Enterprise hits and misses - Google Cloud outage brings lessons, as do the struggles of Dell, Nutanix and MapR

Profile picture for user jreed By Jon Reed June 10, 2019
Summary:
This week - debating Google's Cloud outage. Plus: Dell, Nutanix and MapR give us problematic news. Google buys Looker, and diginomica digests events. Your whiffs include an aromatic decision from Microsoft.

loser-and-winner

Lead story - Google Cloud outage caused Twitter angst, teachable moment for enterprises by Kurt Marko

MyPOV: The Google Cloud outage caused huge annoyance to people like me who should have known better than to attempt to work on Sunday.

Google's predictable PR slog and scramble sanctimonious language about service slowdowns was a crudfest. We all know slowdowns are probably worse than outages (outages are better because then you give up, instead of squandering an afternoon in "still waiting" error mode).

But Kurt takes the outage lessons in a more important direction, challenging those rushing to cloud judgment. One huge reminder for cloud architects, Google or otherwise: redundancy matters. Kurt:

The domino effect on other public services highlights the need for system and application architects to put much more effort into designing resilience and redundancy into cloud deployments and not assume that cloud services are an utterly reliable resource.

But Kurt pushes back against the knee-jerk PR flood of the multi-cloud krishnas:

Although I’m a big believer in the long-term efficacy of multi-cloud designs, I agree with Andreessen Horowitz Board Partner Steven Sinofsky that reflexively chanting multi-cloud in this case is unwarranted. Not only is the track record of Google, AWS and Azure much better than the availability of most enterprise infrastructure, but the length of enterprise IT’s typical scheduled downtime, which isn’t part of Google’s vocabulary, often dwarfs that of unplanned events.

Kurt outlines more affordable tactics for failover, such as multi-region redundancy. A hierarchy of uptime needs dictates the expense and complexity necessary. Kurt concludes:

For organizations adversely affected, leaping to the most complicated, costly, gold-plated multi-cloud design isn’t the proper response when there are less drastic options to building resilient cloud infrastructure.

I've always believed the multi-cloud argument is less about outage protection via redundancy, and more about the strengths of each cloud, and lock-in avoidance. But I'd also suggest that for Google's Enterprise Cloud dream team of Thomas Kurian and Rob Enslin, Google is going to need a much humbler tone if/when they do have to communicate about their own errors in the future. Enterprises expect outstanding service, not PR-washed attempts to downplay inconvenience after the fact.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

 

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Here's my three top choices from our vendor coverage:

 

MongoDB binge: we officially welcomed MongoDB as a partner this week (Derek did the honors). With developers at the heart of its strategy, MongoDB kicks off with What 90,000 developers have to tell us. Stuart breaks down the latest numbers, and how MongoDB sees the cloud apps market unfolding in New realms for MongoDB as customers engage with the next generation of the Database Wars.

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

 

Jon's grab bag - Neil demonstrates the reach of graph databases (and their AI-enabled potential) via a tour of the funky side in Graph analysis - some off-the-wall use cases (I liked the exposure of corruption via the Panama Papers). Finally, if you're in the mood for a cathartic snarkfest deconstruction of 5G hype, strap on your gamer glasses, and check my ludicrous press release awards - "5G is pure awesomeness" edition.

Best of the rest

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

Lead story - Dell plunges, Nutanix struggles and MapR circles the bowl  

MyPOV: A series of "bad news" tech stories delivered hard lessons. Start with Dell's stock plunges as server and storage sales slump. The lesson? Not all hardware sales are created equal. SiliconAngle quotes Constellation's Holger Mueller:

Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said Dell’s problems stem from the fact that it’s facing more headwinds as enterprise workloads move to the public cloud. Dell has been unable to establish itself as a major supplier to public cloud providers, he said, with the exception of some investments by its long-term partner Microsoft Corp.

Will the Dell-VMware "hybrid cloud" push make a difference, time will tell. Headwinds hit Nutanix also: Nutanix stock crumbles on revenue miss, lower guidance. SiliconAngle's stock analysis felt clickbaity hyperbolic on both stories, but for Nutanix, the killer question looms. Is the current stock struggle about the conversion to subscriptions (their official narrative) or about companies with deeper pockets encroaching on their hyperconvergence?

Next up: the significantly more dire situation over at MapR: MapR's future in jeopardy, layoffs loom. As per Searchdatamanagement, cloudy trends loom large:

A general trend toward cloud-based big data implementations has challenged MapR and other players associated one way or the other with the Hadoop movement. The company's inability to quickly gain further financing or close such a deal now seems to encumber its once promising outlook.

This isn't a death knell for big data hype - as Constellation's Doug Henschen points out to Searchdatamanagement, the need to crunch big data volumes hasn't gone anywhere - but it raises the question: how far will the on-premises side of big data adoption go? Cloudera and Hortonworks seem better prepared to ride out the market waves than MapR.

Other standouts

 

Honorable mention

 

Overworked businessman

Whiffs

So one of the most data-ignorant, daffy waste of taxpayer dollars legal time in the last year was mercifully reversed: Coffee health benefits: California says it does not pose a cancer risk. Speaking of squandering cash, via reader Clive, we have this aromatic investment from Microsoft: Microsoft Launches Xbox-branded Shower Gel, Deodorant, Body Spray.

Via Den Howlett, we have this under-motivated lunch offering via "Youhadonejob":

Afraid we can't call Microsoft heroes on this one:

This database has already been captured and shared, so Microsoft looks more self-serving than heroic. But the I hate I'm addicted to your platform "stay classy while you leverage our data" award this week goes to Amazon:

I was going to elaborate on "yuk," but there isn't really anything more to say. See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed. 'myPOV' is borrowed with reluctant permission from the ubiquitous Ray Wang.