IBM’s New, Easy-to-Deploy Flex System Communications Module

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February 12th, 2014

By Clabby Analytics

Clabby Analytics published a report, “How Cisco’s UCS Compares to IBM Flex System,” in which we concluded that IBM is out-innovating Cisco when it comes to system and communications subsystem design.

In August 2013, IBM introduced yet another communications innovation with its new Flex System Fabric SI4093 Systems Interconnect Module (SI4093). This serves as a transparent network device that simplifies layer 2 connectivity and helps IT administrators avoid possible loops by eliminating spanning tree and offers the benefits of both a pass-through and a true switch. It is preconfigured and unmanaged, but also provides cable consolidation and chassis-level switching, reducing configuration and management complexity, without giving up the performance of the EN4093R. The primary competitors for the new SI4093 are Cisco and HP. In this white paper, we provide competitive analysis across Cisco, IBM and HP.

Lippis Report 210: HP Networking Is Poised to Capitalize on the Software-Defined Networking Market Transition

July 8th, 2013

nicklippis.jpgHP has been an industry leader when it comes to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) as it sees an opportunity to accelerate its growth in the networking market during a fundamental transition point. HP’s SDN strategy spans from the data center to campus and branch office networking. Its strategy includes solutions across all three layers of the SDN architecture, including the infrastructure, control and application layers.

HP’s SDN strategy is extended by inclusion of management as a critical element to enabling SDN adoption for greenfield and hybrid deployments. At the infrastructure layer, HP supports open programmable interfaces into its networking hardware portfolio. At the control layer, HP is releasing its Virtual Application Networks SDN controller in the second half of this year. At the application layer, HP has demonstrated and announced several compelling applications and use cases with real customer deployments. HP Intelligent Management Center (IMC) now also includes SDN management elements for each layer of the SDN architecture.

In this Lippis Report Research Note, we explore HP’s SDN strategy and offerings, and offer an approach to pilots and deployment.

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2013 Industry Predictions with Nick Lippis and Zeus Kerravala

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January 3rd, 2013

Nick Lippis, Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research and I host our annual predictions podcast. We provide our top ten 2013 predictions that span consolidation in the SDN market, Cisco breaking away from HP/Dell, VMware jumping the shark, Micosoft’s rebound, the formation of the white box Top of Rack switch market, UC providers moving into context aware services, the rise of truly mobile applications and how Cisco will win with Cisco ONE. Enjoy and the very best for a happy and healthy New Year.

Register to Attend the Lippis Report’s Open Networking User Group meeting hosted by Fidelity on Feb 13th in Boston.

Lippis Report 199: IBM and HP Offer Software-Defined Networking Controllers

October 12th, 2012

It’s been a few months since VMware acquired Nicira and Cisco launched Cisco ONE. But at the sleepy Interop NY show, IBM and HP expanded their SDN portfolios with the addition of SDN controllers. To date, there are just a few firms with controllers, including VMware, Big Switch Networks, Cisco, HP, IBM, NEC and Nebula. VMware put a value on SDN overlay controllers at $1.26B, which peaked the interest of every venture capitalist as well as network executive; so there’s no surprise to see more controllers entering the market. But what’s occurring is that the controller market is segmenting into OpenFlow and Overlay controllers with little to no awareness and/or interoperability between the two control plains. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we examine the new SDN controllers from Cisco, IBM, Big Switch Networks and HP with an analysis of their evolution.

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Lippis Report 178: Nearly 2 Years after HP Buys 3Com for $2.7B, It Has Very Little to Show for IT: Can HP Make It in Networking?

September 12th, 2011

Back in November of 2009, I wrote Lippis Report Research Note 136 titled “HP Plans to Acquire 3Com Accelerating a New IT Convergence Era.” In that Research Note, I wrote

“When 3Com is fully integrated into HP what kind of networking revenue and market share can HP gain? ProCurve + 3Com is approximately $2B of revenue now. With the existing product lines can HP generate $5B, $10B or more of network revenue over five years? Time will tell.”

