It’s Showtime! Broadcom, NetApp, Splunk, AWS Reinforce Plus Oracle – Infrastructure Matters, Episode 44

It’s Showtime! Broadcom, NetApp, Splunk, AWS Reinforce Plus Oracle - Infrastructure Matters, Episode 44

In this episode of Infrastructure Matters, hosts Camberley Bates, Steve Dickens and Krista Macomber give the rundown on conferences and announcements from Broadcom Mainframe Analysts event, NetApp’s Analyst event, Splunk, and AWS re:Inforce conference, plus announcements from Oracle.

Key topics include:

  • NetApp Analyst Event: NetApp hosted an event in New York, celebrating their recent success and introducing their new “intelligent data infrastructure” positioning covering their focus on unified storage, managing data across hybrid environments seamlessly advancements in AI and data management.
  • Broadcom Mainframe Analyst Event: Broadcom demonstrated their continued investment and growth in mainframe software, including new capabilities such as Watchtower and their investment in the “vitality program” focused on training and hiring non-traditional candidates for high-paying system programming roles.
  • AWS reInforce: This AWS event focused on cloud security, highlighted AWS’s efforts to enhance their security infrastructure and customer tools, including AI models and new security features.
  • Splunk Acquisition by Cisco: Splunk, recently acquired by Cisco, showcased their commitment to innovation and integration within Cisco’s ecosystem and maintaining innovation momentum while integrating with Cisco’s existing technologies like AppDynamics and Thousand Eyes.
  • Oracle Cloud and Google: Oracle & Google announce collaborating to provide customers with interoperability between their respective cloud platforms.

You can watch the video of our conversation below, and be sure to visit our YouTube Channel and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Listen to the audio here:

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Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this webcast. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this webcast.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.


Camberley Bates: All right. Good morning, folks, and we are back at Infrastructure Matters. I’m supposed to know which recording this is, but we didn’t check on that, so I’m not sure which one we are. Is it 43, 44, 45? It’s one of those guys, but there we go. And I am with my best buds here. My partners in crime, here is Steve Dickens and Krista Macomber. And we are on a roll because we’ve been rocking for the last 15 minutes cracking jokes, but we won’t share it.

Steven Dickens: We need the outtakes before the show starts.

Camberley Bates: We do.

Steven Dickens: We’ll get the producer to create a blooper reel, because I think that would be funny.

Camberley Bates: I think part of it is we are punchy. Go ahead, Krista.

Krista Macomber: I was going to say it’d be another benefit, Steven, I know you’ve been pushing to shift this to live, right? It could be the first five minutes is everyone would get to see the debacle that is us getting on the line and coordinating-

Camberley Bates: Edits

Steven Dickens: Yeah, there’s over…

Camberley Bates: Yea, it’s like a 3 second edit.

Steven Dickens: It’s overbearing. Get us under control here Camberley.

Camberley Bates: All right, here we go. Okay. So we’ve been on the road for forever, and then also we had the Six Five Summit this week, which was incredible. I don’t know what the stats are and the numbers, but we’ll post a link on that as well. But that had, I think, about 23 or 22 CEOs, 60 something sessions covering everything from quantum to sustainability to whatever. So super stuff, make sure you guys go watch the ones that are pertinent to you. But for today, we’ve got a bunch of events we’ve been to. We have been to Broadcom AR event, NetApp AR event, AWS re:Inforce, Splunk, and then we’ve got some Oracle coverage. But anyway, that’s what we have on tap today. And since I just said on tap, maybe we should start with NetApp’s…

Krista Macomber: I see what you did there.

Camberley Bates: Whoo! That was bad. Maybe we should start with names. Guys, would you take control of the, Steve, because it’s going downhill real fast.

Steven Dickens: Camberley, tell us about NetApp’s event.

Camberley Bates: Okay, I will. So we had two great days in New York City, they did for the first time in 30 years, a closing of the New York Stock Exchange Bell. That’s the first time they’ve done this since the IPO, if you can imagine. So they were all down there, some great pictures that are popped up on LinkedIn, but that was a big celebration for them, especially coming on the backside of their earnings reports, which was very good. And we got a posting on that. But let me give you a couple of things. George Kurian, if you don’t know, was the twin brother of the other Kurian over at Google. But anyway, he kicked it off and really kicked it off… One of the biggest parts of this is kicking off some of their new positioning that they have, which is the intelligent data infrastructure. And it may sound like a bunch of marketing stuff, but it’s not.

