked to Mobile Geeks. The data sheet that the magazine got its paws on shows a  14-inch laptop which could provide an interesting alternative to a Chromebook.

The HP Stream 14 is a bit like a Chromebooks.  It has a 1366 x 768 display and energy-efficient AMD chips. It has an untaxing 2 GB of memory and either 32 or 64 GB of flash storage as well as an SDXC card slot. Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, three USB ports, HDMI out and a webcam.

The laptop runs Windows 8.1 and is connected to Microsoft’s cloud storage services. Like a Chromebook, the HP Steam 14 will come with 100 GB of OneDrive storage for two years, which is the identical

It appears that Microsoft is not going to give the bottom of the market to Google without a fight and we are expecting to see other products from Volish partners in the $199 to $249 price range in the coming months.

Handbags swing in HP/ Autonomy case

pearl-harborPundits are grabbing their popcorn as the opening rounds of handbag swinging between HP and the former owners of Autonomy begin in earnest.

HP wants to sue former Autonomy Chief Financial Officer Sushovan Hussain as he seeks to block HP’s settlement of three shareholder lawsuits over its purchase of the British software outfit.

Hussain wants to block the settlement, saying HP officials were wrongly absolved in the ill-fated acquisition of Autonomy for $11.1 billion in 2011.

HP wrote down Autonomy’s value by $8.8 billion a year later and accused Autonomy officials of accounting fraud.

Hussain said that is rubbish and it was HP’s mismanagement which stuffed up the company he used to run.

But what has triggered this round of handbag swinging was that HP reached a settlement with shareholders to end efforts to force current and former HP officials, including Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, to pay damages over its Autonomy purchase.

Instead they have agreed to help HP pursue claims against former Autonomy officials such as Hussain and former CEO Michael Lynch.

HP said that the notion that Hussain should be permitted to intervene and challenge the substance of a settlement designed to protect the interests of the company he defrauded is ludicrous.

It now says that shareholders agree with HP that Hussain, along with Autonomy’s founder and CEO, Michael Lynch, should be held accountable for this fraud.

Hussain said in his court filing that the “collusive and unfair” settlement, if approved by a federal judge, would let HP “forever bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy.

“This breathless ranting from HP is the sort of personal smear we’ve come to expect. As the emotional outbursts go up, the access to facts seems to go down,” Autonomy swung back.

“Meg Whitman is buying off a bunch of lawyers so she doesn’t have to answer charges of incompetence and misdirection in front of a judge and jury.”

 

Ooooohhh get her.

HP does u-turn on OpenVMS

utrunThe maker of expensive printer ink, HP, has changed its mind on OpenVMS.

For a while now HP has been pushing its users off the system, but now it says that it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips. It is also promising eventual support for x86 processors.

This is a u-turn from last year when HP declared OpenVMS as following the path of the Dodo. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it.

The new move involves licensing the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software. Of course HP is not saying that action a reversal, or that it changes the previously announced roadmap for the OS.

The move will allow OpenVMS customers want is to stay on the OS.

VSI is funded by the investors of Nemonix Engineering, a longtime support and maintenance firm of OpenVMS systems.

It wants to validate the operating system on Intel’s Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015.  It also wants to support for HP hardware running the upcoming “Kittson” chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn’t specifying a timeframe.

OpenVMS has a strong customer bas and is used in nuclear power plants, in process control systems in all industries. It is good at disaster recovery, security and clustering.

An OpenVMS user group based in France recently went public with its complaints, calling HP’s decision a mistake.

Intel builds custom chips for Oracle

oracleIntel’s new business building custom chips for punters who build their own servers appears to have been gaining some momentum.

Last year, Intel started offering custom chip designs to Facebook and eBay and now it has managed to get Oracle signed up.

The difference with the Oracle deal is that Chipzilla is making custom processors to sell to customers.

According to DatacenterDynamics  Oracle wanted a processor whose performance profiles could be changed on demand based on workload.

Intel built Oracle’s E7-8890 v2 on the Xeon E7-8895 v2 processor but gave it the ability to put its cores into ultra-low power states and then bring them back up as needed.

The 8890 v2 model is the top of the Xeon line, the only one with RAS capabilities and other high-end functions found in the Itanium and other RISC processors.

The 8890 has 15 cores running at 2.8 GHz and 37.5 MB of cache per core for high performance analytics or in-memory databases.

