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.

As 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

Tech Data snaps up Avnet's Technology Solutions business
TDM Deal Analysis - September, 2016
The $2.6bn deal transforms Tech Data from a company that primarily sells general technoloy products to one that generates almost half of its revenue from datacenter services and the distribution of offerings such as servers, storage and networking.
Freshly merged, Dell Technologies unveils plan to enable 'the next industrial revolution'
MIS Spotlight - September, 2016
The merger of Dell and EMC was finally completed on September 7 for $60bn, making it the largest merger in IT history. As the IT world continues to change at a breathtaking pace, can Dell achieve its goal of leading the 'next industrial revolution'?
Micro Focus continues consolidation, adds HPE software division in $8.8bn transaction
TDM Deal Analysis - September, 2016
The pure-play software house is set to triple in size as it picks up HPE's software unit. The division had been built on a string of acquisitions over the past decade that cost roughly $10bn more than the portfolio is being valued at in the divestiture.
Intel adds to its portfolio in machine vision and deep learning with Movidius buy
TDM Deal Analysis - September, 2016
Movidius has developed a chip architecture with sub-one-watt power consumption to run machine-vision algorithms that take full advantage of the recent evolution in machine learning. There are also direct synergies with Intel's existing RealSense depth-sensing technology.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise pays $275m for SGI as part of HPC and big-data analytics push
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2016
SGI was one of the few remaining independent systems vendors in the HPC and hyperscale sectors. It brings to HPE a strong technology heritage, some of the most scalable systems in the industry, and the chance to focus a much larger and stronger sales channel and marketing operation on a previously undervalued portfolio. There are difficulties, however – including some significant product clashes.
Blue Medora changes tack with new SELECTStar performance management for the data tier
MIS Impact Report - July, 2016
The small company is best known for its plug-ins and extensions to cloud management platforms from the likes of IBM, Oracle, VMware and New Relic. Now it's aiming to release a platform of its own, to provide new levels of visibility into the data tier that multiple tools can utilize.
Analog Devices inks second big deal with $14.9bn Linear Technology buy
TDM Deal Analysis - July, 2016
Buying Linear Technology should help reduce the acquirer's dependence on continued growth in the smartphone sector and significantly expand its reach into a new market (power management silicon), while at the same time bringing it the benefit of the target's famously high gross margins.
StorPool upgrades its software-defined block storage layer, adds CloudStack
MIS Impact Report - July, 2016
The Bulgarian software house, which has been gaining traction with web and cloud hosting companies, claims its distributed block storage layer that runs on standard x86 servers is more efficient than any of its rivals. It's also broadening the choice of integrated cloud management systems with the addition of CloudStack.
NComputing reemerges under new management, seeks to reinvigorate thin-client business
MIS Impact Report - July, 2016
The company, with one of its founders back in the driver's seat, is cautiously refreshing both its thin clients and its vSpace virtual desktop management platform. The next-generation vSpace product is due out following a year of research and development.
SoftBank buys ARM in $32bn takeover of Britain's tech 'crown jewel'
TDM Deal Analysis - July, 2016
In the UK's largest-ever tech deal, SoftBank has promised increased investment for long-term growth as ARM makes the transition beyond mobile computing toward the Internet of Things, automotive computing and datacenter technologies.
Citrix: a promising vision for enterprise computing - Part 2
MIS Spotlight - June, 2016
Under new CEO Kirill Tatarinov, Citrix has turned the corner from the past year of challenge. A new focus and new product directions, as well as a deepening alliance with Microsoft, are beginning to outline a promising new vision for enterprise computing.
Citrix: a watershed moment for an enterprise technology titan - Part 1
MIS Spotlight - June, 2016
Citrix has built an enviable reputation and a $3bn+ business on a unique portfolio of products. Investor pressure, product divestitures and a new CEO, however, have made for a challenging past year for Citrix.
Slimming down to bulk up: Dell offloads software group to buyout group
TDM Deal Analysis - June, 2016
Francisco Partners and Elliott Management are taking Dell's Software Group off of Michael Dell's hands in a sizable divestiture - but at a notable discount. Still, every little bit helps when your company is looking to pay for the largest-ever tech transaction.