It’s really pertaining to what they’re doing, and pertains of whether it’s hybrid environment where they call it a unified storage, where unified is not just SAN and NAS-unified is really being first party on cloud provider, on prem, any protocol, and really what they’re talking about is a platform that manages across that, so you’ve got a single pane of glass that you’re really working through, everything from control, from your snapshots to your provisioning, et cetera. So there’s a commonality in it. And then really focusing on a lot of the data services that they’re delivering underneath there, which is… I think one of my buddies in the AR published, he goes… Unfortunately, I can’t talk about the really cool stuff because they have some really great development work that they’re coming, and I would expect to see something this next year on what they’re doing in the AI space that is really great in terms of the data, their adaptive data management capability.

The other thing I’ll talk, the other piece of it that really poked out at me was their strategy on SAN. So it’s a couple years ago they announced just a sandbox, just a block box. They’ve always been known for file. They’ve been unified, block and file. And they launched this box that was just a block box, and we kind of went, “Why the heck are you doing that?” And part of it is to really make a statement that we have a first class citizen in the SAN environment. And why would you do that? Well, guess what? The block business is, $49 billion market is what they’re expecting, and by 2027 and the file business is a $21 billion market. And so they’re after that standalone block space. And the standalone NAS space with their platform that has one management platform there, one set of policies, really great kind of stuff. So that’s just a little bit of what happened over the two days, and I’m sure that they’re going to say, “Well, we talked about so much more,” but those are the two biggie things that I took away from these guys.

Steven Dickens: Was there an AI component to that? Camberley, as part of the overall story?

Camberley Bates: Yes.

Steven Dickens: Because I remember seeing a Vertex demo with NetApp and from a file perspective being able to present all of that file-based data to a large language model made a lot of sense to me.

Camberley Bates: Right, so let’s… And you’ve seen those demos hold that space, because that’s what we’re going to see really change for them in the future. And one of the advantages they have in that space is they are right now… They’re the big file company. They have a huge amount of the world’s data storage sitting on file across the world, and they’ve been servicing those markets, everything from the EDAs, to the pharmaceuticals, to the media and entertainment, and then what you’re looking at doing is taking that file, which is what you want to provision onto your data lakes or whatever you’re going to do in terms of doing AI. And so that transition for the customer could be very smooth.

Krista Macomber: Yeah.

Camberley Bates: Right?

Steven Dickens: I’m reading between the lines that you may or may not know something but can’t say. Okay.

Camberley Bates: Well, and I’ll say one other thing, and this could be a little glimpse to what’s going on. They have a really good data classification capability that’s part of their BlueXP.

Steven Dickens: Okay.

Krista Macomber: Yeah.

Camberley Bates: They don’t charge for it anymore.

Krista Macomber: Interesting.

Camberley Bates: Yep, two months ago… Was it two months ago that they opened it up for free, Krista? You were there.

Krista Macomber: That sounds correct. Yep, that sounds right to me.

Camberley Bates: We had an immediate uptick.

Krista Macomber: Yep.

Camberley Bates: So you’ve got clients flipping that switch, and they’re going through and using this data classification on their current environment. Read between the lines.

Krista Macomber: Yes.

Steven Dickens: Interesting.

Krista Macomber: And I guess building on that a little bit, I’d love to give a call-out to the data services division, our friend, Gagan Gulati. This is a somewhat new division to NetApp. I want to say it’s been roughly two years or so since it was founded. And so really what they’re doing is they’re helping to drive the data services capabilities that NetApp is putting on top of the core infrastructure. So as we’re alluding to here, you can certainly think of some implications as we start to move towards AI applications, but really, we’ve also done a lot of work with this team personally here at Futurum, which is really great around the cyber resiliency side of things. So the ability to be able to have not only sort of that…

They describe it as multi-pronged data protection. So the ability to have snapshots, the ability to have capabilities like replication, for instance, but also they announced what they call… This was before the summit so I know we certainly can talk about it. They’ve had available what they call their autonomous ransomware detection capability to really help customers to detect ransomware attacks sooner than they would be able to if we were just looking offline at your secondary storage environment. So again, certainly some exciting announcements to come from that division, but it’s been interesting to kind of track over the last couple of years really just, I would say, kind of the ongoing maturity of the message around the story and just how the capabilities continue to evolve and really pinpoint what were some of these key priorities that we’re seeing in the market like cybersecurity, AI, things of that nature.

