Thursday, April 11, 2013

The travels an analyst has to do

Patrick Moorhead does get around.  His contributed post to Forbes a couple days ago was followed by his thoughts about Intel's rumored TV box yesterday.  He was acclaimed the #1 voted analyst in the tech world, cf. Apollo Research Oct 2012, so I often read him and like to follow his work.

The San Jose Mercury-News is only two days late to carry both stories.  The SF Chronicle is focused elsewhere, of course.  The Merc stories are worth study.

Moorhead about HPs MOONSHOT in the Merc (small insert on page D2): "the system is as innovated (a noun?) as we have seen, offering a modular system that lets customers choose the right architecture to optimize their service for specific workloads and their own in-house applications."  End of quote.  A quote that could have been written about Spectrum in 1986 (in fact, was written then).  What's the big deal?

Moorhead was interviewed for the Business front page story by Steve Johnson of the Merc about Intel's TV after Raymond James analyst Hans Mosesmann said, "We are skeptical... we believe an Intel Internet TV platform with be a tough sell."  Moorhead volunteered that "I actually believe the time is right for this; there is demand for this, absolutely."  Based on Moorhead's interviews with Intel 'officials', he said, "This is going to be a very interesting one to keep an eye on."

I spent time at Intel, a decade or so.  Their track record on 'innovation' is spotty.  But I like Moorhead's odds, and they, like HP, need a hit in their lineup.

Recalling that John Dvorak was always quoted on futuristic stuff until he missed the iPhone story, one wonders who will prevail here in the cut-throat analyst pundit game.

But, back to Moonshot.  What Moorhead actually wrote, that the Merc turned into plain vanilla, was:
"HP launched today a game-changing line of servers called the HP Moonshot 1500.  It is easily their biggest server launch since HP introduced the industry's first X-86-based-server in 1989.  (Do any of you recall that HP led back then?).  At a high level, the Moonshot 1500 is the beginning of the slow death of the vanilla, homogenous server and the rise of specialized servers for specialized workloads for scale-out data-centers.

The point he makes focuses on the wide variety of new data-center needs with smart phones, tablets, etc.  He says, and I believe him, that, "While data-centers have grown significantly over the last 10 years, we haven't seen anything near the growth that will happen over the next 5-10 years.  ... Current enterprise data centers aren't prepared for the onslaught of devices coming their way.  Its not as easy as adding more homogenous servers, or even virtualized servers" which he goes on to explain in detail.

Moorhead concludes a lengthy, detailed piece by saying: "If HP's Pathfinder Innovation Ecosystem (wow there's a mouthful) gets quick momentum, it will be very hard to replicate, which gives HP a leg up in thse markets.... It's going to be a wild ride."

This Moonshot, make no mistake, is what Meg and Ray Lane have been betting on, along with Marc Andreesson and the others.  I think it will indeed be a game-changer, for a 'tomorrow world' where Apple, not HP, will have more edge-devices, but HP (more or less shared with IBM, hummn) will have the center.  Could be worth buying a few shares?

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