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VBlogs from IBM Edge 2016: Mainframe in the Cloud

by Administrator on October 26, 2016

mainframes-are-clouds3smReaders of this blog may recall past entries in which we argued that mainframes were, by all coherent definitions of the term, “clouds” in and of themselves.  This message seemed to be getting more play while we were at IBM Edge 2016 at MGM Grand a month or so back…especially from Steven P. Dickens, Senior Offering Manager for IBM Cloud for z Systems and LinuxONE.

Here is a edited version of a rather extensive chat I had with Mr. Dickens regarding IBM’s plans to deliver “Mainframe as a Service” in a cloud.  As always, his commentary was on point and very Brit.



I suppose I am something of a mainframe bigot, sensing as I often do that the “latest and shiniest new technologies” are more often than not just a rediscovery of things we have done on mainframes for years.  Virtualization?  Been there.  Software-defined storage?  Done that.  Multi-tenancy?  Yawn.  Cloud?  Did it 30 years ago.  Happy that the newbs are discovering all of this stuff again…for the first time!

Thank you to Steven for participating in this interview.  And thank you to IBM for providing me with transport, lodging and free registration to the outstanding Edge 2016 event.  While IBM funded these vBlogs, the responsibility for and ownership of edited content is entirely my own.



ASCDI in Berlin: The Interviews, Part 2

by Administrator on October 24, 2016

ascdiFollowing up on the previous post, we were delighted to travel to Berlin in late May to interview members of ASCDI, an organization for secondary IT equipment sellers that convened its annual worldwide meeting in that historical backdrop.  ASCDI is doing the proverbial “Lord’s work” by setting a high bar for vendors in the secondary or used equipment market.  We will let Barry M. Ferrite, our favorite Storage AI, make the case…

Embedded in Barry’s latest video is a clip from our interview with ASCDI chairman, Joe Marion, who talks about the organization’s pillar, the ASCDI Code of Ethics, a process for ensuring that consumers derive the value they expect from used equipment vendors.  We like what Joe and ASCDI are seeking to accomplish.


Not every member of ASCDI is a used equipment broker dealer, some handle financial aspects of brokering agreements.  Thomas Weltin, who works with CCA Financial in Virginia, provides leasing arrangements for new and used hardware.  In this video interview, shot in Berlin, he explains why his firm belongs to ASCDI and how he believes that the ASCDI Code of Ethics helps CCA Financial and its customers gain the best possible value out of every transaction.


Steffen Miller, Managing Director for Miller Anlagen/Miller Leasing, is based in Germany, but also serves on the ASCDI board of directors in an effort to spread the gospel of the ASCDI Code of Ethics throughout the global secondary market.  In this video, he tells us about the benefits that his firm enjoys from ASCDI participation and how value is passed along to consumers.


If you are preparing to upgrade, consolidate, expand or deploy additional storage, you might want to consider used gear.  Combining well maintained and serviced off-lease hardware with the latest software-defined storage from firms like Starwind Software, DataCore Software or Acronis (just to name a few), might well save you some money.  In closing, here is a video interview with long time friend, Max Kolomyeytsev, from Starwind Software, who also turned up at the ASCDI event in Berlin to share information about his company and partnership opportunities for secondary market equipment brokers…


We encourage all readers of this blog to look into ASCDI to learn more about this organization and its code of ethics idea.  Their website is at and they are planning new conferences in the US and abroad virtually all the time.


ASCDI in Berlin: Interviews

by Administrator on October 24, 2016

ascdiThis past Summer, I toured Europe and visited with long time friends at ASCDI at their world conference in Berlin.  ASCDI is an association for secondary market vendors who trade mostly in off-lease server, network and storage gear.  Some vendors work on financing purchases while others provide equipment and/or service and support.

Overall, the organization strives to do what really needs to be done in this market:  engender trustworthiness.  Sporting a code of ethics for secondary market vendors intended to foster confidence and provide a means of redress in the case of shady deals, ASCDI is part “better business bureau” for the market.  That is something I think we could use at all levels of this market.

Here are a few interviews I shot with members of ASCDI at the show.  We will start with Joe Marion, who heads ASCDI…


Next up, Fabienne Gouatarbes tells why her company, BESTinfo, is a member of ASCDI, what the organization provides to them and how it helps their customers.  BESTinfo is both in the brokering business and the financing business:  so, primary and secondary market.  Perhaps what they learn at ASCDI will help them in their other endeavors as an IBM Business Partner…


Neil Vill, President and CEO of Minnesota-based World Data Products, also provided us with insights into the value his company and his customers derive from his association with ASCDI.  Interesting perspectives from a self-styled “independent reseller of IT hardware”…


We have a few more interviews to post from Berlin, including several more ASCDI members, a chat with a speaker from StarWind Software, and a new Barry Ferrite video.  Stand by!


PRISM International Data Management Conference on Horizon

by Administrator on October 3, 2016

prism_2016data_brochureIn  two days, I will be jetting up to Chicago (Rosemont, actually) for the PRISM International and Data Protection Association’s 2016 International Data Management Conference.  You can learn about it HERE.

I am speaking on Storage Trends.  Hope to make it a bit entertaining so that these nice folks will invite me back another time.  From the looks of their website, they choose nice venues abroad for some of their meetings.

If you are in the Chicago area and have from an hour on Thursday AM to two days of time to spare, why not look into the event and come on out?  Hope to see some of you there.




As Summer Winds Down

October 3, 2016

This Summer has been the busiest I have had in nearly 10 years.  I was all over Europe in May, after IBM Interconnect, then working on numerous projects, ranging from a supercast on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure appliances, to a day-long training course on Continuity Planning in the Cloud Era.  That webinar, which you can replay HERE, […]

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Check Out Rosewill

October 3, 2016

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, no, I have not changed my policy of not allowing advertising on my blog.  I have agreed, however, to pass along some information for Rosewill, maker of great docking stations, drive enclosures and HDD docks that I use a lot in my own testing work.  They are having a […]

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IBM Spectrum Accelerate (er…XIV…er…SDS…er…) Advances

May 5, 2016

If you are like me, you are still trying to get your head around the whole software-defined storage thing.  Some folks insist that it is an entirely new architecture, but I remember running into one of the folks who manages IBM’s System Managed Storage at their IBM Edge show last year who shook her head […]

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Are We Sure We Have Properly Defined Software-Defined Storage?

April 27, 2016

It’s an issue that has been nagging at me for quite awhile.  Who gets to decide what functionality belongs in a software-defined storage stack and what should belong to the array controller or the operating system?  I found my discussion with Chandra Mukhayala, IBM’s Portfolio Marketing Manager for File and Object Storage, on this topic […]

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IBM’s Ross Mauri Talks Mainframes, Hybrid Clouds and Bridging The Constituencies of IT

April 15, 2016

It isn’t every day that we score an interview with the General Manager of zSystems and LinuxONE, Ross Mauri.  He is a very busy guy working to bridge the constituencies — AppDev and Ops — within the data center, while adapting IBM’s mainframe narrative to the brave new world of hybrid clouds. So, when you […]

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IBM Spectrum Storage Explained…

April 13, 2016

I have to admit, I am not very good at remembering brand names.  I am even less good at remembering brand names when the vendor changes them.  A year or two back, IBM decided to regroup and rebrand its storage offerings under the “Spectrum” umbrella.  It made for pretty artwork, but it confused me…and probably […]

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