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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

NXP spends $11.8bn on Freescale as automotive and IoT markets beckon
TDM Deal Analysis - March, 2015
In the latest deal in a run of giant chip mergers, Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors has scooped up Freescale Semiconductor, a smaller rival based in Austin, Texas. The $11.8bn transaction will create a semiconductor firm with combined revenue of more than $10bn.
Avago buys Emulex as it builds out its storage portfolio post-LSI
TDM Deal Analysis - February, 2015
Long-struggling network adapter vendor Emulex is now part of a growing portfolio of assets at semiconductor firm Avago, which bought LSI just over a year ago. Avago will pay $606m for Emulex, which rejected a richer bid from Broadcom in 2009.
Ufora builds a full integrated stack for data analytics running on parallel systems
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
The Ufora platform, an attempt to address the shortfalls of the 'legacy' tools on the market today (including MATLAB, R, Mathematica and SAS), combines 'big data' with 'big compute' and automated parallelization to run algorithms and mathematical models across distributed, multi-processor systems.
Sumerian delivers 'what if' capacity-planning tools as SaaS offering
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
The Scottish predictive operational analytics and capacity-planning company, previously a consultancy, is turning itself into a products vendor with the launch of Sumerian Capacity Planner.
Oracle now competing on price with new-generation X5 engineered systems
MIS Impact Report - February, 2015
The latest models in Oracle's engineered systems family, including the flagship Exadata Database Machine, have upgraded processors, memory, storage and software features. Oracle claims it can now also beat the price tag of the company that has emerged as its primary rival - Cisco Systems.
NIMBOXX nabs Virtual Bridges' VERDE for end-to-end virtual desktops
TDM Deal Analysis - February, 2015
The hyperconverged systems and software startup has added the 13-strong VERDE team to its staff, along with the technology and customers, in order to boost its penetration into VDI. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
VMware buys Immidio for its forthcoming user environment manager
TDM Deal Analysis - February, 2015
The latest in a series of desktop-related acquisitions, the pickup of Amsterdam-based Immidio fills a gap that VMware needed to address before introducing a broader endpoint user management suite later this year.
SIOS extends clusters to the cloud as LifeKeeper and DataKeeper evolve
MIS Impact Report - January, 2015
The shift of mission-critical tier one applications to the cloud is accelerating, and that's driving demand to provide greater control of application availability on top of cloud infrastructure. Enter the SANless failover cluster.
Citrix touts new software-defined strategy, hyperconverged hardware and Workspace Cloud
MIS Impact Report - January, 2015
At its annual partner conference, Citrix announced new converged hardware, infrastructure software, application-delivery and cloud-based products, as well as a software-defined strategy across datacenter and end-user devices. It also announced new and expanded partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Google and Dell, and a revamped channel program with higher-margin opportunities.
Sanbolic acquisition gives Citrix a quick entry point into hyperconvergence
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2015
The long-term Citrix partner is providing the software basis for a new family of hyperconverged systems from Citrix, initially based on hardware from HP. Sanbolic's established clustered file system and volume manager software will be slotted into Citrix's existing stack.
Login Consultants touts lightweight automation tools for desktop and server deployments
MIS Impact Report - January, 2015
The Netherlands-based desktop infrastructure consultancy firm has been building new product businesses out of its custom development tools for the last several years. Automation Machine 2015 offers a standard, automated method of deploying services rapidly and keeping them configured correctly.
With new management and partnerships, Nebula looks to package OpenStack for enterprises
MIS Impact Report - December, 2014
The company, which employs many of the original OpenStack engineering team, has developed the Nebula One cloud controller, which acts as the controller to multiple servers, as well as the Nebula Cosmos system software, which pools all of the resources together.
LISTEQ says there's a DaaS alternative to VMware, Citrix and Amazon for SMBs
MIS Impact Report - December, 2014
The Rotterdam-based cloud desktop player has developed an end-to-end software stack aimed at service providers that want to sell desktop-as-a-service offerings to small and medium-sized businesses.
