"BoB" vs. "STtC": Winner takes the datacenter

"BoB" vs. "STtC": Winner takes the datacenter

Summary: Single vendor versus best of breed. Not a new battle, but one that is certainly making waves

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"Best of Breed" or "Single Throat to Choke"; this seems to be the argument that is getting a lot of play today.  Are "supervendors" going to die out because they will buy up competition and stifle innovation, or because they lock clients into technical environments where they can no longer be competitive? And exactly when did you stop beating your wife, Mr. Supervendor?

As I've talked about various different converged infrastructure platforms over the last year, there are two sets of responses most prevalent in every conversation, both online and in real life. One set is the "Why would I want to be locked in" group .These tend to be the very techy type IT guys; they like looking for technology solutions to their problems and they want the freedom to find a solution anywhere in the technical universe.

They view the single vendor solution as more of a problem waiting to happen, rather than as a solution to their needs, artificially limiting the potential field of solution candidates for the sake of some imaginary overall benefit. In a way, these folks are actually being somewhat shortsighted; they are letting the potential of not being able to find a best of breed solution somewhere down the line color their opinion more than it probably should, to the point that the concept of a converged infrastructure annoys them.  And this isn't to imply that they aren't correct and that there will be greater business benefit to a broader variety of choices; there just isn't any way to guarantee that.

The other group is the one that immediately goes to value. They believe that the single vendor solution will mean that the vendor will be able to make significant price cuts across the board, when compared to buying individual or packaged solutions from a mix of vendors. And that this value proposition will be a sufficiently compelling reason to select a vendor that does a great job with part of the solution, but just a good, or acceptable job with the rest. And, of course, that single throat to choke when service and support are required.

Different business models will work well with different technical vendor responses.  I don't believe that the acquisition spree is going to stifle innovation, especially since I still talk to start-ups to whom the exit plan is to get their neat new tech purchased by one of the big players.

There's a real simple answer to these questions, though.  Let the market decide.

More:  The Supervendor Debate

Topics: CXO, Data Centers, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Legal, Storage, IT Employment

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  • Shallow

    "These tend to be the very techy type IT guys ... they want the freedom to find a solution anywhere in the technical universe."<br>Techy type IT guy here. FREEDOM. More appropriately if I had to choose just one word: interoperability. The greatest advances have been made by building technology on two principles: modularity and interworking e.g. the Internet protocols, USB, SATA, ... device drivers, RAID. Problems only come in technology, as in life, when people stop cooperating e.g. no you can't have a full version of OFFICE for your MAC, no you can't run FLASH on your MAC, no you can't run OSX on your non-Apple INTEL PC, no you can't put a commodity disk in a DELL fileserver. And that's before we even get near a datacentre!! Even a cursory examination will reveal that IT offerings are infested with Profit Driven Technology Decisions made in favour of vendors over customers.<br><br>"They view the single vendor solution as more of a problem waiting to happen."<br>Waiting to happen? Welcome back to planet earth - how about 'Internet Explorer cannot be removed from Windows: it is an intergral part of the operating system'. How about checking your ORACLE maintenance fees? How about looking at the price of enterprise storage.<br><br>"... artificially limiting the potential field of solution candidates for the sake of some imaginary overall benefit."<br>Idiocy! It's not an imaginary benefit - it is solely for the FINANCIAL benefit of the vendor.<br><br>"... these folks are actually being somewhat shortsighted ... to the point that the concept of a converged infrastructure annoys them."<br>No, it is you who are blind. People are not inclined to be greedy, companies are not inclined to be greedy, nations are not inclined to be greedy ... THEY ARE FUNDAMENTALLY GREEDY. There is nothing wrong per se with a monopoly, a supervendor or an integrated package. Indeed they start out well ... but then they lapse into type and the decay sets in. It's not sometimes, it's not by accident, it's by nature.<br><br>" ... there just isnt any way to guarantee that."<br>Greed is guaranteed. That's why we have the police, laws, monopolies commissions. Perhaps you would like to repeal: freedom of choice, democracy, the legal system, the monopolies commission.<br><br>"I still talk to start-ups to whom the exit plan is to get their neat new tech purchased by one of the big players."<br>Listen to yourself! Does this sound like a plan to advance technology or civilisation? Or does it sound, just as I've said, as the base motivation of greed? [Hint: the latter.]<br>And what happens when ORACLE swallows up SUN? Yippee, lots of beautiful free OPENSOLARIS, lot sof free ZFS, lots of free OPENOFFICE. What - those all got cancelled? No, what happens is the integrator either kills off the things that damage its bottom line ... or keeps the design to itself and sells it at a premium.<br><br>"Theres a real simple answer to these questions, though. Let the market decide."<br>This has failed dismally in many areas:<br>VHS v Beta<br>INTEL v SPARC, PPC<br>Windows v UNIX<br>Enterprise locked-in datacentre v Architected commodity design (Google datacentre)<br><br>I find Chernicoff's discussion shallow in the extreme and errorneous on all important fronts.
    jacksonjohn
  • Management likes simplicity

    There are way too many people like David Chernicoff in business management positions. In fact, it seems to be the norm. Too much freedom is being given away for "simple" solutions that don't work very well, but make someone big bucks.
    sorgfelt
  • RE:

    :-}
    sorgfelt