Zenoss is on the hunt for large enterprises with a little help from Hadoop and Docker (451 Report)

Zenoss Sponsored Netbook

Back in my RedMonk days, I spoke with Zenoss a lot, so it was nice to finally catch-up with them again. They’re moving up-market and adding spending much time beefing up their back-end to handle the resulting, larger scale demands for a systems management platform in the enterprise space.

The full report is available for 451 clients, but here’s the 451 Take:

Zenoss has been undergoing much change in recent years. While other startups were snatched up and folded into larger vendors’ emerging cloud portfolios, Zenoss remained independent. The company has been transforming from its open source roots and now is solidly a commercial company, focusing upmarket on $45,000+ deals instead of smaller accounts. This is a wise move that lifts Zenoss out of competing at the low end (where the expansive nature of the platform makes the proposition too expensive) and allows it to focus on large enterprises that tend to like overstuffed systems management portfolios vs. the point tools from the likes of SolarWinds and others, which gobble up cash in the midmarket and below. As companies are switching their IT over to more cloud-like infrastructures, management vendors like Zenoss that can keep up with the new demands should find opportunities for growth.

Is it working? Further in the report we cover the financial metrics that are known:

The company says it has seen 30% Y/Y revenue growth and is now ‘north’ of $20m in annual revenue (Inc. reported its 2013 revenue at $22.4m). Zenoss says this is a record high and that it has a 93% renewal rate.

If you’re not a client, sign-up for a trial to take a peek behind our paywall.

Treating OpenStack like a spec, not a stack at #vmworld

Good, thorough piece from TPM on VMware’s OpenStack and Docker stuff this week, inc.:

The lesson to be learned from this is that OpenStack is just a framework for how the components of a cloud are controlled, but it does not prescribe any particular component for compute, networking, storage, or management.

What VMware means when they say "hybrid cloud"

Gartner’s @cloudpundit has a great way of summing up VMware’s future-proofing problems when it comes to their strategy.

tl;dr: they need to straddle two worlds, pre-cloud and post-cloud infrastructure. When VMware says “hybrid cloud,” that straddling of “legacy” IT and “real cloud” seems to be what they mean:

That brings us to VMware (and many of the other traditional IT vendors who are trying to figure out what to do in an increasingly cloud-y world). Today’s keynote messages at VMworld have been heavily focused on cost reduction and offering more agility while maintaining safety (security, availability, reliability) and control. This is clearly a message that is targeted at traditional IT, and it’s really a story of incremental agility, using the software-defined data center to do IT better. There’s a heavy overtone of reassurance that the VMware faithful can continue to do business as usual, partaking of some cool new technologies in conjunction with the VMware infrastructure that they know and love — and control.

But a huge majority of the new agile-mode IT is cloud-native. It’s got different champions with different skills (especially development skills), and a different approach to development and operations that results in different processes and tooling. “Agility” doesn’t just mean “faster provisioning” (although to judge from the VMware keynote and customer speakers, IT Operations continue to believe this is the case). VMware needs to find ways to be relevant to the agile-IT mode, rather than just helping traditional-IT VMware admins try to improve operations efficiency in a desperate grasp to retain control. (Unfortunately for VMware, the developer-relevant portions of the company were spun off into Pivotal.)

This last parenthetical point is what always confus[es|ed] me about the Pivotal divestiture. I get all sorts of answers depending on who I ask, the official one (as far as I understand it) is always the least interesting, of course.

Teradici's remote workstation access product paves the way for a new type of WaaS (451 Report)

As you may recall, I write about virtual desktop stuff from time-to-time. Teradici recently launched a new workstation remote access package for engineers and CAD/CAM types. My 451 report on the topic is out, co-authored with Scott Ottaway.

Teradici is an interesting company in this space as they get most of their revenue (70-75%) from OEM’ing their PCoIP technology to the likes of VMware, Amazon, HP, and many others for embedded use in those OEM’ers products and services.

Here’s the 451 Take:

As the needs for end-user computing devices continue to fragment, Teradici is wise to expand its portfolio and look downmarket. Its focus on specific use cases with high-end line-of-business applications is smart because of the potential revenue for these applications. We feel there will be a constant need for virtual desktops in the engineering and security fields, which like the controlled access. As new devices get into companies through BYOD programs, the demand for virtual desktop services is likely to increase for companies that need to support access to ‘traditional’ desktop applications from these new devices. Adding the ability to connect to workstations as a service in the public cloud should be appealing, especially for smaller businesses that may want to shift large up-front capital costs to ongoing operating expenses, renting monthly instead of buying up front. The company will have to pay special attention to building up its direct sales and marketing operations and expand beyond single OEM customers to maximize its growth opportunities.

It’s a nice strategic move for the company to try and amp up it’s non-OEM business.

Client can read the full report, or sign up for a trial (why not?).

The "Enterprise Cloud"

Early on, vendors who wanted to compete with AWS would speak to the idea of an “enterprise cloud.” All the US Federal activity that AWS had been up to - including that $600m private cloud for the CIA - seems to nullify most of that.

I think what will be more important is targeting the type of application supported: old school, three tier app that are statefull everywhere, or cloud native, microservices apps that are stateless (shoving statefullness of to caches and databases).