Camberley Bates: Well, okay, and then I’ll say this one thing, and then we’ll get off this topic and go to the next one. But on that detection, 99% detection accuracy on primary storage. And what happens, it’s… And this has been validated by a firm out of the SC, is that what they’re called? Krista?

Krista Macomber: Yes.

Camberley Bates: This has been validated and confirmed and published on this week. Because what it enables you to do, because it’s automated, and because it’s accuracy is so high, it immediately takes a snap. Yeah, no human intervention, I’ve taken a snap, so you’re talking seconds here as opposed to the human intervention, which is going to be 30 seconds, a minute, or something like that.

Krista Macomber: Well, yeah, so it’s the automated action as you mentioned to be able to respond more quickly, but also, Camberley, thank you for bringing up that point because it’s very important. Both IT and security teams are dealing with so much alert fatigue that when they actually get an alert, especially when we think about something like anomalous activity that it may or may not be malicious, you want to know, right? You want to know that this is something that is indeed malicious activity, that it is indeed something that is impacting data that you care about, kind of your crown jewels of your organization, so that’s why that piece is very relevant there because it really helps to kind of identify potentially the needle in the heats stack.

Camberley Bates: So I’m going to move it over to Steve. We were both at Broadcom Mainframes conference with Greg Lotko and team. I know we got a research note that got published on it, but why don’t you give us some highlights there, Steve?

Steven Dickens: Yeah, so we were out with Greg Lotko. Greg works for Hock Tan, he runs some mainframe software business. That was what was-

Camberley Bates: I thought the mainframe was dead.

Krista Macomber: I may have heard that. I think I heard that 10 years ago.

Steven Dickens: I think I’ve been hearing it for the last 20, but yeah.

Krista Macomber: Right?

Steven Dickens: Flourishing part of the business. I think you give me a nice setup there, Camberley. I know you’re poking me, but you give me a nice setup. I think lots of discussion around other parts of Broadcom’s software business, let’s just leave it at that. An investment, narratives around it, are they going to squeeze the juice out of the software acquisitions? I think very firmly came away from Greg. And his team, he had 30 of his team there that since that team’s been bought, what is it, six years ago now that they have heavily invested. Size of the team’s up 30%, new software feature functions coming out from that team. Also a model of where they’re really focused on delivering value rather than looking at some of the contractual stuff, so new functionality like Watchtower, extended storage into their CA-1 products, a real focus into skills and vitality of the workforce, and a really innovative program around where they’ll take somebody through a training program at their own cost, and then put that person into their customers to help with some of the skills challenges, so…

And they’re not charging for that. So a real focus on adding value into their very targeted base of clients, trying to get really strategic relationships with them and drive adoption, drive value add into that software stack rather than trying to grow their client base or go and bring new features out and charge for them. They’re really looking at how do we bring more feature function into the installed base of customers. So I came away from that… I know a lot of that story, but really good to get that reinforced. Camberley, we’ve collaborated on a research note. Is there anything that you would add to that?

Camberley Bates: Well, the first part of the research note, I, more or less, talked about what I would think is the impressions of where they were at. And that key impression that I had is every one of them organically was talking about, “Well, we’re looking at what the customer has to say. We’re looking at what the customer has to say.” And it is somewhat of a closed community, if you will, or there’s only so many mainframes that are out there and we’re not like we’re growing number of mainframes by 30% new customers or anything like that. But the amount of myths that are out there and consumption of it is growing, so it’s very important in those environments. And because of the entire group being aging, what the organizations are doing in order to drive skills, both from an AI standpoint capability as well as this vitality program, which I thought was really cool.

