Author Archives: Pund-IT

IBM’s Diamondback Tape Library: Secure Archive Storage for Hyperscalers

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  October 26, 2022

Data storage innovation often gets short shrift in technology discussions where it is simpler to focus on the continual advancements of silicon, chipset and system solutions. But the fact is that improvements in storage capabilities like capacity and data read/write speeds are comparable to or even greater than what compute performance has achieved.

Plus, effective data storage is vital to the success of virtually every enterprise and industrial solution and service, including cloud and hybrid computing, big data and advanced analytics. Storage innovations have also enabled the evolution of new types of hyperscale businesses, such as cloud service providers, life science research and development and large-scale healthcare providers. At the same time, creating, storing and accessing massive troves of data also carries substantial challenges and risks.

Those and other issues make IBM’s recent introduction of its new Diamondback Tape Library both timely and intriguing. Continue reading

The Value of Data Center Consistency: Red Hat Transfers Storage Portfolio and Teams to IBM

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  October 9, 2022

Consistency of experience, operations and results is one of the most important factors in technology product success. However, while it is a commonplace issue in consumer tech, the subject is seldom highlighted in enterprise IT solutions and services. That makes last week’s announcement that Red Hat will transfer its data storage portfolio and teams to IBM Storage particularly interesting. Let’s take a look. Continue reading

Kyndryl’s Bridge and Vital: Helping Customers Address Two Forms of Technological Complexity

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  October 5, 2022

When it comes to business computing, “complexity” is often called out as a specific issue. However, it is more accurate to view complexity as a condition which can worsen a variety of challenges, a point that is especially true when it comes to enterprises due to the scale of their IT infrastructures.

Two of the most problematic issues large companies face are what might be called operational complexity which impacts the effective management and performance of IT assets, and design/development complexity which arises when IT assets and applications are aligned and integrated with core business processes.

The recent announcements of Kyndryl Bridge and Kyndryl Vital offer a valuable opportunity to consider these points. Continue reading

IBM Levels Skills/Sales Support for Ecosystem Partners

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  October 5, 2022

The relationships between IT vendors and their strategic partners are not always transparent. Certainly, there are obvious differences between the focus areas and skill sets of partners, such as value-added resellers (VARs), ISVs, system integrators and specialists/consultants. But, traditionally, the relationships between vendors and partners also follow a hierarchy of sorts with those partners providing vendors with the most direct monetary value (like resellers) receiving greater attention and resources than others.

Shifting that dynamic qualifies as news, so the recent blog from Kate Woolley, GM of IBM Ecosystem, explaining how the company is revamping its training, certification and sales support offerings for partners is worth considering. Continue reading

Pund-IT Executive Spotlight: Alan Peacock, GM of Delivery and Operations, IBM Cloud

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 27, 2022

When it comes to financial industry technologies and challenges, Alan Peacock has witnessed and worked with far more than most people. After graduating from university in the early 1980s, Peacock joined the Royal Bank of Scotland, eventually rising to become its CTO. Following that were CTO and CIO positions with Lloyds Banking Group, and five years as the global head of IT Infrastructure for HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, where he led a significant transformation of the company’s IT infrastructure and service management capabilities.

In June 2021 Peacock became the general manager of Delivery and Operations for IBM Cloud where his deep skills and expertise are especially valuable to IBM Cloud clients, including 19 out of the top 20 Fortune 500 banks and financial industry organizations. His experience is also well-attuned to the IBM Cloud for Financial Services and its ecosystem of global financial institutions and 90+ technology partners and FinTech companies. Continue reading

Lenovo’s ThinkSystem at 30: System, Software, Security and Sustainability Innovations

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 21, 2022

It can be challenging to celebrate longevity in a tech industry obsessed with newness and youth. But decades-long success is difficult to disagree with, especially when a company steadily progresses in market and technical leadership. In the case of Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), the celebration in question is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the company’s ThinkSystem servers.

To mark the date, Lenovo announced Infrastructure Solutions V3 which it described as “the most comprehensive portfolio enhancement” in its history. The new offerings include ThinkSystem, ThinkAgile and ThinkEdge servers and storage systems, enhanced ThinkShield security features, a new XClarity management platform and sustainability-focused solutions, like next-gen Lenovo Neptune warm water-cooling and carbon offset services. Let’s consider Lenovo’s Infrastructure Solutions V3 offerings and what they mean for the company and its customers and partners. Continue reading

Dell Technologies – Adding APEX Value and Variety to Channel Partners’ Options

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 21, 2022

As vendors, businesses and end users continue to move to subscription computing services, it is important to understand how this transition will impact third parties, like value added resellers (VARs) and other channel ecosystem members. Why so? Because in many cases, channel partners serve as the main point of contact between vendors and clients, especially smaller and regionally based businesses. Keeping those partners happy is vital to vendors’ bottom lines.

More importantly, since vendors are constantly hunting for new opportunities and have the technical and financial resources required to develop new solutions and business lines, they can also help translate those opportunities into terms that channel partners can understand and support. Last week, Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies’ Global Channel Chief, outlined enhancements to Dell’s APEX portfolio and services that are designed to expand channel partners’ skills and solution sets. Let’s consider these new options. Continue reading

IBM’s New LinuxONE Emperor 4 – Big Blue’s Big Green Bets

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 14, 2022

When it comes to data centers, energy efficiency is a broad and complex topic. That is largely due to the number of server, system and facilities components that consume electricity. But it also includes less tangible issues, including fluctuating utilities costs, affordability of local energy sources and concerns about environmental degradation and global warming.

IBM has been a central player in these issues for decades though the company has taken a number of different paths that lead to or result in enhancing compute performance while maximizing energy efficiency. IBM’s new 4th generation LinuxONE server, the Emperor 4, shows how the company is continuing and advancing this process. Continue reading

IBM Tailors IBM i System Subscriptions for SMEs

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  September 7, 2022

Small- to medium-sized enterprises and businesses (SMEs/SMBs) face some unique challenges when it comes to accessing and adopting new technologies and IT services. Not surprisingly, tech vendors tend to initially target deep pocketed large enterprises with latest/greatest solutions and services, with more modestly sized and priced offerings suitable for smaller organizations coming months afterward. That can be painful for SMEs that are sensitive to technological and competitive issues in specific markets, regions and industries.

These points are worth considering related to IBM’s new System Subscription solutions for its IBM i customers, and how those businesses are likely to benefit from these offerings. Continue reading

Dell’s XPS 13 Plus – Delivering Established Value in a Bold New Design

By Charles King, Pund-IT®  August 31, 2022

Product development is often a delicate balancing act, especially when vendors are updating well-established devices like consumer and commercial laptops. Since it is all too easy to get things wrong, many laptop vendors simply let things lie and make incremental changes or simply add in next gen CPUs and other components. But there is a strong case for modernizing classic laptop designs to account for valuable new technologies and evolving customer preferences or habits.

That is certainly the case with Dell’s new XPS 13 Plus 9320, one of the boldest examples of a vendor reimagining and enhancing one of its most successful solutions. Let’s consider why and how that is the case. Continue reading