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Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude)
Southwest seat 15A
Vice-President of Data Center Virtualization for Presidio
Interests: theatre, college sports, snow boarding, mountain biking, bikram yoga (see personal blog)
Recent Activity
I'm game. We just need to decide the winning criteria. If it's whether or not VMware spins off/sells EUC - then I'm going to start researching the most expensive beers right now :)
Tal, Thanks for your comment; the "highest regard" is certainly mutual. Your logic is exceptional, but I belive it is based upon a faulty premise that EUC is just another silo business for VMware that it could nonchalantly sell or spin off in order to focus on its core competency. VMware recognizes that the desktop is an essential component of both the SDDC and hybrid cloud. After all, everything starts with the user, her access point and her applications. As a complete cloud enabler (and now provider), VMware has no choice but to develop an even greater committment to EUC. I also disagree with your statement about a lack of R&D ingenuity. In addition to exceptional innovative technologies acquired externally such as Mirage, VMware is rapidly producing organic enhancements such as View Accelerator, HTML access, increased integration with UC options, etc. EUC is a very big space and, as mentioned in my post, VMware has internal politics to contend with that Citrix avoids. Still, the vision is coming together nicely and setting the stage for true integration with both SDDC and hybrid cloud. A $6B organization is not likely to make the largest investment in its history to see if there's any meat in the pie. And EUC is the fastest-growing division in VMware meaning that they're nowhere near the necessity of a Hail Mary. To me, the massive EUC hiring is yet further evidence that EMC is absolutely strategic to VMware's future.
VMware is now, with the biggest investment in its history, making an enormous effort to resolve this deficiency. The company is hiring hundreds of EUC focused sales reps and SEs (many of them from Citrix) across the globe. And while its existing reps will continue to also push EUC, this new dedicated sales force is bound to give a lot more visibility to View Horizon and the other EUC products. Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2013 at By The Bell
VMware vCloud Suite and Cisco IAC + Cloupia continue to emerge as the two dominant commercial cloud stacks. Organizations adhering to Gartner’s advice not to mix and match when it comes to building a private cloud increasingly will face a choice between VMware’s “top-down” or Cisco’s “bottom’s-up” approach. Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2013 at By The Bell
The company Phil started was called, of course, EVault. Within six years it had become one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America. Phil sold the business in 2007 to Seagate for $185M. Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2013 at By The Bell
While Microsoft, OpenStack and CloudStack will all continue to gain customers, it will be VMware's vCloud Suite vs. Cisco's IAC + Cloupia (now CUIC: Cisco Unified Infrastructure Controller) as the two dominant platform choices for private clouds. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2013 at By The Bell
One of the appeals of DaaS is that it does not require much of a conceptual leap to make the jump from virtual desktops. When you think about it, the virtual desktop already exhibits most attributes of cloud computing: it can be provisioned on-demand from shared resource pools, accessed over the Internet, and scaled up or down instantly as required. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2012 at By The Bell
Pano Logic utilized its own connection broker which was fine in the early days, but which met huge resistance once VMware View started utilizing PCoIP. VMware reps began to perceive Panos as competition even though the devices required VMware ESX on the back end. But the loss of VMware field support negatively impacted the company's momentum. Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at By The Bell
UCS Central, UCS Manager 2.1 and the growing ecosystem support enable unified management of UCS domains and of thousands of servers across disparate data centers. This positions UCS as an optimized platform not just for hosting virtual infrastructure, but for hosting virtualized data centers and cloud computing on a global scale. Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2012 at By The Bell
VMware’s vCloud Suite promotion is a brilliant move in the chess game of market share. It potentially puts the foundational products for VMware’s cloud strategy into hundreds of thousands of customer environments while offering them both a vision and tangible path for transformation to software-defined datacenters. Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2012 at By The Bell
Another term for private cloud is IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS). IT must mirror public cloud providers by charging users for resource consumption. Without the natural consequences resulting from a pay-as-you-go model, users tend to over-consume. A chargeback model drives efficiency because users naturally want to minimize their costs. When a BU manager sees, for example, that her department is being charged each month for the 20 VMs they no longer use, she takes the initiative to have them decommissioned. Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2012 at By The Bell