The other thing that I took from the vitality is they’re going after looking at people that are in the non-standard college comp sci graduates. They’re looking for people, and this is my advertisement to anybody listening here, which you’re probably a comp sci if you’re listening to it. You’re probably not a card dealer in Vegas. What they’re looking for is people that can think through problems, challenge the problems, and work through it. A card dealer would be fabulous for this, because you’re reading people, you’re reading whatever, and you’re doing whatever, you’re not counting cards, but you’re… You’re not supposed to count cards. But anyway, so when they had… I guess it was at Share, where they had the vitality people up on Share, it was this huge diversity of people. And not diversity in terms of gender or color, the diversity of life.

Steven Dickens: Yep.

Camberley Bates: Which I thought was really beautiful.

Steven Dickens: The other thing I would say is, these jobs are… Once you’ve gone through this program, these are six-figure salary jobs that you’re getting. These are COBOL programmers for Citibank, system programmers for Wells Fargo, these are big government agencies and enterprise accounts that have got an absolute need, and are prepared to pay six-figure salaries for somebody who’s got one year’s experience. And because Broadcom will put you through this training program after a year, you’ll come out with all the right skills and background, and then you’re straight into working for some of the biggest names and biggest companies in the industry. So really impressive program.

Camberley Bates: Yeah, very much so. Alrighty, so let’s go onto the next one. How about AWS re:Inforce.

Krista Macomber: Yeah.

Camberley Bates: So, what is re:Inforce? Obviously data protection or security, otherwise you wouldn’t be there, but…

Krista Macomber: Correct. Yeah, so re:Inforce is AWS, their annual security conference. So this was the second year that I had the opportunity to attend. I was able to attend what they had for the analyst was the first day was basically partner day, which was really great because we were able to hear how NetApp is not only working with partners to sort of kind of provide-

Camberley Bates: Not NetApp, you mean AWS-

Krista Macomber: Yes. All right, we’ll go.

Camberley Bates: Start over.

Krista Macomber: I’m still on NetApp. Yes.

Steven Dickens: It’s the end of the week, Krista.

Krista Macomber: It is.

Steven Dickens: We’re all a bit flustered, so you’re okay.

Krista Macomber: It is. Yeah, so re:Inforce is AWS, their annual security conference. This is the second year that I had the opportunity to attend. And what they have with the analyst was the first day at re:Inforce this year was partner day. So that was interesting because we were able to hear how AWS is working with their partners, not only to sort of round out their capabilities, but also how they’re kind of integrating their partners’ capabilities into marketplace to kind of make them accessible for customers. So we got to hear from a range of partners, including CyberArk, is one that I kind of got the chance to sit down and chat a little bit with. And then, so the second day was the general session, and we were able to hear from their CISO, Chris Betts.

And what I would say is, from my perspective, what was interesting was there were still from AWS kind of some underpinnings around, they like to talk about not all clouds are built the same, right? So certainly AWS, they make sure to showcase at re:Inforce the investments that AWS is making in their own security of their own infrastructure that they’re using obviously to host for customers, but also the tools and capabilities that they’re providing for customers to use to kind of add their additional security capabilities on top with that shared responsibility model. That was a big emphasis last year, and certainly they touched on that this year, but the conversation from my perspective this year was even more sophisticated, which I think kind of shows where we’re at when we think about cloud security.

I think especially with all of the cyber attacks, there’s certainly an understanding that the customer not only needs to be discerning about which service providers and technology providers that they’re working with, but also that they have to take ownership over their own security. So for me, it kind of showed that I think we’ve had that kind of maturity and evolution, and then at the keynote we were able to double click down and talk about things like, “Okay, how is AWS, for example, helping customers to act more quickly and more decisively, for example, when an attack occurs?” Towards the end of the keynote, they talked about generative AI and how they’re helping to provide secure models and things of that nature…

Camberley Bates: And so what else you got? You said something interesting about a dinner or some sort that you attended.

