October 11, 2010 Executive Technology Strategies ets 10-10-06



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October 11, 2010 Executive Technology Strategies ETS 10-10-06




Weekly IT News Snapshots
  1. Cal Braunstein, Chief Research Officer

  1. Week in Review





    This week, Experture/RFG highlights the following topics



  • Android Power Surges, BlackBerry has a Sore Spot - Developer support for Google Inc.'s Android platform is intensifying as an increasing number of software vendors believe Android has both the appeal and openness to dominate the market in the long term. Elsewhere, details of the new Motorola Inc. Droid Pro reveal real potential to compete in Research in Motion, Ltd.'s (RIM) enterprise turf while a vulnerability in the BlackBerry Enterprise Desktop software's backup routine can be exploited to reveal user data.


RFG believes the rapid uptake and availability of Google's freely-available and highly-customizable smartphone platform is sending pronounced ripples through the market. Despite Apple's current strength and momentum, Android adoption rates and developer dissatisfaction with Apple's processes are beginning to take their toll. Apple has just recently re-allowed the use of write-once, run-many application development platforms; however, the difficult and slow approval processes, as well as it's notoriously protectionist attitudes will prevent it from retaining its current spot atop the smartphone pile. Customers and developers alike are responding to the strong open source platform where restrictions in application design, device form factor, and user interface are not limited to a single all-powerful source. As smartphone management and security technologies become increasingly mainstream,
IT executives are encouraged to allow a manageable number of smartphone platforms and form factors to become enterprise standard. Motorola's new Droid Pro is a prime example of this freedom, as the yet-unavailable device is already making waves thanks to its design. Unlike most competitive touch screen with or sans slide-out keyboard, a lot of the Droid Pro's attention is due to its throwback design modeled on traditional BlackBerry devices. The combination of Android platform, hard keyboard, and enterprise management capabilities offer a compelling product set that RFG expects to find an attentive audience. Once downtrodden Motorola is a working diligently to make a comeback on Android, and IT executives are advised to engage the company to understand its evolving product portfolio and enterprise capabilities. (Mobile security and management vendor Good Technology, Inc. was a Motorola company, but was sold in February, 2009.) The vulnerability in the encryption used by BlackBerry's backup routine is the first real chink in RIM's long-held mobile security armor. Since the exploit requires access to either a backup file or an unlocked device with which to make a backup, IT executives should not be greatly concerned by this flaw. Fixing this exploit should be simple for RIM, and RFG expects to see a patch available for soon for the BlackBerry Desktop software. Since old backups will remain vulnerable, they should be deleted once this fix is available.


  • Leading Vendors Attack New Markets - IBM Corp. announced a new disk storage system targeted at midrange enterprise customers; while Cisco Systems, Inc. released a new multi-security appliance and its latest security client for mobile devices. In other news, Oracle Corp. warned MySQL customers of unspecific price hikes in the near future, and CommVault Systems, Inc. announced its ninth major release of Simpana.


RFG believes the Storwize launch is the start of IBM's new approach to gaining market share in the mid-tier market as well as recognition that users want storage management simplified. Users need to see the ratio of terabytes to administrators grow significantly every year over the foreseeable future and that will only happen if vendors enhance storage management automation. IT executives can expect to see IBM extend these easy-to-use functions to all of its storage product lines as well as adoption of similar capabilities by other top tier storage vendors. Cisco's new security appliance is another approach at simplifying the data center, except in this case it is for security and not storage. Cisco's new offering combines a firewall with a VPN and an intrusion-protection system for a high volume environment. This appliance will allow companies with high-end security requirements to acquire a packaged offering that will reduce the cost of security. Meanwhile, Cisco's newest AnyConnect client delivers on the company's "borderless networks" mantra. Since more than one-third of the vendor's traditional VPN client base has switched over to AnyConnect, the product should be very well received. On the other hand, Oracle is starting to fulfill its prophecy – the one uttered when it acquired Sun. MySQL is too valuable of an asset to waste and Oracle wants to improve its return on investment.
IT executives should not accept Oracle's initial pricing scheme; there is always room to push back and since this is a new gambit, there should be plenty of maneuvering room. IT executives should look for a deep discount or improvement in other terms once Oracle starts its round of price actions. CommVault's strategy of deduplication at the source and target should be well received by users. IT executives now recognize the value of compression and deduplication and if CommVault can demonstrate it can handle source deduplication without a performance hit, then IT executives should include Simpana on their short list of data protection solutions.


