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451 Research - Biography

John Abbott
Founder, Distinguished Analyst

John covers systems, storage and software infrastructure topics for 451 Research, and over a 25+-year career has pioneered specialist technology coverage in such areas as Unix, supercomputing, system architecture, software development and storage.

One of the cofounders of The 451 Group in October 1999, John ran analyst operations in the company's San Francisco office. He has been a principal author on many 451 Special Reports, including those on storage virtualization and blade servers ? the first comprehensive surveys of either subject to be published.

John began covering the technology sector in 1984, building on his previous experience as a technical author and direct involvement using mainframes, early PCs and Unix workstations. As a freelance journalist, he contributed to publications including Computing, Computer Weekly, The Financial Times and The Times. In 1987, he was appointed Editor of ComputerWire's weekly Unix newsletter, Unigram.X, and later became Editor of the company's daily Computergram International service.

John has a BA in Music and an MA in Modern English Literature from the University of London.


Reports by this Analyst

As it shifts to the cloud, Stratus is acquired for $352m by PE shop Siris Capital
TDM Deal Analysis - March, 2014
Virtualization and, more recently, the cloud have changed the high-availability business beyond all recognition. Siris has stepped in to help fault-tolerant systems maker Stratus address a broader market.
OEM deal with IBM could help Bridgeworks establish its new way of boosting the WAN
MIS Impact Report - March, 2014
Rather than just trying to reduce the amount of storage traffic sent down a TCP/IP pipe with compression and de-dupe, Bridgeworks believes in keeping the data untouched and using up the maximum possible bandwidth by employing multiple parallel streams.
Desktop as a service now covers graphical apps as NVIDIA and VMware expand partnership
MIS Impact Report - March, 2014
The company's GRID virtual GPU technology will be integrated within ESX by year-end, and remote graphics and GPU sharing is made available from the Horizon desktop-as-a-service platform. Citrix and Microsoft already support GRID – will Amazon be next?
Kaazing's WebSocket Gateway targets two-way dynamic Web and the Internet of Things
MIS Impact Report - March, 2014
Software-based IOT Gateway aims to act as 'TCP for the Web,' replacing HTTP's publish and subscribe model with something more suitable for the large volumes of data found in (for instance) connected healthcare applications - and a lot more besides.
Azul's Zulu JVM could prove an awkward challenge to Oracle's Java ambitions
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
The company has released a new commercially supported implementation of the OpenJDK with a range of enterprise support options; unlike Oracle, it promises to continue offering support for older legacy versions for up to 10 years.
Nutanix growing up as it attracts larger customers and a hefty new funding round
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
The server-storage hybrid-systems maker, which recently closed a giant series D funding round of $101m, says that large customers are now taking it as a serious competitor and alternative to the tier one storage vendors.
Status update: Microsoft shares cloud servers with Facebook Open Compute Project
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
Microsoft has joined other large organizations including Facebook, Intel and AMD in supporting the Open Compute project, which has pledged to overhaul how datacenter IT and other equipment is designed and deployed.
Stratus puts emphasis on software-defined availability with everRun Enterprise launch
MIS Impact Report - February, 2014
The venerable redundant hardware maker has now integrated the software assets it acquired in 2012 from Marathon with its own Avance software. It has also won an OEM deal from IBM and is beta testing an availability platform for OpenStack and cloud.
2014 M&A Outlook – Storage and systems
TDM Others - January, 2014
As part of our end-of-year series of M&A analysis, we look at the deals that mattered in 2013 and assess the prospects for the next 12 months in the storage and systems sector. Where will we see acquisitions, and who might be involved?
IBM sells more of its x86 assets than expected to Lenovo, at a bargain price
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2014
The $2.3bn deal includes the transfer of 7,500 employees along with the System x, BladeCenter, Flex and NeXtScale product lines, as well as network switches. Big Blue will focus instead on its high-value enterprise systems.
Citrix acquires Framehawk to build out secure application delivery and BYOD capabilities
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2014
When you can't rewrite that GUI application as a native mobile or tablet application, you need an alternative for securely delivering it to BYOD-giddy employees. Citrix believes Framehawk is just what the doctor ordered.
Newly funded Servergy's hyper-efficient Power servers reach market, 64-bit versions soon
MIS Impact Report - January, 2014
The Texas-based company is using IBM's Power chip as the basis for efficient servers with high I/O capabilities. It reports strong demand, particularly from the existing user base of IBM Power systems. IBM is currently a partner.
Will Amazon WorkSpaces be the catalyst that takes desktops as a service mainstream?
MIS Impact Report - November, 2013
Amazon WorkSpaces is billed as a cloud-based alternative to on-premises VDI, delivering persistent desktops, applications and data to multiple types of devices from the AWS cloud.
TOSCA and Heat – IBM's passport to extending patterns into the cloud
MIS Impact Report - November, 2013
