EMC denies VMware sale plan

EMC has reportedly denied it intends to sell a stake in VMware, after being reported as entertaining just such a sale.

Confused? Here’s how this is playing out.

Back in July, activist investor Elliot Management picked up a stake in EMC. Someone then whispered in The Wall Street Journal’s ear that Elliot did so in order to engineer a spin-out of VMware, the better to line investors’ pockets.

In weeks since, EMC has acknowledged its duty to engage with shareholders in order to improve their prospects. It has also re-iterated the belief that EMC works best as a ”federation” of companies.

Fast forward to Thursday, when The New York Post reported that EMC “has decided to explore selling its stake in VMware”.

Not many hours after that story appeared, a credible source told Re/code that The Post’s story is bunk. Another 90 minutes or so later, Reuters heard similar whispers.

None of the allegations floating around can be tied down to an actual person willing to put their names to their “facts”. So this looks like either rumour-mongering or some kind of weird Wall Street leaking game in which players prod each other through the media.

Let’s just keep the kit these players need to go about their business running, shall we? ®


Veeam posts strong growth in first half of 2014

Veeam saw A/NZ revenue bookings increase of 34 per cent for the quarter

Veeam Software has posted 30 per cent overall growth in the first half of 2014, marking six consecutive years of double digit revenue growth.

The second quarter of 2014 was Veeam’s 26th consecutive quarter in which quarterly total bookings revenue experienced double-digit percentage growth over the same period during the previous year.

In Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Veeam has seen a 34 per cent increase in total revenue bookings for the quarter, and new licence bookings revenue grew by 21 per cent during the same period.

Globally, Veeam reported overall growth of 30 percent for the first half of 2014 over the corresponding period last year.

In addition to this, Veeam’s business across APAC has seen a 32 per cent increase in total revenue bookings for the second quarter in 2014. New licence bookings revenue grew 24 per cent during that time.

With more than 111,500 customers, the company now protects over 6.5 million virtual machines around the world.

Veeam chief executive, Ratmir Timashev, said enterprise IT’s growing demand for 24/7 business operations continued to fuel Veeam’s growth and increased market share.

“The second quarter capped a solid first half of the year for Veeam with strong revenue growth, several new product announcements, and consistent growth of our partner ecosystem,” he said.

“As we enter the second half of 2014, we anticipate a continued growth trajectory as a result of the general availability of the new Veeam Availability Suite v8 and our ability to continuously innovate and execute in response to the new era of data centre challenges our customers are facing.

Timashev said, in conjunction with virtualisation, the cloud and other enabling technologies, the new Veeam Availability Suite would further enhance the ability of its customers to achieve a complete modern data centre and ensure their critical applications remained always on from any place, at any time, on any device. During the period, the Veeam Cloud Provider experienced 112 percent growth, compared to the first half of 2013.

Veeam Cloud Connect, part of the new Veeam Availability Suite v8, was announced in Q2.

Veeam Cloud Connect gives service providers a direct pipeline to benefit from the Veeam ecosystem, according to a company statement.

Customers receive a fully integrated, secure and efficient means to move backups to an offsite backup repository managed by the service provider of their choice, but without the upfront capital investment of an offsite infrastructure.

Veeam also added two new VCP rental aggregators in the second quarter: Licencias OnLine (LATAM) and MONT (CIS and Russia).

More than 11,000 new customers were added in the second quarter, with total paid Veeam customers now surpassing 111,500.

This customer momentum has also led to Veeam’s first flagship event, VeeamON: The World’s Premier Data Center Availability Event, taking place October 6–8, 2014 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV.

Veeam will bring together industry-leading experts, Veeam customers and partners who will learn about enabling the Always-On Business.


DOJ joins whistleblower suit against Symantec

The Justice Department has joined a whistleblower lawsuit that alleges that Symantec, the California-based computer software giant, overcharged the federal government and some states by tens of millions of dollars.

The suit claims that Symantec misrepresented to the General Services Administration the discounts it was offering commercial customers for its products. Since the government’s price for those products was based on the discounts commercial firms received, the government was charged a higher price, the suit says.

“When doing business with the government, honesty and transparency are essential,” U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement. “We are committed to ensuring that contractors who do business with the federal government provide honest services, prices and products.”