  • Non-handset Devices Drive Baseband Market Growth - Non-handset mobile data devices are proving to be the big growth engine for device makers in late 2010 and 2011, and this is reflected in the cellular baseband chip market too. While unit shipments were up 23% in the first half of 2010, compared to the year-ago period, non-handset basebands outperformed this curve, and accounted for 12% of total revenues as of mid-year.

Broadcom remains well behind the top four but its baseband revenue did grow by 245% year-on-year, as it gained new design wins at Nokia and Samsung for EDGE and W-CDMA. Also making progress were Spreadtrum of China, Marvell, the 'other CDMA supplier' Via Telecom, and the UK's Icera, which has a software defined strategy for LTE. Renesas' baseband revenues were down slightly but this should reverse after its takeover of Nokia's own baseband activities and its LTE design alliance with the Finnish giant.

  • SMS Cannot be Trusted for Emergency Communications  - The wireless trade association, 4G Americas, has warned of the risks of relying on SMS or instant messaging to contact emergency services, an issue it says is increasingly urgent for safety and cellular groups.


This solution is called NOVES and is being developed by various North American safety organizations plus wireless groups like 3GPP. This could be applied to other countries too.

Android Power Surges, BlackBerry has a Sore Spot

Lead Analyst: Adam Braunstein


Developer support for Google Inc.'s Android platform is intensifying as an increasing number of software vendors believe Android has both the appeal and openness to dominate the market in the long term. Elsewhere, details of the new Motorola Inc. Droid Pro reveal real potential to compete in Research in Motion, Ltd.'s (RIM) enterprise turf while a vulnerability in the BlackBerry Enterprise Desktop software's backup routine can be exploited to reveal user data.

Focal Points:

  • Google's Android has been on a tear lately as sales of the smartphones based on the platform have been outpacing Apple's iOS-powered iPhone over the last several months. A new survey from Appcellerator, whose namesake platform enables rapid mobile software development, demonstrates that developer activity for Android applications is set to eclipse that of iOS over the next few years. A survey conducted in June 2010 by the company said that 54 percent of developers felt Android had better long-term outlook than iOS, and a new survey has widened that margin with 59 percent preferring Android over iOS. While these results seem to counter popular opinion, participating developers cited platform shipments, the open source nature of Android, and the unrestricted access provided to the underlying OS as their principle rationale.

  • Motorola's latest Android-based Droid, called the Droid Pro, combines a host of features aimed at winning enterprise-loving BlackBerry users .The candy bar-style Droid Pro features a 3.1 inch screen and a traditional BlackBerry Curve-like keyboard upon which fast typists are said to be able to achieve 37 words-per-minute. To be made available in November on the Verizon Wireless network, the Droid Pro is a world phone employing two diversity antennas and has support for both Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and Global System for Mobile (GSM) networks allowing enabling across the globe. The device ships with a 1 gigahertz (GHz) processor, a 5 megapixel (MP) camera, the latest 2.2 "Froyo" version of Android, mobile hotspot capabilities, and support for multiple virtual private networking (VPN) servers. Remote wiping is possible should the device ever be lost or stolen, and data encryption functionality will be made available early next year.

  • A flaw in the way RIM implements security in the encryption algorithm used by the BlackBerry Desktop Software backup program can leave users' data at risk. Exploiting this vulnerability would require access to a device's backup file. Although RIM uses 256-bit AES encryption in its backup program, the password-based key derivation function (PBKDF2) backup facility only has one derivation of coding. This makes brute-force password cracking a reality and is in contrast to the 10,000 iteration implementation used in Apple's iOS 4.x. A password containing seven letters of mixed cases can be cracked using specialized software in approximately three days, though the introduction of numbers and special characters would add complexity and time to the process. The three-day estimation for cracking is based on the use of a powerful current-generation x86-based processor; though it is possible to further reduce the time required by leveraging a graphics processor to crack the BlackBerry password.

RFG believes the rapid uptake and availability of Google's freely-available and highly-customizable smartphone platform is sending pronounced ripples through the market. Despite Apple's current strength and momentum, Android adoption rates and developer dissatisfaction with Apple's processes are beginning to take their toll. Apple has just recently re-allowed the use of write-once, run-many application development platforms; however, the difficult and slow approval processes, as well as it's notoriously protectionist attitudes will prevent it from retaining its current spot atop the smartphone pile. Customers and developers alike are responding to the strong open source platform where restrictions in application design, device form factor, and user interface are not limited to a single all-powerful source. As smartphone management and security technologies become increasingly mainstream,

