Boosting Performance

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2004-04-14 Print this article Print

How is Egenera a category-killer? Theres a couple of dynamics happening in the industry today. One is the whole focus on open-source software and Linux, and customers are very much interested in this whole phenomena that Linux brings to the market—free software that allows them to break from the bonds of the Microsoft [Corp. Windows] operating system.
The other dynamic is that customers are trying to figure out how to get more productivity out of the capital goods that they purchase. If you look at a typical customer, they usually have on average 50 to 75 percent too much computing capacity in their environment because of the way that hardware has evolved over the years. You connect disparate pieces of hardware together, and each piece gets a little less efficient.
So, youll hear in the market this trend toward virtualization. How do you get more performance out of the hardware capacity that you have? Linux. Virtualization. Those are the two forces that Egenera brings to the marketplace. We bring the most leading-edge virtualization technology, we help the customer get more productivity out of their processing environment, out of their storage environment, out of their networking environment, and we bring Linux to the market. Its really a dynamically positioned company being that its catching both these waves in the industry at the same time, and we believe were pushing them forward. Now, today, I believe Egenera has more mission-critical Linux applications out there than any other hardware platform. VMware Inc. recently updated its virtual machine technology. Click here to read more. When youre talking about Linux, youre talking about virtualization. IBM with on-demand, [Sun Microsystems Inc.s] N1, [Hewlett-Packard Co.s] Adaptive Enterprise, theres one huge difference: Were delivering it, theyre talking about it. We have customers like … Goldman Sachs, [America Online Inc.], Credit Suisse First Boston [LLC], that are running 24-by-7 mission-critical applications with Linux in a virtualized world on Egenera. Go ask IBM for that reference, or Sun for that reference, or HP for that reference. They dont have them. Might not have them yet … How old will I be when they get them? The industrys not going to wait. Remember, the drivers behind this are productivity, cost reduction, performance. The industry doesnt wait for IBM to innovate. But a few months down the road, they will have those customers. What does Egenera do to try to stay ahead of the curve? Customers tell us we have an 18- to 24-month lead on the other players in this space, so were already ahead, way ahead, and 24 months in the IT industry is like centuries in other industries. The industry is going to change a lot of different times in there, so were already way in front. But we have one other unique dynamic in our favor, and that is, we dont have to go into a legacy-installed base and convince them that theres a different way to do it. When we walk in the door, the customer looks for us to change the game. Thats the difference. Were a category-creator, a category-definer. And the defined category is Linux in a virtualized world. The other guys are already Windows or Unix or mainframes. Theyve already got a footprint, and the customers already invested in their infrastructure. We can come in and change the game. If you look at the IT industry over the past 25 years, all the major innovation has happened at companies like Egenera. Tell me the last innovation that IBM or HP made. You wont think of one. IBM didnt invent the desktop operating system. IBM had the idea for it. Then they turned to this guy in Seattle named Bill Gates, and Bill Gates built Windows. IBMs and HPs dont innovate at the customer level because theres so much baggage from the legacies in their installed base. All the innovations happen at companies like Egenera. Who innovated the storage area network technology? IBM? IBM holds the patent on spinning disks, but they couldnt break out of the old paradigm. EMC did it. Network Appliance [Inc.] did it. Small, entrepreneurial companies without the encumbrance of legacy-installed bases are the ones that make breakout innovation happen in the IT industry. Thats what this company is. So, thats what I saw when I looked at this company. Next Page: Changing the game in the Linux virtualization space.


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