Krista Macomber: Yeah, so typically they do have kind of an analyst dinner. But what was interesting this year was we were able to hear from Paul Vixie, who my understanding is a bit of a celebrity when it comes to security and, in particular, open source security. He was really a pioneer in DNS is my understanding of his history. And he gave this really interesting maybe 15-minute kind of talk, and then we had a Q&A around restoring security to pre-Internet levels. And especially coming from a company like AWS, I thought that was very interesting, because obviously their whole business is based on basically using the Internet and connectivity to deliver services and things of that nature.

So some of my key takeaways were, certainly we need to be able to continue to evolve our technology implementations to be designed to have security baked in upfront and kind of really intrinsically. But also as humans, we need to sort of shift our mindset and our approach and really kind of become educated on how we’re using these technologies in order to kind of avoid some of these cyber attacks. So I did want to give a call-out to that because I thought it was just a really interesting topic again, especially coming from AWS.

Camberley Bates: Yeah, very interesting. Okay, cool. So we’ve got a couple of others. Steve, you were at Splunk’s conferences last week?

Steven Dickens: Yeah, sort of-

Camberley Bates: Thinking of security?

Steven Dickens: Yeah, so big news from Splunk, they obviously got acquired by Cisco that closed about 10 or 11 weeks ago. We covered this, Paul Nashawaty and I, this week. I think… Because be was out at Cisco Live, which was the week before, so they kind of rolling-thundered some of their announcements, sort of announced some stuff at Cisco Live, and then drilled into it.There was a really interesting bromance that’s developing by Gary Steele, the former CEO of Splunk, now president of Go-to-Market for the whole of Cisco. He invited Chuck Robbins onto the stage, the CEO of Cisco, and it was really obvious to everybody, and we all talked about it, how much the chemistry was between those two.

And they kind of strayed off the scripted remarks, and it was really interesting. I don’t know whether it was Chuck just being a better actor than I’m giving him credit for or whether they genuinely strayed off this kind of script, but he said “It’s come across loud and clear that our job here is not to mess up Splunk.” And the entire audience of the keynote, rapturously applause, and he had to stop his talk track because everybody just clapped. And he’s like, “Oh, okay, that’s what you want me to say?”

Camberley Bates: Loud and clear, we’re going to give you a standing ovation for it.

Krista Macomber: Right?

Steven Dickens: Then he came into this sort of analyst session and restated that. We had Gary and Chuck join us and spend an hour with us. And it’s really obvious. And Gary made this point, there’s been one personnel change in that 8,000 people for Splunk. And that’s been him.

Camberley Bates: Wow.

Steven Dickens: Everybody else is exactly the same. And they were very clear because the whole mantra of their talk track was innovation and integration. And the question I asked Gary was, “Well that means you’re asking your development teams to do two things.” And he’s like, “Yes.” I said, “Well, you can’t ask them because previously they were just on innovation. They weren’t focused on integration with thousand eyes and app dynamics.” And he said, “Yes, this is not your standard acquisition where we’re looking for cost synergies. We’ve actually based into our SEC findings and our earnings statements that we’re going to add resources to R&D to do both integration and innovation.” So really sort of unusual thought track. Normally from an acquisition it’s like, “Hey, we’re going to buy this thing, we’re going to strip cast out of it, we’re going to integrate its tools into our tools,” and what they were very clear to say is that when that happens, innovation gets put on pause because they spend two years doing the integration.

They were very explicit. So there was a lot of new feature function, there was a lot of bad AI, and embedding that into the observability piece, there was as much innovation, and then there was the integration with Thousand Eyes and AppDynamics. So genuinely believe that I think they’re looking at some other bigger acquisitions that are happening in the industry, and they did mention names, but I won’t mention them here, and they’re being very thoughtful to make this a big sort of strategic play of they want this Splunk acquisition to work. The sort of feedback that as an analyst community is that Cisco’s made a lot of software acquisitions, and they’ve not moved Cisco from being a hardware company. This one feels and is different given the scale of it. So really impressed with some of the stuff they’re doing around AI, came away really impressed with the integration with AppDynamics and Thousand Eyes. So the ability to do three-tier application observability, network observability, and now the hybrid and multi-cloud stuff, that gives them a breadth of portfolio in the observability space that I’m certainly impressed with, and gives them a really competitive position.

