Storage 2017 – growth at last!


In our digital world the most important asset for most organisations and individuals is information, which we hold and process as data in a huge variety of storage devices. However spending on storage systems has been in a long term decline despite the growing number of regulations that require data retention and the valiant marketing efforts of established vendors. There are many reasons for the decline including the unbundling of storage software from hardware arrays (often described as Software Defined Storage) and the increasing efficiency of new solutions, which cut down the need to over provision storage capacity. The Figure above shows the quarterly revenues of storage systems compared with those of NAND and DRAM solid state and disk drives. My numbers include some significant overlap since the main component of storage systems comes from the other 3 categories. You’ll want to know more about how this market is developing and how it’s likely to develop in the next few years. Read more »

2016 UK IT market up 12% – the Brexit phoney war


The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have a very bad effect on international business – not least the IT industry, which is the most hyper-global of all. As you know I’ve been monitoring opinions on the issue from before the referendum last June. Initially the surprise result to leave slowed purchases, but the massive fall in the value of the Pound pushed prices up. Looking at the country 2 quarters on (this piece takes into account the market up to the end of 2016), we’ve seen some strong growth despite everything. I’m sure you’ll want to think about what happened in the last half of the year in order to make predictions about the future – especially the market in 2020, which will be the first year in which the UK will be independent.

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Openreach put beyond BT’s reach

uk telco

BT and Virgin Media are the sole suppliers of fibre optic broadband connections to homes and businesses in the UK and, while Virgin Media connects for its own business, other companies such as Talk Talk, Sky and Vodaphone are forced to use Openreach and have been spending years arguing that it should be separated from BT’s other businesses – a view that UK regulator OffCom agrees with. Last week BT announced that it intends to separate OpenReach from its other businesses by creating its own board, although retaining ownership. You’ll want to think about the consequences.

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HPE adds flash and analytics through acquiring Nimble storage


The storage systems market is growing again for the first time in years on the back of new larger disk drives delivered by western Digital and Seagate last year. It’s been a long wait for the largest suppliers… and some didn’t make it; as we all know EMC was the market leader when acquired by Dell. Part of the challenge has been how to farm the existing business while addressing new technical components and applications – one reason why most of the interesting new products (flash, in memory, hadoop analytics, software defined storage) have come from start-ups and smaller suppliers. Yesterday HPE announced that it intends to buy Nimble storage for around $1.09b in cash. You’ll want to consider what it will gain from this move and what it means for its customers and competitors. Read more »

Polycom private since July – please keep us up to date on your success


Polycom was bought by Siris Capital Group for $2b in July 2016 after a bid by Canadian company Mitel was scrapped. as a private company I’m currently estimating its performance (see my Figure). As with Rackspace and other privatising suppliers – I hope the new company will find a way of keeping us informed on its business and financial performance… and by ‘us’ I mean customers, prospects as well as researchers like me. For the record it claims to have 415k customers for its HQ video conferencing and telephony solutions currently.

Rackspace is private – please keep giving us info!


Rackspace is a leader in enterprise managed and cloud hosting. It has been a signal vendor for ITCandor, helping me to plot the uptake in the important move away from the do-it-all-yourself style of computing, where (typically large and medium) organisations built datacentres on their own land and filled them with gear, staff and software. In November it was bought by Apollo Global Management and – as a private company – I don’t expect to get much of an on-going commentary from the company on its financial and customer achievements, or on the balance between its managed hosting and cloud business. My Figure shows the steady progress of its revenues by quarter since 2006 as well as its net profits, which have always been positive. I’m hoping to find some on-going information (as I can for ARM from its new owners Softbank), but if not I’ll have to estimate them. For the record (and as an aide memoire for me) it had around 300k customers and 119k servers in its last reported results for Q3 last year.

Business performance information is very important for Rackspace’s customers and prospects of course.