With the 8895, Intel allowed the processor to act like an 8890, 8891 or 8893 while in operation and without having to shut down and restart.

The technology was already there. Intel already does something similar with its consumer Core processors called Turbo Boost. If a dual core, 3.0GHz processor is running a single-threaded app, it will shut down one core and run the other at 3.4Ghz, for example.

The 8895 is used in Oracle’s Exadata Database Machine X4-8,an 8-processor rack system with up to 12 TB of system memory 672 terabytes of disk, 44 terabytes of high-performance PCI Flash, 240 database CPU cores, and 168 CPU cores in storage to accelerate data-intensive SQL.

There are limits to the deal. Intel will not be open to chip suggestions from Oracle’s hardware competitors like HP and Dell. The Oracle deal was oriented around its database and other business application software.

Autonomy chief financial officer wants to block HP settlement

HPAutonomy’s former chief financial officer is seeking to block the maker of expensive printer ink, HP from settling three shareholder lawsuits over its troubled purchase of the British software company.
Sushovan Hussain, said the “collusive and unfair” settlement in which HP officials are wrongly absolved of a $8.8 billion writedown.

Hussain, said the “collusive and unfair” settlement, if approved by a federal judge, would let HP “forever bury from disclosure the real reason for its 2012 write-down of Autonomy.

“This motion reveals the depth of the corruption that permeates the settlement,” the spokesman said. “The shareholders who have borne the losses get nothing, and learn nothing about what really happened.”

He said that it ignored HP’s destruction of Autonomy’s success after the acquisition.

The June 30 accord called for HP shareholders to end efforts to force current and former officials, including Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman, to pay damages to the Palo Alto, California-based company over its disastrous $11.1 billion Autonomy purchase.

Instead, the shareholders agreed to help HP pursue sue former Autonomy officials like Hussain and former CEO Michael Lynch.

HP announced the $8.8 billion writedown in November 2012, just over one year after buying Autonomy, and claimed it as down to accounting fraud and inflated financials by Autonomy executives.

HP spokesman Howard Clabo shrugged and said that Hussain’s opposition to the settlement is baseless. He thought that at the end of the process, the jury will conclude that Hussain engaged in a multi-billion dollar fraud.

HP’s channel vision hits Catalan capital

HPWhereas it used to be that every conference & exhibition for North America had to be held in Lost Vagueness [Las Vegas], these days every European major event worth its salt has to be held in Barcelona. So this ChannelEye hack found himself in the Catalan capital listening to HP wax lyrical about the importance of the channel for its future business. And given that today sees the start of its ETSS (ExpertOne Technology & Solutions Summit) conference, there were some heavy duty HP personnel in attendance. They’re all keen to stress how the channel can not only grow HP’s own revenues but its own revenues as well in the process.

One of the key speakers at the Press event was Alessandra Brambilla, HP’s vp for EMEA Enterprise Group channels, she was keen to explain the benefits of HP Unison.

What came across very clearly from all of the presentations was HP’s firm belief that the IT landscape has changed beyound recognition.

We are now in an era of ‘SmartIT’. But no cause for panic because the four key customer demands with SmartIT are built on modules which the channel already knows throughly, namely: – Client/Server; Legacy systems; and Pcs.

Today, however, clients are asking for solutions based on mobility; social networking; cloud storage; and Big Data. But not to worry because HP is keen to share its knowledge with its channel partners.

In fact, it will achieve this objective by sharing the same kind of training it gives its own internal pre-sales workforce with employees of selected partners.

But HP promises more. Brambilla listed the key engagement points with Unison today: –

  • Partner portal
  • Ease of use and quick access to customized information
  • Faster, more competitive quotes
  • The right support to empower partners to win more deals
  • Demand generation
  • Automated and personalised co-marketing asset
  • Market development funds (MDF)

Thhis will apparently lead to an Increase in marketing ROI with a simpler, more-efficient MDF process. Ok?

One thing was blantantly obvious – behind the hype and marketing speak, HP is keen not to lose the advantage it presently enjoys thanks to a broad channel partnership programme. SmartIT or no SmartIT.

HP_barceloan

Left to right: – Matt Latter, Logicalls; Alesandra Brambilla; Andres Miramontes Miras, Taisa Syvalue

 

HPC server market falls

server-racksA report  from market research company IDC said factory revenues for the high performance computing server market fell by close to 10 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.

Revenues fell from $2.5 billion to $2.3 billion.

