Timothy Prickett Morgan
Timothy Prickett Morgan is President of Guild Companies Inc and Editor in Chief of The Four Hundred. He has been keeping a keen eye on the midrange system and server markets for three decades, and was one of the founding editors of The Four Hundred, the industry's first subscription-based monthly newsletter devoted exclusively to the IBM AS/400 minicomputer, established in 1989. He is also currently co-editor and founder of The Next Platform, a publication dedicated to systems and facilities used by supercomputing centers, hyperscalers, cloud builders, and large enterprises. Previously, Prickett Morgan was editor in chief of EnterpriseTech, and he was also the midrange industry analyst for Midrange Computing (now defunct), and its editor for Monday Morning iSeries Update, a weekly IBM midrange newsletter, and for Wednesday Windows Update, a weekly Windows enterprise server newsletter. Prickett Morgan has also performed in-depth market and technical studies on behalf of computer hardware and software vendors that helped them bring their products to the AS/400 market or move them beyond the IBM midrange into the computer market at large. Prickett Morgan was also the editor of Unigram.X, published by British publisher Datamonitor, which licenses IT Jungle's editorial for that newsletter as well as for its ComputerWire daily news feed and for its Computer Business Review monthly magazine. He is currently Principal Analyst, Server Platforms & Architectures, for Datamonitor's research unit, and he regularly does consulting work on behalf of Datamonitor's AskComputerWire consulting services unit. Prickett Morgan began working for ComputerWire as a stringer for Computergram International in 1989. Prickett Morgan has been a contributing editor to many industry magazines over the years, including BusinessWeek Newsletter for Information Executives, Infoperspectives, Business Strategy International, Computer Systems News, IBM System User, Midrange Computing, and Midrange Technology Showcase, among others. Prickett Morgan studied aerospace engineering, American literature, and technical writing at the Pennsylvania State University and has a BA in English. He is not always as serious as his picture might lead you to believe.
September 16, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
I don’t know if many of you work this way, but sometimes I have to say things out loud and follow that train of thought before I decide it is a good, bad, or neutral idea – or any of the different gradations in there and beyond these from absolutely wonderful on one end to impossible or worse yet impossible on the other end. It is a kind of branch prediction, and like modern processors for the past two decades, it is subject to Meltdown speculative execution vulnerabilities.
(That right there was a nerd joke. I think. Maybe. . …Read more
September 16, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Downtime is never a good thing for any business, except maybe for those who sell high availability clustering and disaster recovery software for a living. And to be honest, these companies explicitly want to keep the downtime and the recovery time to the smallest period as possible. The fear of downtime should be enough to motivate us all to replicate out systems.
But sometimes, just having two systems in a high availability cluster is not enough. Some companies need belts with their suspenders, and maybe even a bunch of different belts because they really can’t be down. To that end, …Read more
September 9, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Here is a situation that each and every IT manager and chief information officer has experienced and will continue to experience: Having a very long conversation with the president or chief executive officer of their company about how to engage in or continue with digital transformation and the application and database modernization that this entails. And sometimes, that conversation will happen as a new person takes the helm of the company.
That’s precisely what we did this week, but with a twist or two. We are not an IT manager or CIO, but rather an observer in the boardrooms of …Read more
September 9, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
For the first time in 11 quarters – in other words, since the final quarter of 2016 – the server market contracted. And not just because the hyperscalers and cloud builders were cutting back on spending as they consumed the vast amount of compute capacity that they bought in 2018. Enterprises pulled back on spending, too, and every geographic region and every category of server had declines as well, many of these due to their own independent cycles and some due to macroeconomic effects.Read more
August 26, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Due to a conflict with a prior engagement at the Hot Chips conference, where IBM unveiled some of the aspects of the impending Power9′ processor that will prototype some ideas about memory subsystems that will appear in the future Power10 chips, we were not able to attend the OpenPower Foundation’s developer summit in San Diego last week. But IBM kept us in the loop, and we were intrigued to learn that Big Blue was open sourcing the instruction set architecture, or ISA, of the Power processors.
This step is perhaps an inevitable one, given Big Blue’s desire to make the …Read more
August 19, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We are awaiting a bunch of things coming out of Big Blue with regard to the Power Systems line, but the engineers are always tweaking the product line to meet customer demand even after things have been shipping for a while. So it is with the “Fleetwood” Power E980 system that IBM debuted last summer using the “Cumulus” 12-core, heavy thread variant of the Power9 processor family and the Enterprise Pool CPU capacity pooling software that runs on enterprise-class Power Systems iron.
But before we get into all of that, a reminder of what we are expecting to see from …Read more
August 12, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is no secret that Moore’s Law is causing all kinds of grief with chip designers working in all parts of the IT stack. It was bad enough to run out of clock scaling when Dennard Scaling stopped, and the industry has done a great job in making processors more parallel and allowing for them to offload processing to various kinds of accelerators, either on the die, in the package, or in the chassis over high speed interconnects. But even this is running out of gas as processors keep pushing up against the reticle limits of lithography machines because the …Read more
August 5, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
So how does the IBM Cloud running IBM i stack up against the main competition in the midrange, which is on premises Windows Server plus SQL Server from Microsoft as well as that same stack running in the Amazon Web Services cloud? We can’t give you a definitive answer, but we can give you some food for thought as you ponder how good of a deal Big Blue is giving customers who want to put IBM i on the cloud.
Making comparisons between on premises iron and cloudy infrastructure is difficult and problematic. The good thing about a public cloud …Read more
July 22, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
This time last year, Big Blue was just starting to ship Power9-based systems for the “Summit” and “Sierra” supercomputers built for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and that gave the Power Systems line a revenue bump through the third and fourth quarters of last year. There is no such big deal this year, although IBM has sold a baby version of these machines – if you consider the 25 petaflops “Pangea III” supercomputer small – to European oil and gas giant Total.
That deal with Total surely helped IBM make its …Read more
July 15, 2019 Timothy Prickett Morgan
IBM has been around long enough in the IT racket that it doesn’t have any trouble maintaining distinct portfolios of products that have overlapping and often incompatible functions. The System/3, which debuted in 1969, is only five years younger than the System/360, which laid the foundation and set the pace for corporate computing when it launched in 1964. Both styles of machines continue to exist today as the IBM i on Power Systems platform and the System z.
With the $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, which closed last week, neither of those two legacy products are under threat and …Read more