IT executives are encouraged to allow a manageable number of smartphone platforms and form factors to become enterprise standard. Motorola's new Droid Pro is a prime example of this freedom, as the yet-unavailable device is already making waves thanks to its design. Unlike most competitive touch screen with or sans slide-out keyboard, a lot of the Droid Pro's attention is due to its throwback design modeled on traditional BlackBerry devices. The combination of Android platform, hard keyboard, and enterprise management capabilities offer a compelling product set that RFG expects to find an attentive audience. Once downtrodden Motorola is a working diligently to make a comeback on Android, and IT executives are advised to engage the company to understand its evolving product portfolio and enterprise capabilities. (Mobile security and management vendor Good Technology, Inc. was a Motorola company, but was sold in February, 2009.) The vulnerability in the encryption used by BlackBerry's backup routine is the first real chink in RIM's long-held mobile security armor. Since the exploit requires access to either a backup file or an unlocked device with which to make a backup, IT executives should not be greatly concerned by this flaw. Fixing this exploit should be simple for RIM, and RFG expects to see a patch available for soon for the BlackBerry Desktop software. Since old backups will remain vulnerable, they should be deleted once this fix is available.
Leading Vendors Attack New Markets

Lead Analyst: Cal Braunstein


IBM Corp. announced a new disk storage system targeted at midrange enterprise customers; while Cisco Systems, Inc. released a new multi-security appliance and its latest security client for mobile devices. In other news, Oracle Corp. warned MySQL customers of unspecific price hikes in the near future, and CommVault Systems, Inc. announced its ninth major release of Simpana.

Focal Points:

  • IBM debuted the Storwize V7000, a midrange disk storage system that offers new compression, deduplication, and virtualization technologies. According to the vendor, the new system includes a software stack and hardware features that are generally found in IBM's high-end storage products, but are targeted at midrange enterprise customers. The new virtualization technology allows users to leverage a simple GUI to assign and provision storage over hard drives, solid-state drives (SSDs), and other storage units, said IBM. The new embedded Easy Tier software helps to prioritize and place critical data on SSDs, while moving less frequently used data to the hard drives, IBM added. Storwize V7000 also includes storage management and data backup tools from the Tivoli business unit, according to IBM. The company claims the total cost of ownership (TCO) for the V7000 could be up to 40 percent less than alternative solutions. IBM has yet to release pricing information for Storwize V7000, but the system will be generally available beginning Nov. 12 primarily through IBM's channel partners. Additionally, IBM executives stated that the company intends to use the Storwize brand for other products that the vendor intends to bring to market.

  • Cisco announced the Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5585-X, which combines a firewall with VPN support for use in data centers run by large enterprises or service providers. The ASA 5585-X also includes an intrusion-prevention system (IPS), to reach speeds up to 20 Gbps with 10,000 VPN connections and 350,000 connections per second, said the vendor. The appliance is currently available in four models that range from 2 Gbps to 20 Gbps and are priced from $29,000 to $300,000, Cisco added. The IPS blade is not expected to ship until the end of the year, however. Additionally, Cisco announced the latest version of its AnyConnect security client, which now includes MACSec support that provides endpoint-to-access layer encryption to an access-layer switch. According to Cisco, the latest AnyConnect client works with Cisco's ScanSafe service to enforce Web security policies, and is now available for Microsoft Corp. Windows Mobile devices and the Apple iPhone.

  • Oracle sent a letter to MySQL customers noting that license fees have not increased in six years, and that there will be price hikes in the near future. Additionally, Oracle said it plans to eliminate the two less-expensive licensing plans that are tailored for smaller businesses. According to industry sources, those changes could slap an organization with a 400-percent increase in annual licensing fees. Oracle also told MySQL customers that if they wish to continue with Basic or Silver licensing plans, they will need to sign a multi-year agreement to keep using Basic or Silver for up to another three years. In other news, CommVault announced that it made 500 changes, including adding source deduplication, to its Simpana data protection and management software suite. Previously, a central Simpana system deduplicated data. Now, client systems can deduplicate data before passing it on to the central Simpana server, where another round of deduplication will occur. According to CommVault, by integrating deduplication at the source and target, Simpana eliminates up to 90 percent of redundant data and reduces network traffic by up to 90 percent.

RFG believes the Storwize launch is the start of IBM's new approach to gaining market share in the mid-tier market as well as recognition that users want storage management simplified. Users need to see the ratio of terabytes to administrators grow significantly every year over the foreseeable future and that will only happen if vendors enhance storage management automation. IT executives can expect to see IBM extend these easy-to-use functions to all of its storage product lines as well as adoption of similar capabilities by other top tier storage vendors. Cisco's new security appliance is another approach at simplifying the data center, except in this case it is for security and not storage. Cisco's new offering combines a firewall with a VPN and an intrusion-protection system for a high volume environment. This appliance will allow companies with high-end security requirements to acquire a packaged offering that will reduce the cost of security. Meanwhile, Cisco's newest AnyConnect client delivers on the company's "borderless networks" mantra. Since more than one-third of the vendor's traditional VPN client base has switched over to AnyConnect, the product should be very well received. On the other hand, Oracle is starting to fulfill its prophecy – the one uttered when it acquired Sun. MySQL is too valuable of an asset to waste and Oracle wants to improve its return on investment.