Symantec denied the allegations, saying it takes “compliance rules seriously and believe we followed all GSA Schedule and state contract program rules. We have fully cooperated with the government throughout its investigation, which Symantec was alerted to and first publicly disclosed in June 2012.

“We deny any wrongdoing and are confident the prices paid by the government for Symantec products and services were fair and reasonable.

The suit was initially filed by the whistleblower, Lori Morsell, in 2012. Morsell continues to work for the company. The Justice Department joined the suit last week.

The contract was in place between 2007 and 2012 and involved hundreds of millions of dollars in software sales.


EMC Earnings Preview: Stagnating Core Business Could Lead To VMware, Pivotal Spin-Offs

EMC is scheduled to announce its Q2 earnings on July 23. The company posted mixed results in the first quarter, with net revenues growing by less than 2% year-on-year to $5.48 billion. EMC’s information infrastructure product sales, which include storage products, RSA security and content management software, declined by almost 7% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. The company witnessed significant top line growth from VMware (+16%) and Pivotal (+40%).

EMC’s market share in external storage systems declined from 30.2% in Q1 2013 to 29.1% in the first quarter of 2014, according to a recent report by IDC. This was the first quarter since 2008 in which EMC’s market share declined year-over-year. Weakness in the core business has led to market speculation about EMC spinning off VMware and Pivotal. The Wall Street Journal reported that external pressure from EMC’s large institutional investors could lead the company to spin off some of the fastest-growing businesses within the company such as VMware and Pivotal.

We have a $30 price estimate for EMC, which is roughly in line with the current market price.

Speculation Over VMware And Pivotal Spin-off

According to the aforementioned WSJ report, Elliott Management has taken a stake of over $1 billion in EMC, making it one of the top five institutional investors. Elliott Management has previously held shares in Juniper Networks, Riverbed Technology and Brocade Communications Systems, and has subsequently pushed management for changes to aid shareholders.

In the last twelve months, EMC’s stock price has increased by 11% while VMware’s stock has risen by 31%. The hedge fund could point out to EMC that its present operational structure is impeding growth. On the other hand, EMC’s management has stuck to its “federation” business model wherein some of the acquired companies operate as separate entities, while they still collaborate on products for large clients. In the current setup, it’s a win-win for both EMC (since it can offer better products and services to big customers) as well as VMware and Pivotal, as they are able to strike deals with EMC’s larger client base. The company is likely to provide more color regarding these possible developments in its earnings call. According to a Bloomberg report, if the company does go through with the spin-offs, there is a possibility that EMC (minus VMware and Pivotal) gets acquired by a tech giant such as HP, IBM, Cisco or Oracle.

Key Areas Of Growth: Emerging Storage, VMware, RSA Security And Pivotal

EMC’s Emerging Storage products such as XtremIO, Isilon, Atmos and VPLEX were largely responsible for the growth in hardware sales during the past few quarters. Revenues generated by the emerging storage sub-segment constituted only about 10% of the EMC’s Information Storage revenues in 2013. The Emerging Storage sub segment grew by 81% year-over-year (y-o-y) in Q1 2014, which the company attributed to a strong customer response for these products. However, the company did not provide exact figures for emerging storage revenues in Q1.

RSA Security, EMC’s information security division, grew by over 11% to almost $1 billion in 2013. The growth continued in Q1 2014, but the rate of growth was lower than 2013 at less than 5% y-o-y. The information security industry is growing, with customers allocating more of their security budgets to intelligence-driven analytics, where RSA Information Security excels, rather than static prevention.

Pivotal is among the fastest growing divisions within the company, with 40% y-o-y growth in the first quarter. Pivotal’s platform consists of new generation data fabrics, application fabrics and a cloud-independent Platform-as-a-Service to support cloud computing and Big Data applications, which have started gaining traction among customers. Management mentioned that some of Pivotal’s growth may not be immediately realized in the numbers since Pivotal is building out a subscription-based revenue stream, which is likely to be beneficial in the long run.

VMware has given revenue guidance of about $1.45 billion for the quarter, which is more than a 15% increase over the prior year quarter. The company expects to generate close to $6 billion in revenues for the full year. With a healthy customer response to VMware’s new product offerings and the growing services department, we expect the company to meet its guidance. According to our estimates, all these divisions are likely to grow at a rate higher than that of core storage products. But since information security and pivotal combined constitute only about 5% to the company’s value, EMC’s emerging storage division and VMware’s performance are more likely to drive its overall earnings.


