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Global CIO: EMC Taking Plunge Into Red-Hot Optimized Systems Market

EMC and recently acquired Greenplum will launch a data-warehousing appliance featuring EMC's storage expertise, says analyst Jason Maynard.

"We think that a new integrated product will focus on EMC's strong storage capabilities, combined with Greenplum’s analytics for massive amounts of data. We don't expect the initial product to be a game-changer against Oracle, IBM, or Teradata, but rather a good first step.

"We still think a 2011 release will be more competitive, since it would give EMC time to natively bake in their advanced storage and backup capabilities."

That plays into a bigger and more-powerful trend that Maynard says will reshape in fundamental ways how CIOs think about and build their enterprise architectures and how they deploy key pieces of infrastructure.

"As software and hardware technologies are increasingly delivered as integrated appliance-like solutions, many of the software-centric firms have an advantage given their IP is much more difficult to replace than the commoditizing compute functions," Maynard's note says.

"Our big-picture view is the data-center transformation will result in the consolidation of power around a handful of major systems vendors. These systems vendors will deliver highly engineered and integrated stacks of applications, platform middleware/OS, virtualization, compute, storage and some networking functions for a wide range of workloads," Maynard writes.

"We think Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco and HP are the most likely candidates to deliver on this vision. Other vendors such as EMC/VMware own important market positions, and while they may not drive the consolidation, they could become core components of a broader solution."

I think Maynard's scoped out EMC's position quite nicely, and in our own recent analysis of this high-potential sector we offered a related perspective:

"Today's next-generation enterprise software that's bringing alive the promise of business analytics, predictive analytics, real-time analytics, real-time OLTP, staggeringly large databases, and the soaring volumes of queries triggered by many millions of mobile business users has become so powerful and so complex that generic servers—even the biggest and gnarliest boxes—simply can't exploit the full range of insights, foresights and opportunities that today's top software can deliver.

"And in response, every single major IT company—hardware vendors, software vendors, and the crossovers as well—are rushing in with their own combinations (Oracle and IBM) or in partnerships (everyone else)."

All of this frothy activity should be pretty exciting for CIOs looking to create or extend competitive advantage via speed, simplicity, and performance--which, these days, should be every CIO on the planet.

But on top of that, the real value within this broad trend toward purpose-built systems is that IT vendors are getting away from the old notion of merely perpetuating their historical product lines and are instead looking to create new approaches to meet the relentlessly rising demands of their customers.


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GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at

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