EMC and VMware Share Wild Ride
VMware just checked in with what sounded like an incredibly impressive performance
for the fourth quarter of 2007, and the year in total. The virtualization leader's
fourth quarter revenues were up a whopping 80 percent to $412 million. Revenues
for the year just closed were $1.33 billion.
"We begin 2008 with more than 100,000 customers, 500 technology and consulting
partners, nearly 10,000 go-to-market partners and more than 5,000 employees,"
said Diane Greene, president and chief executive officer of VMware, in a prepared
Those numbers, however grand, fell
short of analysts' expectations, though -- never a good thing on Wall Street.
The fourth quarter revenue of $412 million missed analysts' expected mark of
$417.4 million. This brought VMware's shares down earlier this week, which in
majority shareholder EMC's shares down, despite huge gains by both.
EMC's fourth quarter profit jumped 35 percent, a spike that exceeded analyst
expectations. The company's fourth quarter revenue was $525 million, up from
$388 million last year. Nevertheless, as EMC owns a majority 86 percent stake
of VMware, it shares its fortune.
It never ceases to amaze me how such a strong performance, even if it's not
as strong as expected, can have such a lackluster effect. How do they come up
with those expectations? Still, I think there are good things in store for both
VMware and EMC.
Is your organization using VMware's or EMC's wares? What's your virtualization
strategy overall? Exceed analysts' expectations and check in with me at [email protected].
Cisco's New Switch Boosts Data Speed
Early next week, Cisco Systems is expected to roll out a new network switch
called the Nexus
7000. This new unit will boost data transfer speed to up to 15 trillion
bits per second. This will be a huge help for data-intensive operations, like
hosted services, previously ungainly downloads and remote data storage.
Cisco says its Nexus line will eventually replace an existing line of network
switches that currently accounts for a third of its business. Pricing for the
Nexus 7000 is expected to start at $75,000.
Where does your data get bogged down? What sort of intensive data transfer
operations are you doing these days? Get your thoughts over to me -- at whatever
speed -- at [email protected].
Akonix Releases Threat Report
The threats are never-ending. Akonix Systems' IM Security Center tracked 14
new attacks coming through instant messaging (IM) systems in January alone.
The new IM worms include MSNChristmas, MSNVB, Perin and Raiodin.
"Although the number of IM attacks in January 2008 is somewhat low, it
doesn't mean that hackers have gone into hiding," said Don Montgomery,
Akonix vice president of marketing, in a prepared statement.
The IM Security Center is a joint effort with Akonix and leading IM vendors.
It was established to focus on emerging security threats posed by IM and P2P
applications. To read more about the January 2008 IM Threat Report, and previous
threat reports, go here.
What IM system do you use? I had my laptop hijacked about a year ago by something
that got in through IM. Have you had any similar experiences? Send me a secure,
worm-free message at [email protected].
Mailbag: Thoughts on
'Creative Capitalism,' Security and More
Peter wrote yesterday about Bill Gates' push
for "creative capitalism" and wondered if this isn't a somewhat
ironic proposal, coming from the chairman of Microsoft. Here are your thoughts:
I think you hit it on the head. "Forget how I did it, do as I do
it now -- and good luck." It is as if he has seen the light, as most
multi-billionaires probably do as they survey the world and say, "What
else is there?" Oh, yeah, teach the world how to be good to one another,
give away their money to the poor, etc.
I used to be somehwhat of a fan, but I now see he is a Democrat from
his "last day at MS" video, and I am completely dissapointed: same
ol', same ol' from the elite. Total crap hypocrisy -- at least coming from
As a watcher of Bill Gates since the '70s, I believe that his original
ultra-pragmatic business style (often interpreted as ruthless) has shifted
twice: once after becoming a father and recently, after setting a retirement
It is indeed ironic that Bill is calling on the leaders of the future
to avoid his path. He is a prime example of why we should be cautious of leadership
that has not been tempered by experience, for it often lacks compassion and
leaves a wide swath of damage in its relentless pursuit of "success."
I believe that his change in position comes from personal growth. He has
gone from being single and taking over the business world to being married,
having children, maturing and realizing that there is so much more to the
world. I believe this has changed his perspective and he is trying to communicate
this. Remember, it's the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, not just the Bill
Gates Foundation. Through this foundation he has also been exposed to different
aspects of the world that may have opened his eyes.
Although I agree with helping disadvantaged people, I am not quite sure
that it is the right approach. It seems to me that providing vaccines and
medication is going to compound the problem as most poor countries are, foremost,
in desperate need of food. I think that it would be much better to help these
people cultivate their own crops and raise their own farm animals than anything
else. Mr. Gates, as well as the rest of the world, must treat the underlying
cause of poverty which is the lack of resources.
World Vision has the right idea of what it takes to help these people.
I myself purchased a goat and two chickens which are going to make a tremendous
impact on a few families. Like most Americans, I probably could do more but
I am taking a wait-and-see approach to see whether the concept is going to
be successful. I imagine it will.
wrote in to share his thoughts on Mac and Linux security compared to Windows.
A few of you had some things to say in response:
As a self-proclaimed "Linux guy," Pete should know that any
process running as root that was compromised on a *Nix system would indeed
give access to the entire system. And I've run into files on a Windows machine
that, as the local machine administrator and domain admin, I could not delete,
view, modify, change perms, take ownership, delete or otherwise manipulate.
Root trumps all on *Nix.
I have bad news for Pete. Neither Unix nor Linux is inherently better
than Windows, and stopping hackers from being successful actually has little
to do with the OS involved. Case in point: the RTM worm. The RTM worm achieved
overwhelming success in penetrating Internet systems when it was launched.
The principal OS at that time for Internet systems was various flavors of
Unix, and that's what the worm attacked. The worm was successful not because
it attacked new or different exploits, but because there was a significant
number of systems which did not have current patches installed.
There are two reasons hackers target Windows today: It comprises the
largest number of installed systems, and there is a significant number of
users who do not install patches. This happens because the vast majority of
people using computers don't actually care how it works, as long as it does.
Thus, a computer that works is not one that requires attention. Collectively,
the Linux user community has a higher percentage of people who actually care
about how their system works; Mac users tend to be less interested. Neither
of these generalizations applies in all cases, of course; there are Mac users
who care about technical issues and there are Linux users who just wanted
a free OS. The point is, none of them is safe or not safe because of the inherent
"hacker-proof-ness" of their OS. Unpatched Linux is vulnerable,
as is unpatched OS X, as is unpatched Windows. If you get enough Mac users
with something worth stealing, who don't care (enough) about security, you
will see attacks directed at Macs.
And one reader isn't buying into the optimism surrounding
2Q earnings report:
Microsoft is stagnant, stale and so 1990s. The market knows it; that's
why the stock price is flat. The bright minds coming out of college know it;
that's why they are lining up to apply at Google, Red Hat or Apple. And increasingly,
MS managers know it, which is why so many of them are jumping ship. Even Bill
knows the glory days are over and is getting out while the getting is good.
Yes, a company with a history of 90 percent market share can generate
huge earnings for a long time after its peak, but there is nowhere left to
go but down.
Share your thoughts with us! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to [email protected].
Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.