Cavium diversifies further beyond network chips as it agrees to buy QLogic for $1.4bn
TDM Deal Analysis - June, 2016
Sixteen months after its direct rival and onetime parent Emulex was swallowed up by giant chipmaker Avago, QLogic is set to also become part of a more diversified silicon vendor. There is less than 10% revenue overlap but over 50% OEM customer overlap between the combined companies.
Workspot combines cloud-based control plane and hyperconvergence as basis for 'VDI 2.0'
MIS Impact Report - June, 2016
The startup staffed by veterans from Citrix and VMware rethinks VDI to reduce complexity and boost performance. The company has already partnered with Nutanix and Atlantis Computing, with more hyperconverged infrastructure partnerships under development.
Cloudhouse promises an easier on-ramp for getting legacy apps into the cloud
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
With its second-generation application virtualization, the UK startup is now more closely aligning itself with Microsoft and Citrix. Cloudhouse is working with Redmond to extend the cloud-based application management stack so that customers can deploy and manage App-V packages from Azure.
RES unveils security offering, adds more flexible modules to RES ONE Workspace
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
User environment management remains at the core of the company's product set, but customers now have the option of buying individual modules without having to purchase the full suite. And with RES ONE Security, RES now also has a stand-alone application access offering in a hot market.
Scale Computing's hyperconvergence for SMBs gains flash, intelligent storage tiering
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
Seven-year-old Scale doesn't have the profile of some of its better-known rivals, but its sharp focus on SMBs has helped it find a solid niche. The company is steadily adding high-end features while maintaining its operational simplicity and low price points.
LzLabs readies launch of Software Defined Mainframe, partners with Red Hat, Microsoft
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
The Swiss startup has promised to unlock mainframe applications from their proprietary hardware base, so that they can take advantage of modern infrastructure (on-premises or in the cloud), maintaining binary compatibility without changing the code or the data.
Dell discontinues vWorkspace, guides virtual desktop customers toward the Big Three
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
As its merger with EMC progresses, Dell says it will halt development of new versions of vWorkspace, and will not seek to sell the product to new customers. It will continue to maintain and support existing clients and will offer them additional licenses if required. New customers will be steered toward VMware, Citrix or Microsoft.
As virtual desktops evolve, layering becomes a major differentiator for Liquidware Labs
MIS Impact Report - May, 2016
The company is putting more emphasis on the combination of its flagship ProfileUnity profile management tool with its FlexApp layering product, and has introduced a 'micro isolation' feature to help solve the compatibility issues that can arise when virtualizing custom-built enterprise applications.
Rackspace and Google collaborate on OCP server design based on IBM Power
MIS Impact Report - April, 2016
The two cloud infrastructure players are developing Zaias, based on the future Power9 chip, for use in their datacenters. The abilities to integrate functionality and optimize firmware were the deciding factors in the decision to move beyond Intel.
With new funding, Stratoscale pushes on with hardware-independent hyperconvergence
MIS Impact Report - April, 2016
Stratoscale is pushing forward with the rollout of Symphony, its single hardware-independent integrated software stack that can manage compute, storage and networking resources across the entire cloud: public, private or hybrid.
LANDESK extends traditional desktop management to virtual desktops with AppSense buy
TDM Deal Analysis - March, 2016
A few years ago, AppSense faltered when it attempted to move into mobile device management. Now, under LANDESK's ownership, it will be part of a broader set of endpoint management and security tools - including mobility - that span the traditional and virtualized domains.
Nasstar builds up its value-added desktop managed services as competitors consolidate
MIS Impact Report - February, 2016
The UK-based company has combined four businesses that had been operating separately as desktop-focused managed service providers in verticals such as legal, recruitment, finance and government. It's about to introduce a 'unity' brand to pull together its go-to-market messaging.
2016 M&A Outlook summary - Systems
MIS Spotlight - February, 2016
The traditional systems giants have all made massive adjustments to their structure and supply chains to address new market directions. Once the dust has settled, they will likely revive their consolidation activity - but with the new systems landscape in mind.
Following last year's 2X acquisition, Parallels makes its move into virtual desktops
MIS Impact Report - February, 2016
The newly refocused Parallels sold off its service automation technology to Ingram Micro and split off its Virtuosso and Plask businesses into stand-alone divisions. With the addition of 2X, it has a much broader set of tools addressing virtual desktop, application and file delivery, combined with its existing strengths in remote access.