Application-aware infrastructure promises to provide new levels of automation and optimization at the application layer, utilizing multi-vendor cloud platforms underneath. IBM is putting its weight behind some emerging standards.
VMware buys into desktops as a service with Desktone acquisition
TDM Deal Analysis - October, 2013
After years of delay and uncertainty, things finally appear to be taking off for DaaS. VMware is stepping in to boost its leverage with service providers by acquiring DaaS pioneer Desktone.
Waratek's jSleep hibernates inactive Java applications to save resources
MIS Impact Report - October, 2013
The new feature is a part of the Irish startup's strategy of introducing a range of Java virtualization features. It should be immediately applicable to devops infrastructure, with cloud PaaS a promise for the future.
VCE's latest product introductions include specialist configurations for database, VDI
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
The new Vblock System 340 adds some of the latest networking, storage and virtualization components from VCE's investor companies – and there's now a directly competitive offering against Oracle Exadata.
If x86 server sales keep plummeting, what will the systems companies do next?
MIS Spotlight - September, 2013
Industry-standard x86 server sales have been dropping as virtualization and cloud take hold. Meanwhile, profit margins continue to shrink, and new entrants are challenging the established system houses. What are the big vendors doing in response?
Intel promotes Atom to front-tier product line with 13 system-on-chip variants
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
Although mobile is the main focus at IDF, Intel has plenty to say about its datacenter technologies, where its big investments in a new micro-architecture – Silvermont – coupled with SoC design capabilities, appear to be paying off.
Numecent hooks up with Amazon to page 'Native' Windows apps from the cloud
MIS Impact Report - September, 2013
Developers who don't want to re-architect their Windows applications for subscription licensing and delivery from the cloud now have a faster option – Native as a Service from Numecent, previously known as Endeavors.
ARM turns to acquisitions as rivals take new interest in silicon IP licensing
TDM Acquirer IQ - September, 2013
Intel is usually cited as the primary rival for ARM. But ARM's recent acquisition of graphics IP from Cadence begs the question – are the big EDA vendors, intent on building their own IP-licensing businesses, much more of a threat?
Takeovers are overtaking the Internet of Things sector as ARM buys Sensinode
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2013
We've logged more than 20 acquisitions referencing IoT since January 2010, with the nascent M&A wave approaching $1bn in total spending. ARM is the latest vendor to reach for its wallet in this market.
CloudPhysics collects operational data in the cloud to simplify VMware operations
HITS Insight - August, 2013
By using the collective intelligence available from its SaaS-based offering and then building an app store of 'cards' that apply best practices to specific use cases, CloudPhysics hopes to fill a big gap in virtual workload management.
HP's Enterprise Group systems business facing many challenges
MIS Impact Report - August, 2013
HP is facing plenty of challenges, including a plunge in PC sales and fallout from its Autonomy acquisition. But currently it is the Enterprise Group, the second largest of the six business groups, that appears to be struggling the most.
CloudPhysics collects operational data in the cloud to simplify VMware operations
MIS Impact Report - August, 2013
By using the collective intelligence available from its SaaS-based offering and then building an app store of 'cards' that apply best practices to specific use cases, CloudPhysics hopes to fill a big gap in virtual workload management.
High-density power management is the driver for Maxim's $605m Volterra buy
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2013
The target has won tier one server makers such as HP and IBM as customers for its power management chips, which are suitable for use in high-density hyperscale servers. With the deal, Maxim is looking to diversify its business into power management.
IBM opens up Power chip architecture as microprocessor landscape evolves
MIS Impact Report - August, 2013
Facing competition from Intel x86, and now from products based on licensable cores from ARM, IBM hopes to regain some lost ground by openly licensing its Power chip intellectual property to partners.
Cloud Dynamics combines IT and facilities hardware with software tools for cloud platform
MIS Impact Report - August, 2013
Aiming at mid-tier service providers, the startup integrates hardware infrastructure with its own cloud tools to offer a plug-and-play cloud services platform – on-premises or off-premises.
NVIDIA buys The Portland Group as it lays out a broader role for graphics chips
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2013
Hybrid CPU and GPU systems are now catching on rapidly in the HPC sector. Compiler company PGI is a key player in getting software to run more easily on these new types of systems.
Citrix XenDesktop 7 takes us one step closer toward a cloudy Avalon
MIS Impact Report - July, 2013
At its recent Synergy conference, Citrix released XenDesktop 7 (aka Excalibur), the first major component of Project Avalon, with the emphasis on bringing Windows applications into the mobile world. Cloud integration will follow later.
Seeing the light: how silicon photonics could change servers and datacenters
HITS Insight - June, 2013
Transmitting light over silicon rather than purely optical devices or traditional copper could lead to much lower costs and lower energy consumption when connecting up compute resources in a datacenter.
Dell pitches shared-infrastructure blades at small businesses with new VRTX servers
MIS Impact Report - June, 2013
