War of the Stacks: OpenStack vs. CloudStack vs. vCloud vs. Amazon EC2

By Torsten Volk on Oct 11, 2013 11:46:00 AM

When it comes to cloud technologies, discussions often get passionate or even heated. It’s all about the “war of the stacks”, where much Cool Aid is dispensed to get customers to buy into the respective cult. This discussion reminds me of the old days of enterprise IT, where everything was about technology instead of business value. You either bought one thing or the other and then you were locked in for a half decade. Dark times.

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VMworld 2013 Digest – 8 Companies You Should Take a Closer Look At

By Torsten Volk on Aug 30, 2013 9:28:28 AM

Every year after VMworld EMA receives countless inquiries regarding the most notable vendors on the show floor. This time around, we have compiled a list consisting of startups taking a new look at traditional IT challenges, as well as larger and more mature companies that have launched industry transforming initiatives. Ultimately, this list of eight extraordinary vendors is focused on one central concept: customer value.

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OpenStack Thoughts – Part 2: Impact on VMware

By Torsten Volk on Jun 19, 2013 9:33:19 AM

At EMA, we constantly receive inquiries regarding what OpenStack means to the VMware portfolio. Is it a competing technology? Are OpenStack and vCloud complementary? Why did VMware join OpenStack? What are the typical use cases for OpenStack as opposed to vCloud? To address these questions, let’s take a step back and take a look at what OpenStack is and, as importantly, what it is not. This post is building on my previous article on the business value of OpenStack.

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OpenStack Thoughts – Part 1: Key Business Considerations

By Torsten Volk on Apr 22, 2013 10:01:57 AM

OpenStack’s huge momentum is undeniable. IBM, RedHat, NetApp, Rackspace, HP, Dell, Cisco, Intel and even VMware have committed significant funds and human resources to this project. But why would companies, that are otherwise competing rather fiercely, sit on one table to build an OpenSource cloud platform?

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The Software-Defined Datacenter: Part 3 of 4 – Questions and Battlefields

By Torsten Volk on Sep 24, 2012 8:58:53 AM

After talking about the “grand vision” of the Software Defined Datacenter (SDD) in part 1 of this series and discussing the individual components required to build out the SDD in part 2, this third part will be all about the three core challenges and controversies:

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A Collaborative Journey to the Cloud

By Torsten Volk on Aug 1, 2012 9:42:00 AM

When I picked “The Journey to the Cloud” as the working title for one of my fall research projects, I triggered some immediate reactions from colleagues and customers, whose opinions I value. And while I typically do not place too much importance on selecting a working title and also did not intend to just warm up an earlier research piece on that same topic, these reactions prompted me to take a minute to think about how we can best target our research for maximum customer benefit. As EMA is conducting this research for our customers – vendors and end users – why not talk to exactly these people to find out which specific issues they want to learn more about? And so we did…

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Physical, Virtual … Cloud – Upcoming EMA Research

By Torsten Volk on Jul 18, 2012 11:13:28 AM

Cloud is still a rapidly evolving discipline, with currently many organizations thinking about how to get started or how to take their limited cloud environment to the next level. These organizations are faced with two general challenges. They have to a) get their own house - data center – in order and b) identify a shortlist of vendors that best fit their individual requirements.

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EMA Radar for Workload Automation 2012 – Key Findings

By Torsten Volk on Jun 14, 2012 10:57:43 AM

During this year's research for the 2012 EMA Workload Automation (WLA) Radar Report, we encountered a number of very interesting core findings. These research results mostly originated from dozens of conversations with end customers, who have been using WLA software for many years and sometimes even for decades. WLA, by definition, is a mature discipline, as it started during the beginning of mainframe times, then became more complex when organizations adopted distributed computing, and today is faced with a new challenge: the cloud. Please take a look at what our research showed as the most important aspects of a modern WLA solution. The following vendors were included in the report: Arcana, ASCI, ASG, BMC, CA Technologies, Cisco, Flux, MVP Systems, Network Automation, ORSYP, Stonebranch, UC4.

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IBM Pulse 2012: Visibility – Control – Automation

By Torsten Volk on Mar 28, 2012 8:42:01 AM

Every March, IBM invites customers and analysts to its annual Pulse user conference. This year, Pulse was all about the more efficient delivery of IT services, a concept that is usually referred to as "cloud". Since cloud has developed into a term that, due to its overuse, is often frowned upon, to say the least, it was great to see IBM try hard to demystify this elusive concept, backing it up with numerous case studies and customer testimonials. The fact that many of these case studies were not as polished as you so often see during this type of show, made the experience actually better. It became clear that these were real customers, implementing "cloud" to solve very specific corporate problems and while doing this, running into very specific IT problems. This is something that just happens when breaking new ground and it speaks for IBM's self confidence to not present only squeaky clean projects at its show.

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Innovation in Enterprise IT

By Torsten Volk on Jan 3, 2012 1:00:41 AM

A friend of mine recently asked why I am even still interested in enterprise computing when all the innovation is happening within the consumer electronics sector. Smartphones, tablet computers, e-book readers, and audio streaming devices have changed the way we live our daily lives. Now that I read the NYTimes on my iPad, I get through a substantially larger part of the newspaper, compared to when I was reading the paper edition. Now that I use "Read it Later," I finally get to actually read all the interesting website articles that I bookmark during my workday, while relaxing in the evening on the couch with my iPad. Since I have Rhapsody on my iPhone, I get to actually listen to my favorite rare albums while driving to work. My Squeezebox streaming music players on my nightstand and in my living room allow me to listen to my favorite global radio stations, or I can create my own custom channels, by entering a number of my favorite bands. My home alarm system is controlled through an online dashboard or an iPad/iPhone app, so that I can turn off specific motion sensors or the entire system remotely.

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