US government says online storage isn’t protected by the Fourth Amendment & VBSCS has smth to say about this to Obama 8-)))

A couple months ago, a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information even if they were stored overseas. The decision came about as part of an effort to dig up a Microsoft user’s account information stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft responded to the ruling and challenged it, stating that the government’s longstanding views of digital content on foreign servers are wrong, and that the protections applied to physical materials should be extended to digital content. In briefs filed last week, however, the US government countered. It states that according to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), content stored online simply do not have the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical data:

Overseas records must be disclosed domestically when a valid subpoena, order, or warrant compels their production. The disclosure of records under such circumstances has never been considered tantamount to a physical search under Fourth Amendment principles, and Microsoft is mistaken to argue that the SCA provides for an overseas search here. As there is no overseas search or seizure, Microsoft’s reliance on principles of extra-territoriality and comity falls wide of the mark.

From the Justice Department’s point of view, this law is necessary in an age where “fraudsters” and “hackers” use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well. Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation. However, Microsoft believes there are wide-ranging implications for such a statement, and it’s not the only company that thinks so. Verizon also responded, stating that this would create “dramatic conflict with foreign data protection laws” and Apple and Cisco joined in by saying this could potentially damage international relations. In the meantime, a senior counsel for the Irish Supreme Court offered that a “Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty” be pursued so that the US government can get at the email account in question.


Now, that’s a bunch of bullshit!
We here @ VBSCS have got something to say about this:

There’s No Denying Software Defined Storage — EMC Acquires Twin Strata

It’s fascinating to watch the development of new data storage technologies, especially in the context of what has happened with virtualization. In the server space virtualization has decimated the legacy vendors and forced them to embrace more open approaches towards hardware. The same is happening in storage as new approaches allow organizations to pool storage resources and consume them in much more flexible ways. Software Defined Storage, as well as being a nice buzzword to use in media sound bites, is actually a pretty disruptive force.

What has been especially interesting is to watch the traditional storage vendors and see how they react to these disruptive forces – the usual cycle sees legacy vendors deny the validity of new approaches, then move to actually change what they do as the forces of disruption work their magic on the industry.


Veeam Wins Most Promising Data Management Solution Award

Veeam® Software, innovative provider of solutions that deliver Availability for the Modern Data Centre™, announced today that the company was voted the Most Promising Data Management Solution at this years’ NetworkWorld Asia’s (NWA) Information Management Awards in Singapore. This annual awards programme acknowledges industry leaders in Asia for significant advancements made in Information Security, Storage and Data Management.

“Veeam is delighted and honoured to be recognised as the Most Promising Data Management Solution provider for 2014. This is testament to our consistent improvement in building solutions to enable the Always-On Business,” said Don Williams, Regional Director APAC of Veeam Software. “We are dedicated to providing a new category of solutions to help businesses avoid data loss, extended downtime and lengthy recovery time and point objectives. Being voted for this award by key industry stakeholders shows that we are meeting market demand by enabling Availability for the Modern Data Centre.”

The annual NWA Information Management Awards is the only regional Editors’ Choice Awards in the field of information management. Backed by leading Asian publications and portals such as Networks Asia, Security Asia and Storage Asia, the finalists are carefully chosen by experienced editors with broad industry knowledge, as well as publishers, conference producers, marketers and a panel of CIO advisers with domain expertise and deep insights in Information Management.

“The volume, velocity and variety of data are straining network bandwidth, storage capacity, and uninterrupted availability of data centre resources for business-critical applications,” said Victor Ng, South-East Asia Bureau Chief of NetworkWorld Asia. “But solution providers like Veeam have once again proven their understanding of industry needs and market demands in the Asia Pacific region with their innovative technologies and applications.”

The winners for each of the 30 categories were selected based on their industry reputation, product features and unique selling points (USP), users’ feedback on the solution, durability, scalability, quality of service and whether there was widespread acceptance of the technology or brand. Finalists were short listed by NetworkWorld Asia’s editors and put up for online voting with 100 regional CIOs and IT leaders invited to vote.