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Data Sheet—Thursday, August 21, 2014

B is for basketball! Thanks to Data Sheet reader Carlos for being the first to point out the gaffe in yesterday’s edition (in a very kind way, thank you!) OF COURSE Steve Ballmer’s new career is in basketball, but my fingers chose wrong. I wonder who will be louder on court: him or Mark Cuban? By the way, I LOVE your comments and coverage suggestions. Keep them coming at datasheet@heatherclancy.com. Even though I’ll never have a career as a sportscaster, I thrive on enterprise tech gossip. And now, here’s today’s buzz, including positive news from HP and the biggest VC round yet for any mobile app development platform.

TRENDING

HP’s upside surprise. Apparently its turnaround is working: Hewlett-Packard just posted a 12% bump in personal computer sales for its third quarter. Other divisions grew far less, but the enterprise group managed 2%—including 9% for the low-end server portfolio (which benefitted from uncertainty over the IBM-Lenovo deal). Overall, HP’s overall increase was 1%, putting its 3Q revenue at $27.6 billion.

VMware adds CloudVolumes, now has two COOs. Ahead of its big annual conference next week, the virtualization company is buying the real-time application delivery developer for an undisclosed sum. Plus, it is tweaking its executive structure, adding “corporate strategy and business development” to Carl Eschenbach’s job description and asking CFO Jonathan Chadwick to share the COO title with him.

UPS confirms malware infestation. During a routine security review, the shipping and logistics company discovered malicious code on systems at 51 stores in 24 stores capable to gleaning data. It is offering identity protection and credit monitoring to customers who used those locations between late January and mid-August.

Need native mobile apps? Startup Xamarin just got a $54 million venture infusion, its third round so far and the biggest yet for any mobile application development platform. What makes Xamarin unique? Developers can call on their existing C# programming skills to write for Android or Apple iOS. New investors include Lead Edge Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners and Floodgate. (More on this company in an upcoming edition.)

CLOUD CHATTER

Pivotal courts mobile developers. The EMC-VMware spinout is adding specialized services and APIs for data synchronization and push notifications to the Cloud Foundry platform. Translation: it’s finally doing something with the technology it bought last year from Xtreme Labs.

STATS & SPECS

Why so much downtime? The Healthcare.gov debacle may be the most flagrant example, but apparently government IT operations are notoriously prone to failures with more than 70% of agencies surveyed for a recent study reporting outages of 30 minutes or more during the prior one-month period. No wonder former Google engineer Mikey Dickerson was hired to fix things.

Linux Foundation makes it formal, with two new certifications. While the big distributors, including Red Hat, have given out badges for years, this program wants to be vendor-agnostic. More than 250,000 students enrolled for its free introductory course. Plus, why Linus Torvalds still wants to win the desktop.

STARTUPS

High-profile backers bet on flash virtualization. The list of those contributing to PernixData’s $35 million venture round this week includes Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Microsoft Chairman John Thompson. Its tally so far: $62 million.

Double dose of funding. Two separate rounds led by Menlo Ventures and Columbus Nova add up to another $36 million in venture capital for vArmour, a “stealthy” company tackling virtualization security and other advanced threats.

FAQ

What kind of cloud buyer are you? Cloud migration expert 2nd Watch—ranked among Amazon Web Services’ top 20 MOST elite partners—came up with a classification system based on more than 400 engagements to help clients prioritize their evaluations.

Here a brief description of each, courtesy of 2nd Watch executive VP Matt Gerber:

Calculated (where most people fall today), which refers to businesses that need to solve a specific problem. As an example, Gerber cites a “Fortune 50” food services company that moved its ordering systems into the cloud to speed inventory replenishment. “We almost never talk about costs with this sort of buyer,” he says.

Market-Driven, distinguished by companies migrating many customer-facing applications into the cloud (like analytics or marketing systems)

All-In, which includes companies actively shutting data centers and moving entire workloads to cloud services. “Their intention is to get there over the next 12 to 24 months,” Gerber notes. 

Sure he’s biased, but Gerber is surprised by the uptick in those falling into the All-In category. After reporting a 400% increase in bookings for 2Q, 2nd Watch claims about 20 Fortune 500 customers and is in negotiations with 70 others. “Until recently, I would have told you that we were two to three more years out from seeing major financial services companies adopting, and now we’re preparing to sign three of them this month.”

The reason? Gerber says more businesses are distinguishing between the “strategic economics” of cloud (flexibility, agility, dynamic capacity) and the “straightforward economics” (total cost of ownership): “You can play with the numbers, but you can’t play with the strategic argument.”

What’s prompting cloud discussions within your organization? Share your perspective at datasheet@heatherclancy.com.

ONE MORE THING …

Should you change how you handle change management? Everyone talks about creating a digital enterprise with a completely customer-centric view on doing business, but who are we kidding: very few companies live that mantra. What distinguishes ones that do or that do a good job of trying? The second edition of IBM’s “Making Change Work” study (covering 1,400 IT pros in 48 countries) identifies three common attributes: support throughout the entire organization (not just at the top or at the bottom or in the middle); clarity about goals and relevant milestones; and a willingness to mess with traditional employee roles and processes.

EVENTS

VMworld: Learn about latest virtualization innovation. (Aug. 24 – 28, San Francisco)

Boxworks14: Talk enterprise cloud strategy. (Sept. 2 – 4, San Francisco)

Atlassian Summit: Build software, collaboratively. (Sept. 9 – 11, San Jose, Calif.)

Open Data Center Alliance Forecast 2014: Catch up on enterprise cloud trends. (Sept. 22 – 24, San Francisco)

Oracle OpenWorld: Get a roadmap reality check. (Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, San Francisco)

Interop: Actionable solutions for IT headaches. (Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, New York)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2014: Compare notes. (Oct. 5 – 9, Orlando, Fla.)

Splunk .conf2014. Glean intelligence from machine data. (Oct. 6 – 9, Las Vegas)

Dreamforce: Pick from 1,400 sessions about the world’s largest cloud ecosystem. (Oct. 13-16, San Francisco)

Strata/Hadoop World: Analyze big data tools and techniques. (Oct. 15 – 17, New York)

TBM Conference 2014: Manage the business of IT. (Oct. 28- 30, Miami Beach)

AWS re:Invent: Hear the latest about Amazon Web Services. (Nov. 11 – 14, Las Vegas)

Gartner Data Center Conference: Get new ideas for operations and management. (Dec. 2 – 5, Las Vegas)