Well after nearly two years, HP Networking or HPN’s North America (NA) layer 2/3 Ethernet switch market share by revenue is nearly the same, bouncing between 5% and 6.1%, according Dell’Oro, with HPN’s Q2CY11 NA switch revenue share being down to 6%. Considering HPN’s limited results after significant investments in sales, channels and marketing, including its “proof-of-concept” plus “A Catalyst for Change” Cisco Trade-in program, not to mention engineering investment, the question is can HP make it in networking? We attempt to answer that question in this Lippis Report Research Note.

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HP Networking Nearly 2 Years After 3Com Acquisition: What A Disappointment

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August 23rd, 2011

On Tuesday Auguest 16th a week before HP’s news of potentially exiting the PC business, Zeus Kerravala, Senior VP of Research at the Yankee Group and Andre Kindness Senior Analyst at Forrester Research joined me in a round table discussion to reflect on HP Networking. We assess HP Networking’s progress since it announced the acquisition of 3Com back in Nov of 2009 and its prospects for the future. In a word our mutual assessment is disappointment with major short and long-term threats from Huawei. But there is hope for the future if HP can create a bold new vision for the industry and execute it. If you are going to listen to one podcast this year about HP, this should be it.

How To Position For The Massive IT Innovation and Business Cycle Shift Upon Corporations

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November 8th, 2010

Rob TaylorIT business leaders are faced with a great economic shift, while at the same time are afforded the opportunity of a shift in IT delivery models. Business leaders must balance maintaining their current infrastructure, while exploring these IT delivery innovations. Most importantly, IT business leaders need to use their IT budget, approximately 4% of corporate spend, to significantly enhance and reduce the other 96% of corporate spend. But it’s not just an economic calculus that is diving post great recession IT spending. IT leaders need to engineer their delivery to be flexible to support current business growth, ongoing change, and long-term business goals. Robert Taylor, VP of HP Enterprise Services joins me to discuss what he has learned from HP’s global 2000 customers as they emerge from the economic downturn and prepare for a new business cycle with IT.

Lippis Report 154: Is Networking Too Rigid?

August 10th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgNetworking has become “rigid”. Yes I know it’s almost absurd to attribute inflexibility or rigidity to networking. Look what TCP/IP has done for us. There are nearly 2 billion people connected to the internet and according to the Internet World Stats internet user growth rate increased by 380% between 2000-2009. With 2 billion people and growing online, accessing a plethora of applications via a wide range of end-points there is no doubt that the internet and TCP/IP has been a much bigger success than anyone would have imagined back in the early ’90s. But there’s always a give and take between computing and networking where one drives and changes the other. Right now we are in a compute innovation cycle that’s driving a fundamental change in networking which screams out the need for more flexibility.

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Lippis Report 153: Why Ethernet will be the dominant Two Tier High End Data Center Network Fabric

July 27th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIn Lippis Report 151: A Two or Three Tier High-End Data Center Ethernet Fabric Architecture? we detailed the new two tier data center Ethernet fabric that is becoming conventional wisdom amongst business leaders of high end data centers and cloud computing service providers. The networking industry is headed for a major innovation and competitive cycle fueled by a multi-billion dollar addressable market for data center network fabrics. Over the last eighteen months, every major Ethernet infrastructure provider has announced or taken a position on two tier network fabrics for high-end data centers. Companies such as Cisco, Arista Networks, Force10, Voltaire, HP/3Com, Juniper, Extreme, Brocade, BLADE Network Technology, et al have announced network fabrics for data centers with two thousand and more servers that either support storage enablement or not. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review why it is Ethernet that will be the network fabric of high performance computing or HPC and cloud computing deployments.

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Lippis Report 152: How Microsoft Killed The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum Before It Started

July 13th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIn the Lippis Report Research Note 150, we discussed the new industry group called Unified Communications Interoperability Forum or UNIF and compared it to other industry consortium charted to deliver interoperable solutions. While interoperability is sorely needed in the UC industry, it looks like Microsoft killed its changes of broad industry success before it started. What I hear from both UCIF members and non-members is that UCIF is controlled by Microsoft, and thus, lacks a large cross section of industry players as well as major UC providers. With its current structure, UCIF will make limited headway on its charter. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review UCIF and its’ opportunities.
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Lippis Report 150: What is the Motivation Behind The Unified Communications Interoperability Forum?

