News Precis#4 – 28 February 2020

News Precis#4 – 28 February 2020

Chris EvansNews, Opinion

Here are the news, articles, podcasts and tweets from this week (or thereabouts) that I’ve found interesting an worthy of discussion. Remember, some of these articles may be older than a week – I’m just slow at reading.


  • Another IBM Storage rebranding. This great article from Chris Mellor explains how IBM Storage hardware products are now all being rebranded under the name FlashSystem. It’s amazing how the idea of a single brand magically means systems all operate and are managed the same way (hint: they’re not). Oddly, the IBM graphic Chris quotes shows that Pure (for example) have two product lines (C & X), when actually they have two (FlashArray & FlashBlade). Does this kind of obfuscation marketing still work?
  • Results season. VMware had a strong quarter with record revenue, as did Pure Storage, while Nutanix struggled and saw a 25% share price drop as a result. Transforming to a software and subscription model is obviously tougher than it seems. Nutanix benefited from the help of HPE, which is always fascinating, as HPE has their own HCI platform (Simplivity).
  • VMware tail wags the dog. Dell Technologies announced results in line with expectations, although the Infrastructure group (storage & servers) was down 11%. VMware continues to be the leading light of the group and I still believe that when practical, VMware will become a wholly owned subsidiary and the driving force of Dell (the company). As Dell merges server & storage divisions, is this the real death of EMC? Expect midrange to complete the “Power” rebranding and probably put the final nail in the coffin.
  • Another $10 billion in data centres from Google. The rate of data centre growth seems insatiable, with no-one likely to catch the AWS, Azure, GCP triumvirate (except perhaps the Chinese). After growth comes consolidation and efficiencies. Will we see new processors being made available from all the cloud providers?
  • IBM Rebranding (revisited). IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is stepping down and being replaced buy Arvind Krishna. Who? you might say… Well, he’s credited for completing the Red Hat acquisition, which begs the question as to whether IBM is heading for another re-invention towards Open Source and cloud. It does feel like IBM is shadowing Microsoft, as the company tried again to find a modern-day niche.
  • Speaking of Microsoft…. Are you as confused as I am about the strategy for Windows? It seems that there are so many issues core issues to fix with the O/S that all of the new features are a simply a set of bolt-ons and extras that overcomplicate an already heavyweight operating system. Good luck in trimming that down….


  • IR35 reforms steam ahead. After a remarkably quick review, the new IR35 review process will still take effect from April 2020 (pending legislation). While I can see the government wants to make tax fair, the net result from this will be stymying of innovation in the UK as businesses lose flexibility and workers avoid taking risk.

And Finally….

RIP Katherine Johnson…. if you’ve seen the film Hidden Figures, you’ll know what a contribution Katherine Johnson made to the space race by being a literal computer – one of many mathematicians who did manual flight trajectory calculations. If there’s one thing the film shows, it’s the wealth of talent under our noses that prejudice can so easily stop us from gaining the benefits.

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