A private cloud is built upon a virtualized network, along with storage and compute, resources. Many virtual networks are overlaid on top of the shared physical network, logically separating tenants on the shared resources. The physical network does not have visibility to the topology of the overlays, while the network overlays must introduce virtualization-awareness or intelligence to allow for the added complexities of VM-mobility, dynamic resource allocation and virtual services. The Cisco Nexus 1000V has evolved to become the foundation for a cloud networking stack that mitigates these barriers while integrating both physical and virtual networking resources. Continue reading
Posted Sep 2, 2012 at By The Bell
Teradici RDSH may not be positioned as a competitive solution to Citrix XenApp, but some firms will inevitably consider it as an alternative. And organizations already running XenApp may be influenced as well. By eliminating the requirement to broker XenApp with HDX/ICA, Teradici RDSH may, in certain environments, shift the connection broker migration decision from XenDesktop to View. Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2012 at By The Bell
Thanks for the comment Brian - and I agree. While I didn't write about it in this article, there is a great opportunity for solutions integrators to evolve into "cloud integrators" to help organizations sort through the myriad options.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2012 on Cloud: If you can't beat it... at By The Bell
Trusted advisor status, the ultimate goal for any CIO, results from standing at the confluence of organization process knowledge, master data management, and vendor relationships. Properly used, this vantage point, really this aggregation of information, uniquely positions the CIO to drive business value. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2012 at By The Bell
Andrew, Thanks for the follow-up comment. While I think the VMware acquisition of Wanova was a brilliant move, I am curious as to why you feel it "goes some way to showing the crassness of the marketing campaign that ES emarked on..." ?
Eric, Thanks for pointing out the cereal campaign against Novell - I had no idea. The conference truck campaign (or a variation of it) is pretty common among all kinds of vendors including Citrix, Oracle, HP and VMware (though Maybe Microsoft started it all?) - but that cereal campaign was definitely a VMlimited type of attack. VMware has a huge advantage over Novell in terms of thwarting Microsoft in that former Microsoft top executives Paul Martiz and Tod Nielsen run the show.
Andrew, Thanks for your comment. My purpose in including the older MS quotes was to show how the company has always lagged behind VMware - contrary to the theme of VMlimited. And the lack of SPLA for DT service providers shows, in my opinion, a narrow self-interest, not industry leadership as implied by the campaign. My post,though, was about the campaign, not about Microsoft's capabilities. Anyone who overlooks MS as an extremely astute competitor is not likely to hold their leadership position for long. I remember the way Scott McNeally used to publicly and blatantly bash Windows, Office and MS in general (he referred to MS Office as "bloatware"). Today Sun has been pretty much relegated to a patent litigation vehicle for Oracle.
Chuck, Good post and I agree with the overarching theme that ROI, used as a rigid, narrowly defined process as a means to avoid truly understanding and evaluating complex technologies – is bad. ROI is just a financial analysis tool, and like most tools, can be beneficial or not – depending upon how it is wielded. In my experience, the problem isn’t typically a misuse of ROI, it’s that most IT organizations either don't utilize financial analysis at all when evaluating alternative technology approaches, or they do so at only a very basic level – primarily considering just investment CapEx costs. The benefit of going through an ROI analysis as opposed to a more basic financial evaluation such as TCO, is that it demands a much broader perspective. Calculating the relative aggregate savings each alternative is expected to generate in relation to the outlays significantly helps both make and justify a decision. Factoring in both outgoing and incoming cash flows on a discounted basis by year further improves the comparison. A discounted cash flow approach additionally allows the finance department to better evaluate proposed IT investments versus other opportunities for the firm’s capital. ROI doesn’t necessarily have to equate to hard dollars. As you point out, the benefits of staying ahead of the competition may far outweigh the cost of doing nothing. That being said, there is no reason why an attempt shouldn’t be made to quantify the cost of falling behind the competition. Why perhaps not particularly meaningful to an accountant, going through the exercise can potentially provide insights and identify both costs/risks and opportunities not otherwise contemplated. A final note is that Cloud is driving more interest in extensive financial analysis including ROI. This is partly because organizations struggle about what components of their IT should be in a public vs. a private cloud. But it is also because many IT departments don’t have a good grasp on what their true costs are. In order for them to effectively provide IT-as-a-Service, they need to be able to accurately cost and price IT resources in order to encourage optimal utilization.