Camberley Bates: It’s kind of interesting thinking about that we’re getting to watch this integration as analysts. So you’ve got Splunk going on, we have the VMware, many years ago it was Red Hat, but that still is a separate company, you got HashiCorp going on, and then you’ve got HP’s network acquisition that they’re doing. So all very big, so be kind of like putting them side-by-side to see what it goes.

Steven Dickens: Well, yeah, we get a front row seat for these.

Camberley Bates: Yep.

Steven Dickens: We get to ask these senior execs what they’re doing, and you can… We are going to be out at VMware Explore, I’m at HPE Discover next week where there’ll be a lot of Juniper stuff. I know the actual integration exec who’s doing the HashiCorp integration at IBM. He’s a friend of mine, shout out to Tarun Chopra. He’s going to hate that I mentioned him here, but he’s… So we get to front row seat to these to see how these integrations are happening, and you can kind of scorecard them as an analyst and see how they’re rolling.

Camberley Bates: And then we got Cohesity going with Veritas, which is, “Okay, there, we got another one happen.” So, okay, we got one more topic. So you want to touch on Oracle?

Steven Dickens: Yeah, so…

Camberley Bates: The cloud stuff that we’re looking at, the Google thing?

Steven Dickens: Yeah, so the multi-cloud partnership with Google Cloud, interesting, Oracle, Open AI selecting Oracle cloud infrastructure. I think… I was on the TV networks talking about Oracle ahead of earnings on Schwab. I think the way I’m looking at this now with OCI is they’re becoming the fourth hyperscaler. So the narrative is that the big three, I genuinely think these guys are up at over 20 billion now of annual revenue for cloud, the centricity of data and their Oracle 23 AI database, the ability to do vector embedded into that database, I see a confluence of events coming together. I think they’ve doubled down on OCI so I think some of these partnerships are starting to make sense. They’re really going after IAS, and that’s starting to come through with the open AI piece. I genuinely think Oracle’s on a tear with its cloud business, and then you couple it with the franchise they’ve got around database. I see you not as convinced, Camberley.

Camberley Bates: No, I would agree that they would be the fourth folks on after Alibaba, but-

Steven Dickens: Yeah, that’s a regional life, yeah.

Camberley Bates: And I didn’t dive into it like you have, but what I saw about this is that they are seeing themselves as which they’ve been is a platform. And they’re going to integrate themselves as a platform into every one of these infrastructure providers, which is basically what Google, and AWS, and Microsoft are doing in terms of their clouds, so kind of what I read from that is, “I don’t have to be the infrastructure provider.” He is… Ellison has always been that incredible high-end software provider, and they’re going to stick to their knitting.

Steven Dickens: I think they’ve got a really good story with this ad customer and ad cloud piece. So for me, the huge install base of Oracle database in the enterprise, that stuff needs to be presented and pushed out to these newer AI-driven applications. I think the other cloud providers are going, “Do you want to move the AI to the data or the data to the AI?”
I firmly-

Camberley Bates: And if you remember early on with AWS’s… It was all about the evil bread. They get on the stage and just… They never say the Oracle world. But it was all over the place as if they were so much after these guys to take them down to help people get off of it. And it’s kind of like, “You know, getting off a database is not exactly an easy thing to do.” And so-

Steven Dickens: Well, I think people have realized that we… Yeah.

Camberley Bates: He’s basically saying, “I’m going to own this. And I don’t care where I’m going to own this.”

Steven Dickens: Well, I think people are realizing that we are going to see a tsunami of AI apps come over the next two, three years, and it moving your data to go to the AI platform? Too hard. Too difficult, too much egress charges, be able to put the AI close to the data makes a lot more sense. And I think the hyperscalers and the deal they did with OpenAI, the deal left penned with Google Cloud, is an acknowledgement of this of… Oracle’s where a lot of that enterprise data sits. I need to put an AI front end to it. We were just having the same conversation around NetApp. That’s the same thought process. You’re going to take it all off NetApp and put it into the cloud to put it on an AI? No, you’re not. The egress charges, the operational, the cyber resilience, the-

Krista Macomber: Privacy?

Camberley Bates: Yeah.