Fujitsu brings together its various integrated systems under one brand: PRIMEFLEX
MIS Impact Report - December, 2014
Although Fujitsu has been in the integrated-systems business since it first introduced FlexFrame in 2002, it hasn't had as much 'mindshare' as it might, partly because the various products were developed by different units in the company. Now there's a real effort to bring them together as one family.
Matching hyperconvergence to the midrange, Scale upgrades its appliances and software
MIS Impact Report - November, 2014
The startup has unveiled a higher-end appliance, the HC4000, for greater availability and scalability, along with a new release of its HyperCore software layer supporting non-disruptive, rolling updates. But despite the broader product range, SMBs remain Scale's core focus.
FSLogix's tool simplifies application virtualization, delivery by hiding apps from users
MIS Impact Report - November, 2014
Apps 1.5 is an application visibility tool that could provide an alternative – or a complement – to application virtualization. Its premise is to simplify image management by installing all applications natively into a single golden image, with users only seeing the apps they have permissions for.
Dell introduces modular FX architecture to match infrastructure to workloads
MIS Impact Report - November, 2014
Frustrated with the limitations of current rack and blade form factors, Dell has again started with a clean slate and introduced a more flexible chassis and sled architecture called FX. It's likely to be Dell's target platform for evolving software-defined-datacenter initiatives.
Stratoscale picks OpenStack as the starting point for pure software convergence
MIS Impact Report - November, 2014
The startup, with some veteran founders and key investments from Intel, Cisco and SanDisk, has developed a full alternative to VMware that simultaneously supports both hypervisor virtualization and OS containers. It's also hardware-agnostic and reportedly scales to tens of thousands of nodes.
VCE becomes part of EMC Federation, Cisco stake reduced to 10%: what are the implications?
MIS Impact Report - October, 2014
VCE is now a $2bn business, and its sales account for around one-third of all Cisco UCS sales by revenue – so why is Cisco distancing itself from the joint venture? Common sense says it will remain committed, but politics and competitive tensions have clearly played a part.
Brands under attack: no-name system vendors on the rise as x86 evolves
MIS Spotlight - October, 2014
A new computing model has emerged and is gaining traction – racks of low-cost x86-based commodity servers are being used in place of expensive proprietary boxes. The same commodity platforms can also be used to replace enterprise storage and networking gear. And the beneficiaries of all this will not necessarily be the biggest names in the systems world.
Azul pitches Docker as alternative to virtualization for heavy-duty Java applications
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
Azul's Zulu Java runtime is claimed to be the first official OpenJDK implementation built and supported by a commercial company to be fully certified and tested on top of Docker. The company will soon add Docker support to its flagship Zing environment, used heavily by financial services customers.
Micro Focus reaches for Attachmate in $1.2bn reverse merger
TDM Deal Analysis - September, 2014
The move provides a relatively risk-free means of expansion for Micro Focus, with high recurring revenue and strong cash flow from mature, stable businesses on both sides – but there are also some intriguing product synergies and, through NetIQ and SUSE, some high-growth opportunities.
cognisec aims to simplify hybrid cloud access with Workspace portal, SSO and BYOD
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
The software spinoff from UK-based MSP niu Solutions has built a browser-based management tool aimed at small and midsize customers supporting mobile and BYOD users.
HP recasts its compute strategy as the first ProLiant Gen9 servers come to market
MIS Impact Report - September, 2014
The company's flagship ProLiant servers have now reached their ninth generation, but this time the launch is about more than just a processor upgrade, going well beyond the traditional blades, racks and towers the brand is most associated with.
TidalScale readies transparent software platform for building white-box scale-out systems
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
There's a growing requirement for the aggregation and transparent scaling of system resources into a single pool to better support cloud computing and in-memory analysis. In effect, this is 'reverse virtualization.' TidalScale is the latest in a series of startups to tackle this difficult problem.
VMware buys CloudVolumes to deliver persistent desktops, counter threat from Docker
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2014
The target offers real-time application delivery, image management and layering technology that virtualizes everything above the OS – including apps, data, settings, libraries and user profiles – and dynamically loads them into a non-persistent virtual machine at boot time.
Terascala looks beyond HPC to sell its packaged file system and data mover via OEMs
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
Dell and NetApp are among the OEMs selling Terascala's Lustre-based software appliance, which can bridge file systems as well as monitor and optimize performance. HPC has been the company's bread and butter, but its technology is equally applicable to cloud users – watch for the addition of Amazon S3 support in future releases.
