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iPhone 5 boom, VAR wars and other takeaways from GreenPages Summit

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Unsurprisingly, cloud was top of mind at this week’s GreenPages Solutions Summit 2011.

About a hundred or so GreenPages customers–IT professionals from organizations ranging from area hospitals to Liberty Mutual Insurance and Stratus Computer — came to hear GreenPages’ cloud pitch, specifically the VAR’s planned “data bus” that would help them move data from on-premises data centers to hybrid and/or public clouds. But that was the official news. Here’s the real scuttlebutt.

1: iPhones remain king. Even as Android devices grab market share.  GreenPages CTO John Ross made headlines with his mention of a 300 million unit preorder of Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5.

2: Converged data center takes channel toll. If data centers do move to converged compute/storage/networking hardware, it’s clear that IT personnel will be impacted big time. There won’t be as much need for a server guy, a storage guy and a networking guy if companies buy all that capability together. “There will be bodies,” said the CIO of one attending company who most definitely did not want to be quoted by name.

3: VAR wars will ensue. The converged hardware shakeout will also impact VARs and integrators in affected accounts. An IT exec with a healthcare company said his boss is under pressure to choose between one VAR who supplies EMC and Cisco gear and another who does VMware and HP work. “He wants fewer suppliers,” he said.

4: IT guys LOVE their iPads. At one break-out session,  at least 10 out of 25 attendees had iPads at the ready. Canvassed by the speaker, only one person had a non-Apple tablet (I think a Samsung Galaxy.) In another session, when an HP VP asked who among nearly 100 people had checked out the HP TouchPad only one or two hands went up.

5: HP has a lot of work to do.

Another attendee said he was apalled at the quality of HP laptops his company has bought of late. These “business class” machines are not up to snuff, he noted. He was similarly unimpressed with a pitch for HP CloudMatrix. The $400,000 to $450,000 fixed-cost for HP to set up a “mini Amazon Elastic cloud” implementation is too rich for most of these companies.

6:  The major hindrence to cloud adoption comes from within.

IT staffs do not like change. Once the infrastructure is working, they like to freeze the picture, several GreenPages execs and IT attendees agreed. That makes it difficult to get people to sign off on cloud plans.  Conversely, it’s not at all hard to convince line-of-business people within the organization of the merits of a private or public cloud deployment.

7: Vendors will support virtualization. Even if they say they won’t.

Oracle support policy states it won’t necessarily support Oracle software on non-Oracle virtualization, but not one attendee said they’d not gotten support from Oracle when they asked for it.

“Typically, they will support you. I hear this [complaint about vendor non-support] mostly from internal people who have to support the application,” said Ross.

8: Tech reporters can eat a LOT of lobster.

No names mentioned. You know who you are.

Let us know what you think about this post; email Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at,

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