Thinking about Big Data — Part One

BigDataBig Data is Big News, a Big Deal, and Big Business, but what is it, really? What does Big Data even mean? To those in the thick of it, Big Data is obvious and I’m stupid for even asking the question. But those in the thick of Big Data find most people stupid, don’t you? So just for a moment I’ll speak to those readers who are, like me, not in the thick of Big Data. What does it mean? That’s what I am going to explore this week in what I am guessing will be three long columns.

My PBS series Triumph of the Nerds was the story of the personal computer and […]

It’s Michael Dell versus the world and Dell will win

In my last column I wrote that Dell buying EMC is a great idea (for Dell) and left it to this column to more fully explain why that is so. It takes two columns because there is so much going on here in terms of both business models and technologies. As the title suggests it comes down to Michael Dell against the world and in this case I predict Dell will win, Cisco, HP and IBM will lose, Apple will be relatively unaffected and I don’t really know what it will mean for Microsoft but I think the advantage still lies with Dell.

One thing that is key is every one of these companies except Dell is publicly traded […]

AWS shows Cloud is NOT a high-margin business

AWSearningsLast week was the first of the large cloud service companies other than Rackspace to finally break out revenue and expenses for its cloud operation. The market was cheered by news that Amazon Web Services (AWS) last quarter made an operating profit of $265 million with an operating profit margin of 19.6 percent. AWS, which many thought was running at break-even or possibly at a loss, turns out to be for Amazon a $5 billion business generating a third of the company’s total profits. That’s good, right? Not if it establishes a benchmark for typical-to-good cloud service provider performance. In fact it suggests that some companies — IBM […]

By 2015 IBM will look like Oracle

So after five parts and hundreds of reader comments, what will IBM look like by the end of 2015?  It will look like Oracle.

With earnings per share meaning everything and a headcount mandate that can’t be achieved without totally transforming the company, IBM is turning itself into something very different. Gerstner’s service business that saved the company 20 years ago will be jettisoned, probably to a combination of U.S. and international buyers.

Look for the Global Services business to be sold to one or more Indian companies while the current federal business will be sold to one of IBM’s U.S. competitors.

Meanwhile IBM will move its business toward hardware and applications delivered by partners who carry the […]

Meg's Revenge

There is no joy in Round Rock.

Early this morning the database servers at Dell Computer went down hard. The company is unable to accept orders on its web site and almost 5000 Dell sales reps trying to meet their quotas in the last week of the quarter are unable to book sales. Today’s loss for the company is already over $50 million and rising.

The database system in question is Oracle running atop NonStop Unix on a Tandem NonStop (now stopped — what an irony) system made, of course, by Hewlett Packard. So Michael Dell is pulling his hair out at this moment while he waits to be saved by HP.

It could be a long wait.

I […]

By |October 27th, 2011|2011|87 Comments