OCP thoughts

I didn’t post a response to the article written a little more than a year ago claiming that OCP had “blown up the server market“. Yes, that was really in the title. I’ll ignore most of the obvious issues with this, but lets review a year later, shall we?
Open hardware designs are great in concept. Share your design with the world, and lower your customers costs … er … whoops.
They are great, if you are a large scale consumer, and you can get what you need in that form factor. They are not so great if a portion of your value offering is in the hardware side of the equation.
I mention this as we were at OCP in San Jose last week, meeting customers. Not presenting, not with a booth. Just meeting people and talking through their issues.
What emerged from these discussions is that there is strong interest in value. We discussed our offerings with customers after they defined their need. We asked them point blank if OCP designs were required, or even needed. The answer, in general, was an unambiguous “no”.

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IBM's sale of x86 servers and networking to Lenovo

I’d waited a while before posting on this for a number of reasons, not the least of which was I was quite busy. But also, I wanted to understand what was and was not sold. Now that some of the dust has settled, and both companies have publicly discussed this, we know pretty well what is included in the sale. I don’t need to get in to that aspect, you can read it all very succinctly on Lenovo’s site.
My first reaction to hearing this news was questioning the impact upon customers of IBM System x systems. The second question was, what will IBM do with all its Linux investment … is it pushing development off over to Lenovo? The Lenovo texts suggests that x86 development will continue, but I am guessing that this is in a transition to a services-like offering (WAG on my part) for development.
Understand that I had thought that there might be a non-zero chance of IBM purchasing Red Hat in the near future. So seeing this change suggests that this concept is less likely. Unless that is, IBM wants to own the OS and platform and not the hardware.
IBM has also signed Lenovo on to sell Storwize, GPFS, and a few other things. Things that make sense on x86, but maybe not so much on Power.
This also frees up IBM from being a large Intel customer. Which might enable them to look at competing with Intel. Though I am not sure how … Power? PowerPC? I am not convinced that IBM wants to remain in the low margin hardware side of things. So I consider this path unlikely.
A few obvious things about this purchase, and one, what I would consider massive, unintended consequence.

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