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2012 on Learning To Escape The ROI Trap at Chuck's Blog
The premise that VMware is stuck in the virtualization past is nonsensical, but Microsoft may be striving for “cool” rather than reason. Perhaps the folks in Redmond are still smarting from the famous “I’m a Mac” campaign and consider VMlimited as their opportunity to play the hip underdog role this time around. Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2012 at By The Bell
Michael, thanks for your extensive comment. You may be looking at RDSH as just Microsoft - though I consider it the broader category for what was formerly called server-based computing (SBC). We absolutely did sell SBC as a desktop replacement. Way back in 1999 we replaced the PCs for all 1,800 users for ABM Industries with Wyse WinTerms running Citrix MetaFrame. The project was a great success - saving millions of dollars. Citrix featured ABM in a national ad campaign in media such as BusinessWeek, Fortune, and the WSJ among others. As far as organizations deploying View because of loyalty to VMware - I don't really see that. I think that IT staffs are understandably impressed with the extraordinary reliability of VMware ESX, and that may play a factor. But there are also synergies in terms of management console, licensing and staff expertise that bridge from server to desktop. And now with the integration of vCOPs with VMware View, there is yet another compelling reason for VMware shops to incorporate the VMware desktop strategy as well. I also look forward to seeing the technology evolve and agree that desktop virtualization must be approached both carefully and strategically to be successful.
Toggle Commented May 18, 2012 on The VDI Delusion illusion* at By The Bell
Brian, the question then becomes, do organizations faced with the dramatically improving economics, escalating eco-system support, and rapid enhancements of VDI continue to invest in alternative technologies, or begin shifting their enterprise desktop strategies to embrace virtual machines? My position is obviously reflected in this post.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on The VDI Delusion illusion* at By The Bell
Brian, Thanks for taking the time to respond. I agree with you that it is possible to do just about everything with RDSH that you can with virtual desktops, but often it is a lot more difficult. VDI also includes more options and the thriving eco-system around VDI enhances those options still further. In your book, for example, you discuss layering technologies. Products such as Unidesk can be very useful in handling the "long tail" issue. I definitely agree with your sentiments that RDSH vs VDI should not be the conversational focus. An organization's overall objectives must first be identified and then an appropriate enterprise desktop architecture defined to support those objectives. For those readers of this post who did not see my Amazon review of your book, I do want to reemphasize that I thought it was extremely well done - and entertaining besides. It is rare that I read every word of a book - especially one about technology. But while the logic throughout every section of the book ranges from sound to irrefutable, I think you and the other authors miss the intangible appeal articulated by Gartner's Berger that virtual desktops provide to users (and I would add to administrators). Of course, this is one of those debates that ultimately will be decided by the market. As far as I can tell, VDI looks like a good bet for the winner.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on The VDI Delusion illusion* at By The Bell
Julien, Thanks for you comment. I would disagree with your statement about VDI not being as fluid as a traditional PC. The ability to access a virtual desktop from anywhere on almost any device at any time is certainly much more fluid than a PC. Also, today's integrated zero-client/monitors by manufacturers such as LG & Samsung (& HP just announced one) are considerably less expensive than PCs & monitors, and of course require far less power. The zero-clients also have no local OS at all meaning that management is not an issue. I do agree with you that user satisfaction - or perhaps more importantly - aggregate productivity, is the objective of an enterprise desktop strategy of which VDI increasingly will be an important element.
Toggle Commented May 15, 2012 on The VDI Delusion illusion* at By The Bell