You have been assimilated . . .

Servers have become all but purely commoditized, and there is no turning
back.

Gartner’s 2005 server tally shows two diverging trends — shipped server units rising 12.7% and server revenues rising 4.5%.  That’s an 8.2% gap between boxes and bucks, and most of the blame goes to x86 based commodity hardware.  While x86 server shipment climbed, non-x86 servers shipments fell 5.3%.

Well my friends I have both bad news, and some more bad news.

First, commoditization of IT is the new norm.  x86 competition between Intel and AMD has eliminated most differentiation between IBM, HP and Dell servers (Sun is gamely trying to differentiate SPARC, while HP is nursing their Itanium hangover, and IBM finds some fat on Power — but none of these platforms is seeing significant rise in unit shipments).

Next, Linux has removed all real differentiation from the operating system.  Though Windows mavens will deny this, the fact is that Linux has rapidly assumed the top tier in server shipments based on units sold and/or repurposed.

That leave the top of the IT stack.  The next phase is the middleware, where MySQL has put the fear of God into Larry Ellison ( or is that redundant ). Eclipse is perverting the software development world and drove Borland into greener pastures.  And even the application layers are under Open Source assault, as evidenced by Open Office on the desktop and SugarCRM et al on the server.

If you are in the technology business, you have about 15 seconds to learn these basic facts: 

  • Prices are dropping
  • Volume shipments are rising
  • The winners are chasing both trends

Oracle gets it, Sun doesn’t.  HP got it, but Borland didn’t.  Do you get it?


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