D-Wave commercializes quantum computing: who should care, and why?
MIS Impact Report - August, 2014
And now for something completely different: the company has built a computation system that actually performs meaningful quantum computing and is accessible to programmers and algorithm designers, not just experimental physicists. Is D-Wave's Quantum Computer an expensive curiosity or the harbinger of interesting things to come?
Intel adds to wireless access and SoC portfolio with $650m pickup of Avago's Axxia unit
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2014
Intel is bolstering its network processor offerings and system-on-a-chip capabilities with the acquisition of LSI's former Axxia networking division from its new parent Avago, and hopes to win business in small cell and wireless base stations.
BluePhoenix bulks up once again with ATERAS buy, forms Modern Systems
TDM Deal Analysis - August, 2014
After a lengthy period of restructuring, during which time it shrank to almost one-tenth the size of its peak, legacy modernization automated tools firm BluePhoenix is acquiring once again. It recently bought privately held rival ATERAS for about $24m.
VMware's Horizon (with View) 6 points the way to a broader view of end-user computing
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
As VMware puts its integration plans for the unified management of desktop and mobile together, it's already laid some of the foundations with the recently shipped Horizon (with View) 6 product line. It has also put a significant new management team together to drive it, including two former Citrix VPs.
Intel adds internal FPGA and makes CPUs customizable by user
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The company demonstrated its ever-increasing customer flexibility and the growing importance of the large cloud operators by announcing a new Xeon server variant that includes an internal field programmable gate array, enabling customization. Market offense or defense, or just interesting geekery?
NIMBOXX exits stealth with funding, launches next take on convergence with KVM
MIS Impact Report - July, 2014
The first wave of hyper-converged system startups – such as Nutanix, Scale Computing and SimpliVity – have had a considerable market impact, so make way for the next generation. NIMBOXX wants to own its entire OS layer, basing it all on KVM, but not OpenStack.
Nutanix strikes its first major OEM deal with Dell: new XC hyperconverged systems in Q4
MIS Impact Report - June, 2014
Until now, the company has described itself as a 'pure channels' firm. But getting Dell signed up as an OEM should increase its reach, both geographically and at large customer accounts – so long as Dell can clearly position its new offerings within its already extensive systems and storage portfolio.
FalconStor raises new funding, hires new management and plans new products
MIS Impact Report - June, 2014
After many years stuck in the doldrums, are the storage virtualization pioneer's fortunes finally about to change? FalconStor is promising a simplified, 'unified' new product family by the end of the year, and there are some signs that profitability and growth might be returning.
independenceIT gains momentum with its private-label desktop-as-a-service platform
MIS Impact Report - June, 2014
A year after the launch of the Cloud Workspace Suite, the firm is building up its partnering activity and signing up customers. It's looking for VARs and others that can then use the suite to set up their own branded cloud-based offerings to businesses and enterprise customers.
Can Overland regain its stride by merging with virtualization and desktop partners?
TDM Deal Analysis - May, 2014
The veteran storage company, which is still in the process of digesting Tandberg Data, is merging with a little-known desktop and application virtualization company from Canada. But is it just a marriage of convenience?
Can OpenPOWER help reboot IBM's enterprise server business? Part two
MIS Impact Report - May, 2014
Shipments of IBM AIX and i systems using the Power architecture have been declining, but if other systems vendors and hyperscale datacenter operators start to adopt it, things could be very different.
Can OpenPOWER help reboot IBM's enterprise server business? Part one
MIS Impact Report - May, 2014
In the first of a two-part report, we take a look at the recent major investments IBM has made in its POWER systems chip and its efforts to establish an 'open' ecosystem for the platform. In part two we will evaluate its chances of success.
Challenging the big iron, SQream speeds up and cuts the cost of querying large datasets
MIS Impact Report - May, 2014
By coding its SQream database to run directly on NVIDIA's many-core graphics processors, this startup believes it can open up new opportunities for analyzing datasets above 10TB, due to its far-lower cost and very fast load times.
 

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