VRTX incorporates compute, lots of storage and I/O slots, and a network switch inside. It's intended to bridge the gap between standard tower and rack servers coming from the low end and blade servers coming from the high end.
HP upgrades its cloud automation tools with tighter integration and OpenStack support
MIS Impact Report - May, 2013
Cloud Service Automation, Operations Orchestration and Server Automation now work together more closely, and HP is extending its automation tools and templates into the database, middleware and application layers.
Mellanox reaches for silicon photonic interconnects with $82m Kotura buy
TDM Deal Analysis - May, 2013
Mellanox plans to integrate and tune Kotura's silicon photonic modules with 100Gbps InfiniBand and Ethernet for datacenter and HPC interconnects.
Seeing the light: how silicon photonics could change servers and datacenters
MIS Spotlight - May, 2013
Transmitting light over silicon rather than purely optical devices or traditional copper could lead to much lower costs and lower energy consumption when connecting up compute resources in a datacenter.
Waratek's 'JVM manifesto' sets out features needed to retrofit Java runtime for the cloud
MIS Impact Report - April, 2013
What if you could move live Java virtual machines around as a kind of lightweight VMotion? That's one of the new features proposed by the startup for multi-tenancy Java.
Two tiny deals show growing interest in data reduction, software-defined storage
TDM Sector IQ - April, 2013
IBM's acquisition of Butterfly Software in September 2012 attracted little notice. Neither did Fusion-io's takeout of ID7 last month. Few people had heard of the targets, but both have intellectual property that could prove strategically important.
Oracle accelerates SPARC systems business in direct challenge to IBM
MIS Impact Report - April, 2013
Once a performance laggard, the SPARC chip has caught up – and maybe passed – IBM's Power, due to heavy investment by Oracle over the past three years. Oracle hopes to stem the defection of its valuable user base over to competitors.
What is a software-defined network anyway, and why should you care?
MIS Spotlight - April, 2013
In this report, the first of three spotlights dissecting the world of software-defined networks, we'll discuss the 'what' and 'why.'
Micro Focus revamps migration tools to reflect new interest in workload management
MIS Impact Report - April, 2013
The company's Mainframe Solutions division has carried out 200 or so lift-and-shift migrations from mainframes in the past six years. Now it offers the choice of optimizing workloads for the best platform, be it mainframe or distributed.
HP Labs plots the future of servers with 'commercially focused' research efforts
MIS Impact Report - April, 2013
The recently installed head of HP Labs, Martin Fink, previously ran HP's business-critical server division. He has identified three developments that could change the way future servers are built.
Last-firm-standing Bridgeworks has far-reaching plans for storage over the WAN
MIS Impact Report - March, 2013
There's only one player left in the 'storage protocol bridging' market sector, but Bridgeworks isn't giving up. Its most recent product, SANSlide, promises near-real-time remote replication over long-distance TCP/IP networks.
VCE introduces smaller Vblocks, opens up management tool choice with new Vision console
MIS Impact Report - February, 2013
There are now two smaller families of Vblock converged infrastructure systems: a specialized SAP HANA version and a new operations management tool that plugs into existing management consoles that customers might be using.
Itanium nearing its end of life? Revised roadmap suggests that is so
MIS Impact Report - February, 2013
The next-generation Itanium, code-named Kitson, appears to have been downgraded. It will use the same 32nm manufacturing process as the current version, and the same socket – not the expected Xeon-compatible common socket
Indelibly on the market for 25 years, Dell looks to go private in mega-LBO
TDM Deal Analysis - February, 2013
The company rode the PC boom to a market cap of $100bn, but now plans to exit the market at just one-quarter that valuation. The planned LBO caps several years of refocusing and repositioning at Dell, which still hasn't been able to find growth.
Open Compute Project is looking to break up system design into its component parts
MIS Impact Report - February, 2013
New projects such as silicon photonics interconnects and a common slot architecture could change the nature of datacenter deployments and upgrades, and open the door up to new kinds of systems suppliers.
Four Js carries on Informix 4GL legacy with platform-as-a-service extensions
MIS Impact Report - January, 2013
The company has exited the database market and gone back to its roots as an application development tools vendor. It's working on cloud and mobile extensions to Genero, its Informix 4GL-compatible development platform for ISVs.
2013 M&A Outlook – Storage and systems
TDM Others - January, 2013
As part of our end-of-year series of M&A analysis, we look at the deals that mattered in 2012 and assess the prospects for the next 12 months in the storage and systems sector. Where will we see acquisitions, and who might be involved?
Jitscale uses managed service skills to extend critical infrastructure to the cloud
MIS Impact Report - January, 2013
The technology-agnostic company uses its own Jitscale Management Layer tool to identify and manage multiple cloud, hosted and in-house infrastructure resources that will address its customers' specific business requirements.
Bull looks to cloud infrastructure services and integration to push technology portfolio
HITS Insight - January, 2013
Those who remember Bull at all associate it with public-sector outsourcing and legacy mainframes. Yet the company has a strong product portfolio, and is now hoping to increase its profile and customer base through cloud-related services.

 

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