June 14th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgIn mid May of this year HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Logitech / LifeSize and Polycom established a forum to develop a set of interoperability test methodologies and certification programs along with specifications and guidelines that enable mixed vendor Unified Communications UC solutions to work with each other. In short, the UC Interoperability Forum or UCIF is trying to define what it means for multi-vendor UC implementations to interoperate. Since its establishment, membership has grown by thirteen vendors, but blaringly obvious is the omission of Cisco, Avaya, Mitel, ShoreTel and other major UC providers. This begs the question of motivation. Is the UCIF interested in interoperability or changing the market landscape to gain advantage on the established leaders? In this Lippis Report Research Note we explore this question.

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Lippis Report 149: High End 10GbE Data Center Switches Reviewed

May 31st, 2010

In Lippis Report 148 we reviewed the major drivers and trends that are propelling the high-end data center Ethernet switch market to well over a $1B annual run rate. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the major suppliers of these switches. We review Cisco, Arista Networks Force10 Networks, BLADE Network Technologies, HP/3Com/H3C, Voltaire, Avaya, Brocade, and Juniper and identify their unique positions and offerings to participants in the burgeoning market. Our focus is the high-end, high density 10GbE switches that are enabling virtualized cloud computing data centers thanks to Terabits per second of back plane switching capacity, billions of packets per second of layer 2/3 forwarding, hundreds of 10GbE port connectivity per chassis, a new two-tier architecture, microsecond level latency, low power consumption, non-stop operation and software hooks that eliminate network barriers to large scale server virtualization. The engineering in these switches should be celebrated, as they represent the state-of-the-art in computer and network design. In short, they represent the fundamental building block of a new generation of IT delivery based upon cloud computing and virtualization. This Research Note is a must read for any IT executive designing a data center.

After finishing this Research Note, it became evident that this market needs a set of industry neural 10GbE switch test to independently verify vendor claims. We hope to make such a contribution this Fall.
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Lippis Report 148: What’s Driving The Multi Billion Dollar Data Center Ethernet Market

May 17th, 2010

nicklippis.jpgDuring last week’s Cisco Q3 FY10 quarterly financial conference call, John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO, said something that impressed and shocked me. The company has been quiet about the growth rates for its Nexus line of data center switches until this call. What shocked me was that the Nexus 7000 is now on an annualized run rate of $1B, yes that’s Billion with a B! I remember being interviewed by John Markoff of the NY Times in Jan ’08 about the Cisco’s Nexus and Juniper’s yet to be announced Ethernet switches. In just 27 short months, the Nexus product line including the 7000, 5000 and 2000 represents a $1.4 B run rate of revenue to Cisco. Another insight gained from this ramp up is that the data center networking trends that we’ve discussed here in various Lippis Report Research Notes are powerful demand drivers for Cisco and other companies participating in this lucrative emerging market and its just starting! Companies such as Arista Networks, Force10 Networks, Blade Network Technologies, HP/3Com/H3C, Voltaire, Avaya, Brocade, Juniper, et al, have unique positions and offerings to participants in the burgeoning market. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we review the mega trends driving high market growth. We save a product review of each of the suppliers for our next Lippis Report Research Note.

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Cisco CleanAir Technology Intelligence in Action

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May 3rd, 2010

By Cisco Systems
This white paper addresses the RF interference challenges that result from high usage of a shared spectrum. It explores the limitations of standard Wi-Fi chip design and how this affects the ability of an IT organization to gather critical, actionable data about the wireless spectrum for effective troubleshooting. Finally, it introduces Cisco® CleanAir technology and explains how by integrating RF intelligence into the network, users gain tremendous insight into actual usage of the wireless spectrum. This insight is critical to proactively managing Wi-Fi networks to support mission-critical and latency-sensitive applications needed in today’s hospitals, distributed enterprises, manufacturing sites, retail stores, and offices.

To learn more, download the Cisco whitepaper.