Steven Dickens: … the privacy, are you going to bring that?

Krista Macomber: The privacy…

Steven Dickens: Yeah, all those reasons are the same reason we’re seeing Oracle makes such strides, the same as the NetApp’s piece. For me, you’re going to bring that AI to the data. And then if you look at that and go, “If data’s that sort of central component of an AI strategy, who’s got most of the data in enterprise databases? It’s Oracle. Therefore, you need to form a partnership and an alliance with Oracle.” You bring in what they’re doing with Sovereign Cloud, you bring in what they’re doing with hybrid, with Alloy, and some have Exadata cloud customer, the pieces join up and it makes a lot of sense for me. So I think that’s why we’re seeing people start to think around Oracle as that fourth hyperscaler.

Camberley Bates: Fourth platform. Anyway…

Steven Dickens: Platform. Hyperscaler AI platform.

Camberley Bates: Like the card guys would say, “You’ve wasted another half an hour with us.”

Steven Dickens: This is the best part of my week.

Krista Macomber: It is.

Camberley Bates: So if you haven’t listened to that, that’s an old podcast from CBS, but anyway… So thank you very much for joining us in Infrastructure Matters, and this proves that infrastructure does matter, guys. And we will see you at… Make sure you like, share, all that kind of stuff, and we’ll see you next week.

Author Information

Camberley brings over 25 years of executive experience leading sales and marketing teams at Fortune 500 firms. Before joining The Futurum Group, she led the Evaluator Group, an information technology analyst firm as Managing Director.

Her career has spanned all elements of sales and marketing including a 360-degree view of addressing challenges and delivering solutions was achieved from crossing the boundary of sales and channel engagement with large enterprise vendors and her own 100-person IT services firm.

Camberley has provided Global 250 startups with go-to-market strategies, creating a new market category “MAID” as Vice President of Marketing at COPAN and led a worldwide marketing team including channels as a VP at VERITAS. At GE Access, a $2B distribution company, she served as VP of a new division and succeeded in growing the company from $14 to $500 million and built a successful 100-person IT services firm. Camberley began her career at IBM in sales and management.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from California State University – Long Beach and executive certificates from Wellesley and Wharton School of Business.

Regarded as a luminary at the intersection of technology and business transformation, Steven Dickens is the Vice President and Practice Leader for Hybrid Cloud, Infrastructure, and Operations at The Futurum Group. With a distinguished track record as a Forbes contributor and a ranking among the Top 10 Analysts by ARInsights, Steven's unique vantage point enables him to chart the nexus between emergent technologies and disruptive innovation, offering unparalleled insights for global enterprises.

Steven's expertise spans a broad spectrum of technologies that drive modern enterprises. Notable among these are open source, hybrid cloud, mission-critical infrastructure, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and FinTech innovation. His work is foundational in aligning the strategic imperatives of C-suite executives with the practical needs of end users and technology practitioners, serving as a catalyst for optimizing the return on technology investments.

Over the years, Steven has been an integral part of industry behemoths including Broadcom, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and IBM. His exceptional ability to pioneer multi-hundred-million-dollar products and to lead global sales teams with revenues in the same echelon has consistently demonstrated his capability for high-impact leadership.

Steven serves as a thought leader in various technology consortiums. He was a founding board member and former Chairperson of the Open Mainframe Project, under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. His role as a Board Advisor continues to shape the advocacy for open source implementations of mainframe technologies.

With a focus on data security, protection, and management, Krista has a particular focus on how these strategies play out in multi-cloud environments. She brings approximately a decade of experience providing research and advisory services and creating thought leadership content, with a focus on IT infrastructure and data management and protection. Her vantage point spans technology and vendor portfolio developments; customer buying behavior trends; and vendor ecosystems, go-to-market positioning, and business models. Her work has appeared in major publications including eWeek, TechTarget and The Register.

Prior to joining The Futurum Group, Krista led the data center practice for Evaluator Group and the data center practice of analyst firm Technology Business Research. She also created articles, product analyses, and blogs on all things storage and data protection and management for analyst firm Storage Switzerland and led market intelligence initiatives for media company TechTarget.

Krista holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Journalism with a minor in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire.


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