Facebook ads don't work too well for "enterprise" types

I am going to sound incredibly churlish here but why on earth Lionel Messi could possibly like our stuff is well beyond my imagination. Flattering though it might be. The same goes for the 20 year career short order cook who posts cat pictures, the retired person who joined Facebook last week, the nurse with a heavy religious bent. On and on it went.

Long ago I tried some ads for RedMonk on Facebook. I think I targeted them at people who worked for IBM. It was hard to figure out if anything “worked.” As with most things in work-life, I think you need to have a highly targeted, simple plan in place. Otherwise, you’re casting a broad net and doing classic advertising.

The other issue is the fact that “enterprise tech” is very niche-y. One would think LinkedIn would be a better place for ads, Techmeme, or even parts of StackExchange. Maybe TechTarget or the occasional ZDNet and such. I think sites like The New Stack have a good chance to assemble (you could also say “aggregate” in this context) a hard to find tech audience and server up better ad space. We’ll see.

Creative People Say No

parislemon:

Kevin Ashton:

Saying “no” has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know. We are not taught to say “no.” We are taught not to say “no.” “No” is rude. “No” is a rebuff, a rebuttal, a minor act of verbal violence. “No” is for drugs and strangers with candy.

I love and agree with everything about this post.

Hey, it’s pretty good framing. It’s like the old programmer saw about how much interruption actually take - 2-3x the time spent in the interruption because you have to get back into “flow.”

I spent a lot of time saying “no” the past week (mostly the email and my own desires to distract myself with meta-work), and ended up writing 5 or so reports. It worked out well.

There’s a whole concept of that “meta-work” that needs to be explored: it’s “meetings,” analyzing team performance in spreadsheets and KPIs, dreaming up marketing support, etc. Stuff that isn’t core production. Once you master avoiding goofing off and get yourself some sort of GTD system in place, that meta-work is the next friendly assassin to watch out for.

Who's using DaaS

Citrix has a new DaaS service provider survey out. I’m often overly harsh on virtual desktops and, by extension, DaaS. I’m always curious who actually uses this stuff, so the vertical breakout is interesting:

Verticals buying DaaS

The largest number of service providers who responded listed financial services, healthcare and manufacturing as the vertical markets they served. This is an interesting change in the vertical market ranking compared to the December 2011 Citrix Service Provider survey. In 2011, service providers indicated their leading verticals were healthcare, legal and public sector/government. Manufacturing finished fifth in the 2011 survey ranking of most popular verticals and third in the 2014 survey. The growth of manufacturing as a DaaS vertical is a keen indicator of new trends in the vertical market ranking, which is usually dominated by healthcare and financial services.

Citrix has, of course, chosen to not sell DaaS directly but rather be a supplier for others who’d like sell DaaS. They seem to be doing well according to what they reported to us for a recent 451 report: 50% y/y growth from service providers. Amazon and VMware, and others, have gone the opposite route. We’ll see what happens.

I think this was one of our best episodes.

softwaredefinedtalk:

With VMworld coming up, and Matt Ray back, we discuss VMware’s cloud portfolio and dive into what it is exactly. Pretty much virtualization plus the ability to manage other clouds and “burst” out to public VMware clusters with cloud management layered on-top. Add a hefty dose of XML and you have a delightful cake that Matt Ray has been enjoying of late. We also discuss private equity investments in technology, including Thoma Bravo in Sailpoint, the European stance towards technology, and our weekly recommendations.

Subscribe: http://feeds.feedburner.com/SoftwareDefinedTalk

With Brandon Whichard, Matt Ray, and Coté.

If you like video, see this episodes’ video recording.

Show notes:

  • What’s up with the Europe tech scene? They like privacy and, like most of the non-tech world, probably just want the technology to do a job and go away

  • With VMworld coming up next week and VMware renaming vCSH to Air, Coté asks, “so what exactly is the VMware cloud?” Thankfully, since Matt Ray has been wiring it up the Chef, he knows. Spoiler: get out your XML reference book.

  • PE firms buying and investing in companies is a think now-a-days, case in point: Thoma Bravo buying a majority stake in Austin-based Sailpoint. See 451’s assesment of the transaction as well.

  • This also gives Coté a chance for an impromptu assessment of how Attachmate has done with Novell and NetIQ. Check out my last 451 report on SUSE for the revenue numbers and other such momentum.

  • On that topic, what’s the state of identity and access management as a market and technology wise? Brandon gives a good assessment having worked in that field in the past. How’re outfits like Symplified (acquired by EMC/RSA recently) and Okta doing?

  • Also, not so snazzy new cover art for the podcast. You’re welcome!

Recommendations

Well, this whole DevOps thing is going to rough, then

Smells like Agile in 2002:

Your DevOps efforts will probably fail unless your entire management team buys into the required changes, and executives recognize that they’re going to have to change the way they operate, as well.

Have fun storming the castle.

Anecdotally, I hear fun tales of BigCo’s being befuddled by all the changes needed here. It shows why it’s vital to prove to The Business side that it’s worth it, which is always tough for such dramatic changes.

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