But the long range view for the supercomputers sector of the market is expect to see reasonable growth with a CAGR of 7.2 percent to 2018.

HPC technical computing analyst Earl Joseph said that the race towards exascale computing means that SMEs and research outfits are likely to use HPCs in the future.

HP is the clear leader in the market with 35 percent share, IBM has 23.1 percent share, while Dell managed third place accounting for 17.2 percent of global revenues.

The overall HPC technical server market is likely to be worth $14.7 billion by 2018.

Dell engages in channel love in

dellbudaTen years ago, the very word Dell was enough to send VARs, VADs and, let’s face it, the rest of the channel into streams of invective, punctuated by words you wouldn’t want your nan to hear you speak. Like the expletive “direct sales”, for example.

But, it seems, everything has changed and now Dell loves the channel and, incredibly, the channel seems to love Dell too.  Channel Eye took time out from our incredibly stressful schedule to spend a day at a security partner reseller conference in Budapest and got to chat to several senior executives and resellers too, for that matter, who spelled out the sea changes that have happened at the Round Rock company.

While Dell is still seen by many as the PC tin maker that put the wind up conventional and indirect players like HP and the rest, it’s made a number of acquisitions in the last few years that mean the barque is now being steered in an entirely different direction. Those include SonicWALL, Quest and others.

The changes have been engineered at the highest level – that is to say by Michael Dell himself – with the assistance of senior exec Cheryl Cook. Unbelievably for an old channel hack like me, 32 percent of Dell’s business now goes the indirect route, worth an estimated $20 billion of revenue, under the umbrella of Partner Direct.

Channel Eye interviewed senior members of the EMEA channel team, including Andy Zollo and Marvin Blough – executive director of Dell’s worldwide channels and alliances. We also had the opportunity to talk to Patrick Sweeney, executive director of product management at the corporation.

Sweeney said: “Dell is in the process of becoming an end to end supplier of scalable systems. Dell continues to build PCs, but relies on value added resellers (VARs) to be trusted advisors [to customers].” He said that Dell is now a serious player in software and security and offers products that he claimed favourably compete with the likes of Cisco, Fortinet and others.  The company, he said, invests heavily in R&D, has a wide breadth of products and the idea of Dell as a major player in security and software is promoted by Michael Dell himself when he makes major announcements.

In fact, Dell has something like 124 VARs in the EMEA region. The trend is that larger companies have started to rely on VARs to help them through the IT maze, whether that be in the cloud, in big data, or in security.  Florian Malecki, who is the international product marketing director at Dell, said his company also relies on value added distributors (VADs) to generate events and training schemes.

How does it all work? Under the Dell umbrella of Partner Direct, the company operates certification for its channel partners at different levels, said Zollo. The tiers are premier partners, preferred partners and registered partners, but, he said, Dell is about to introduce a fourth category – managed service providers (MSPs).  Dell continues to roll out partnership initiatives and concedes that while it still has direct customers, the trend is to move towards an indirect model to allow it to penetrate different markets.  It’s impossible to operate a direct model in the many markets it now plays in.

Zollo says that the company has a “direct touch” sales team that cross sells all the products it has – and this umbrella model means that Dell GCC is able to operate across a wide area of customers and partners.

Who would have thought it? Dell was once a company that wouldn’t even talk to channel publications like ours. But it looks as if it will be talking to us more and more in the future. It relies on its VARs and its VADs for deep levels of specialisation, training and support.

We guess that HP must be gazing at all of this with quite some alarm. And Lenovo, for that matter.

HP rejigs its channel people

HPDiversity and change are cited for the reasons that there’s been a reshuffle at HP Enterprise Group channel  personnel. Diversity and change. Change and diversity – those two magic words say so much and at the same time so very little.

Out is Kevin Matthews while in is Johnny Ansell.

Ansell is the new UK and Ireland indirect director for HP’s enterprise group.  He’s been at HP for fifteen years but most lately ran the HP networking business for the last 10 quarters.  Who has replaced him at the networking business remains a mystery.

According to a statement from Andy Isherwood, HP’s managing director, Matthews and others have driven “continuous growth” for over five years.

Isherwood cited his achievements as growth, relationships, and “innovation”.

What’s happened to Matthews?  HP isn’t ready to say but Isherwood said he will let us know, “once we have fully transitioned the channel business to the new leader”.  Happy transitioning.