IT executives should not accept Oracle's initial pricing scheme; there is always room to push back and since this is a new gambit, there should be plenty of maneuvering room. IT executives should look for a deep discount or improvement in other terms once Oracle starts its round of price actions. CommVault's strategy of deduplication at the source and target should be well received by users. IT executives now recognize the value of compression and deduplication and if CommVault can demonstrate it can handle source deduplication without a performance hit, then IT executives should include Simpana on their short list of data protection solutions.

Non-handset Devices Drive Baseband Market Growth


By Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Associates

Non-handset mobile data devices are proving to be the big growth engine for device makers in late 2010 and 2011, and this is reflected in the cellular baseband chip market too. While unit shipments were up 23% in the first half of 2010, compared to the year-ago period, non-handset basebands outperformed this curve, and accounted for 12% of total revenues as of mid-year.



Focal Points:

  • These are the findings of the latest study from Strategy Analytics, whose figures also reflect the price pressures in basebands - while units were up 23%, revenues grew only 15.5% in the same period. However, the vendors will be focusing hard on the main growth generators - data cards, tablets, dongles and machine-to-machine devices.



  • Among those suppliers, Qualcomm continued to dominate with 39.6% revenue share in the first half of the year. "We believe much of the Qualcomm's growth came from smartphones and non-handsets in 1H 2010," said analyst Stuart Robinson.



  • The US giant still has almost 2.5 times the market share of its nearest rival, MediaTek, though this could be squeezed as the Taiwanese supplier moves into higher end markets. Currently, the two firms have very different profiles - Qualcomm, of course, has its CDMA near-monopoly to boost its rankings, but it also shines at the high end with HSPA+ and LTE modems on the horizon.



  • MediaTek, as Strategy Analytics points out, has only recently launched its first W-CDMA product and focuses on low end handsets, especially those made in China. It had less than 1% market share in 3G but was the leader in GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as, unsurprisingly, the Chinese 3G standard, TD-SCDMA. However, the report says "MediaTek's baseband shipments to grey handset OEMs showed signs of decline in 1H 2010 in the wake of government-led crackdowns in India and China."



  • After the big two came ST-Ericsson, coming out of a transition period with a newly enhanced and rationalized product line for 2G, 3G and LTE, but it still needs to boost its stagnant W-CDMA share. This is being pressurized by Qualcomm and also Infineon, whose wireless business is in the process of being acquired by Intel. The German firm continued to gain share in 2G and W-CDMA markets and is positioning well against Qualcomm in non-handset segments, where it has an estimated 9% share. The Intel purchase should strengthen this hand.

Broadcom remains well behind the top four but its baseband revenue did grow by 245% year-on-year, as it gained new design wins at Nokia and Samsung for EDGE and W-CDMA. Also making progress were Spreadtrum of China, Marvell, the 'other CDMA supplier' Via Telecom, and the UK's Icera, which has a software defined strategy for LTE. Renesas' baseband revenues were down slightly but this should reverse after its takeover of Nokia's own baseband activities and its LTE design alliance with the Finnish giant.

SMS Cannot be Trusted for Emergency Communications  

Lead Analyst: Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Associates


The wireless trade association, 4G Americas, has warned of the risks of relying on SMS or instant messaging to contact emergency services, an issue it says is increasingly urgent for safety and cellular groups.
Focal Points:


  • In a white paper called 'Texting to 911: examining the design and limitations of SMS', the body says there is a "perception that SMS is reliable; however SMS was never designed as a reliable means for life saving critical communications". It has similar reservations about instant messaging, MMS and other varieties of 'texting' such as Twitter.




  • "While we understand the desire to use SMS to contact 911, SMS has significant limitations and shortcomings that do not make SMS suitable for emergency communications, especially under life threatening conditions," said Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas, in a statement. "Today, voice 911 communication is the best and most reliable method of reporting an emergency and summoning help quickly. The industry is working on developing a reliable, non-voice solution to contact emergency services that is not based on SMS."


This solution is called NOVES and is being developed by various north American safety organizations plus wireless groups like 3GPP. This could be applied to other countries too.

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