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

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.
Bitfusion cross-platform software layer will boost applications with no recoding
MIS Impact Report - June, 2015
With interest in hardware accelerators and specialist server architectures at an all-time high, it's a good time for an automated abstraction layer for applications to emerge. Will tiny startup Bitfusion be up to the job?
Nutanix adds new hypervisor, application mobility fabric as it plans for the cloud
MIS Impact Report - June, 2015
The Acropolis storage fabric, including a hardened KVM hypervisor, is the primary foundation for a new application mobility fabric and expanded Prism management layer that will extend Nutanix's current appliance-based hyperconvergence business into AWS and Azure clouds.
FalconStor aims to counter hyperconverged rivals with software-defined update
MIS Impact Report - June, 2015
FreeStor is a rewritten version of FalconStor's existing IPStor storage virtualization layer, now pitched as a horizontal 'software defined' storage and data services layer. FalconStor has much work to do to demonstrate that its rewritten software represents a step-change over the previous versions.
Intel spends $16.7bn on Altera for its programmable accelerators
TDM Deal Analysis - June, 2015
In a tacit admission that general-purpose CPUs now need help from specialist accelerators for new workloads, Intel has agreed to pay $16.7bn in cash and stock for FPGA veteran Altera. The deal follows an intense negotiating process over the past few months.
Avago bets on PCIe as a fabric as it introduces latest products from PLX buy
MIS Impact Report - May, 2015
I/O virtualization and PCIe-based fabrics have been available for some time, yet they haven't so far been taken up by any major players. Now Huawei and SanDisk have signed up for the latest PEX silicon and ExpressFabric software from Avago's PLX. Has this idea's time finally arrived?
Avago buys Broadcom, takes Broadcom name as it scales up in communications
TDM Deal Analysis - May, 2015
In the largest chip deal on record, Avago and Broadcom are combining to create a company with an enterprise value of $77bn and annual revenue of $15bn, making it one of the largest diversified communications semiconductor providers in the world.
Ericom rewrites its Connection Broker desktop access tools, adds grid for scalability
MIS Impact Report - May, 2015
The longtime Citrix alternative has spent two years on a complete rewrite of its central application access and desktop virtualization product, which is now called Connect v7. The new version is described as a next-generation connection broker and management platform.
Swarm64 readies clustered-data accelerator for open source databases
MIS Impact Report - May, 2015
The company's Scalable Data Accelerator enables high-density servers with a low cost of ownership; it uses a proprietary processor to accelerate data-intensive applications and scale them across multiple systems or a full cluster.