Equinix vs Switch & Data??


I’ve been struggling to put Equinix into a bucket as the REIT marekt is pretty easily defined and the dedicated/managed services market is to…since I had begun to loose sight of “carrier neutral hotels”, I guess I just didn’t think of that model as being germane given most REITs today have a myriad of carriers already…and this article comes along.

This puts these two companies head to head, but where is the push into managed, higher margin services and which one will get there first?  (my bet – Equinix)


ATT Steps up the ante…


ATT has announced that they will begin to offer client owned managed services – basically, ATT will manage your IT as it sits on your site if you purchase that equipment thru them – as the article relays, ATT is offering nearly all 7 layers of the OSI stack as a solution.

I think that their challenges will be the onsite administration of these units and redundancy in connnectivity.  Even though the clear objective is to earn the client and then, over time, centrlize them – this household name will give rise to the “crossing of the chasm” here on the managed infrastructure.

I do think this will stimulate a large uptick in managed services demand along with the other players soon to get into game like IBM, HP & Cisco – Cisco I think is better poised to take on ATT for the SOHO/Mid sized market play

How do you spend $39 Billion???

NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/us/politics/23chu.html?_r=1&hp

This is the task at hand for Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy.  Dr Chu is President Obama’s newly appointed Sec Energy and is overseeing three principle areas: 1) Smart Grid, 2) Climate Change, 3) Alternative Energies.

Given these three, Internet Infrastructure is the single largest consumer of electricity (when all IT is added up), produces the most carbon gases due to electrical generation required to meet demand, and is clearly seeking alternative ways to get that energy and more efficient ways to use what it has already.

This adds up to Dr Chu being in a position to become one of the most influential persons on Internet infrastructure for next few years, we should take some time to get to know the man.

“Smart Grid” is just another name for IT centralization/NOC

As InfoWeek recently wrote about the “Smart Grid” – http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/stimulus/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=215901346&subSection=All+Stories – we can see that there are $11Bn allocated to the upgrading of our national electrical grid.  This “upgrade” will simply be what most Router or System administrators have done for years; centrally manage the entire system and collect as much data as possible for analysis.

It would seem that this would have been done long ago, however, the entrenched systems are always hardest to replace or upgrade – no matter what (think QWERTY keyboard).  And it took IT mentalities about remote, lights-out management to begin to shift the old into the new.  Witness CISCO, HP & IBM all spearheading initiatives into smart grid, smart water, heck, smart traffic…first off is to enable the system to report on itself, then aggregate the data, analyze and upgrade.
Two things are take-aways: 1) Lots of Fed, State, local $$ for enabling “smart infrastructure” and 2) the datacenter operators (see: datacenterpulse.com) will be at forefront of this effort.

The New Big Three: IBM vs HP vs CISCO

If you haven’t seen the recent spat of announcements concerning the aforementioned “Big Three”, then you might have missed the pre-fight antics.  The world is shaping up to have “information plants” throughout – datacenters that are the center of all things we do: finance, health care, dating, vacation planning, socializing, water management, smart grid, etc.  These “information plants” will need to be as well optimized as any other manufacturing facility – heck, you might begin to see the bleeding of “lean manufacturing” concepts come to play into “lean programming” or something like that…but I digress.

The New Big Three – IBM, HP, CISCO – are all poised to be the major provider of hardware and software to these information plants along with providing services from within…for example, IBM just announced their panapoly of “smart water” services – http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/technology/ibm-unveils-smart-technologies-services-help-combat-mounting-global-water/ – this push to enable IT concepts of centralized monitoring, maintaining and managing into other commodities is the start of a foundation of the next generation of internet enabled, centralized computing platforms as a service and the Big Three are duking it out to grab global market share.

HP bought EDS & Opsware; Cisco has been buying everyone and just announed their new integrated servers, switches and routing hardware; and IBM is planning on buying Sun to take out the #4 provider and establish dominance in the information plant management space…what all three are not doing, yet,  is owning the real estate – this leaves the physical plants’ ownership up for grabs – DRT, Equinix, DuPont Fabros, 365Main, and many others will benefit from partnering with the big three.

As the dawn of the “information age’ was only 10-20yrs ago, we are still in the early stages of this nascent industry, however, it is moving rather quickly – the economic downturn is exactly what allows these three to begin to capture market share, acquire needed companies to fill in services gaps, and get ready for the economic uptick to happen…it will be an interesting next decade throughout the world as information plants are sought by countries and everything becomes web based…