2016 M&A Outlook - Systems and storage
TDM Others - February, 2016
As part of our end-of-year series of M&A analysis, we look at the deals that mattered in 2015 and assess the prospects for the next 12 months in the systems and storage sector. Where will we see acquisitions, and who might be involved?
Microchip trumps Dialog with $3.6bn cash-heavy bid for Atmel
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2016
The new combination looks set to create a company with annual revenue of $3.25bn, the third-largest embedded microcontroller company after Renesas Technology and the recently merged Freescale/NXP.
Oracle's new M7 SPARC systems push 'software in silicon' optimization
MIS Impact Report - January, 2016
The new generation of systems based on the SPARC processor represents 'the largest-scale overhaul and engineering effort in SPARC systems history,' according to Oracle. It includes the first systems family based on the new generation of SPARC M7 chip, along with new development tools.
TidalScale says hyper-kernel scale-up platform is now GA, and it has a paying customer
MIS Impact Report - December, 2015
The startup, which is staffed by an experienced systems team, says its hyper-kernel platform works reliably, with proven customer benefit. It has announced general availability and its first paying customer.
HPE Synergy marks first 'composable infrastructure' products for new Enterprise division
MIS Impact Report - December, 2015
The recently formed HP Enterprise division claims its new modular systems architecture, embedded OneView management, and unified API pull together servers, storage and networking into fluid resource pools, simultaneously supporting traditional and cloud-native apps.
AppSense: User management is still the missing link for virtual desktops
MIS Impact Report - November, 2015
With its latest wave of new product versions, plus the recent addition of analytics, AppSense appears to be back on track with its user-environment management software suite, and is likely to benefit from the accelerating Microsoft user migration to Windows 10.
Hyperscale management startup NodePrime emerges from stealth with its first funding
MIS Impact Report - October, 2015
The startup has released a technical preview of the NodePrime Platform, a hyperscale datacenter management layer focused on the operating system and below, and has been running private beta tests with early customers and OEMs, such as Ericsson.
Can Dell safeguard the VMware 'crown jewel' in its record-breaking purchase of EMC?
TDM Post-Merger IQ - October, 2015
Within the EMC federation that Dell is acquiring, some businesses are more valuable than others. But none is more valuable than VMware. However, to fully realize that value, Dell is going to have to overcome a distinctly bearish view of its pending ownership of the virtualization kingpin.
In massive play for storage and more, Dell bets $63.1bn on EMC to reshape IT landscape
TDM Deal Analysis - October, 2015
Even as rival IT vendors are slimming down, Dell has bulked up with the massive $63.1bn purchase of EMC – the largest pure 'tech' deal of the past 15 years. The combination will create a behemoth, with multibillion-dollar businesses selling infrastructure and services even as many IT buyers are shifting their spending to the cloud.
Skyworks moves out of its comfort zone with reach for PMC-Sierra
TDM Deal Analysis - October, 2015
In the latest chip consolidation move, analog and RF chipmaker Skyworks, best known these days for its integrated mobile systems technology, is moving into storage and networking chips, spending $2bn for PMC-Sierra.
Mellanox nabs EZchip: move into silicon heralds development of intelligent interconnects
TDM Deal Analysis - October, 2015
EZchip brings high-performance Ethernet network processors to Mellanox's line of interconnect and network interconnect cards, with the potential for cross-selling into both existing customer bases. But the emerging hyperscale and software-defined datacenter opportunities look the most promising, despite some big challenges ahead.
Entirely liquid-cooled datacenters drift closer with Iceotope, Mellanox project
MIS Impact Report - August, 2015
The liquid cooling supplier has developed a system for interconnect specialist Mellanox to help improve the efficiency of HPC systems. Applying liquid cooling to non-server equipment will improve the range of use cases for the technology, especially in HPC environments where it is currently gaining the most traction. The tie-up raises the possibility of combining cooling technology with other disruptive technologies like silicon photonics.
Intel and Micron reveal more plans for 3D XPoint storage-class memory
MIS Impact Report - August, 2015
Intel and Micron have already partnered to bring 3D NAND to market, and now they look to be ready with storage-class, non-volatile memory, which is already a long way down the path to volume production. The first Intel solid-state drive products are due out next year.