Consistency of experience, operations and results is one of the most important factors in technology product success. However, while it is a commonplace issue in consumer tech, the subject is seldom highlighted in enterprise IT solutions and services. That makes last week’s announcement that Red Hat will transfer its data storage portfolio and teams to IBM Storage particularly interesting. Let’s take a look.
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Why is consistency so important? Consider it from a consumer perspective, where a consistent, simple, recognizable, reliable interface removes much of the pain and confusion out of what are often highly complex operations and interactions. Developing reliably consistent, easy to use interfaces is a primary reason for the success of solution providers, such as Microsoft, Apple and Google, as well as web-based companies, like Amazon, eBay and many others.
Those same benefits—reduced complexity and confusion, and increased efficiency and productivity—are clearly in the interest of businesses, as well. But the basic nature of enterprise IT is usually at odds with reliance on or adherence to single companies or platforms. Instead, organizations tend to engage specific vendors to support specific workloads, applications and business processes.
That can be further complicated by leadership changes. For example, new CTO or IT decision makers who prefer or are more familiar with specific vendors and platforms often choose new solutions and tools to replace or run alongside legacy systems and applications. That is further exacerbated by the general longevity of business computing hardware, which is why many enterprise IT infrastructures are hodgepodges of heterogeneous hardware and software.
Let’s add two other issues to the enterprise IT headache heap. First and foremost, all those systems and applications need to be able to successfully access and use organizations’ stored information resources, and to consistently support the creation, acquisition and management of new data. Second, those same on-premises systems, applications and data assets need to be consistently supported and managed across off-premises cloud platforms.
In other words, without the vital benefits that consistent experience, results and expectations provide, enterprise IT can find itself on a fast track to frustration and failure.
Also see: Why Cloud Means Cloud Native
How does the transfer of Red Hat’s storage assets and teams to IBM address this? First, it is important to consider the work that both have put into taming heterogeneous storage complexity. In IBM’s case, the company’s IBM Spectrum Storage Suite has been designed to support both IBM’s homegrown storage systems and scores of solutions from third party vendors.
For example, IBM Spectrum Control and IBM Storage Insights are designed to effectively monitor, analyze and manage complex enterprise storage environments. In addition, IBM Spectrum Virtualize focuses on block storage management and IBM Spectrum Scale can be used to manage unstructured data storage.
Finally, IBM Spectrum Fusion is a container-native file storage platform designed for Kubernetes applications running on Red Hat’s OpenShift Container Platform (OCP). All can be used with select offerings from Dell EMC, Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), Huawei, HP/3PAR, Lenovo, NetApp and Pure Storage.
Red Hat’s Ceph Storage is a highly scalable open-source software-defined storage solution designed to address enterprises’ block, file and object storage needs. It is deeply integrated with Red Hat’s OpenStack Platform and is at the center of the OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF).
Many enterprises are running Red Hat Rook as the Ceph operator in Kubernetes clusters. However, Ceph can run securely anywhere that OpenShift runs—on-premises and in the cloud—and is designed to help enterprises simplify operations and speed application developers’ time to market.
According to IBM, it will integrate the storage technologies from Red Hat ODF as the foundation for IBM Spectrum Fusion, thus combining the companies’ container technologies. In addition, IBM intends to offer new Ceph solutions to deliver a unified, software-defined storage platform that bridges the architectural divide between data centers and cloud providers.
As Denis Kenneally, GM of IBM Storage noted in a blog post about the announcement, “Today’s news means faster hybrid, multi-cloud deployments, with greater simplicity and expanded platform support backed by IBM’s global sales and lifecycle services. IBM will continue Red Hat’s commitment to existing customers and the open-source community, and we are accelerating our roadmap with new products and services to be announced in the coming months.”
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So what are the essential takeaways from this announcement? First and most practically, the combination of IBM and Red Hat’s storage assets and teams will support both companies’ existing solutions and initiatives. They should also result in a host of new storage offerings and services their customers can use to consistently manage and monitor their data resources. This is true no matter where they reside—on premises, off premises and in hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
Just as importantly, the announcement speaks to IBM’s continuing efforts to develop innovative heterogeneous storage solutions and to its ongoing commitment to support open-source projects and technologies. It also underscores the value of IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat, and the benefits that have accrued from that deal.
Overall, the combination of IBM and Red Hat’s storage assets and teams should benefit both organizations and their enterprise customers. It will also likely interest other large businesses that are struggling to capture consistent performance and benefits from their data storage investments.
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A four-year bachelor’s degree has long been the first rung to climbing America’s corporate ladder.
But the move to prioritize skills over a college education is sweeping through some of America’s largest companies, including Google, EY, Microsoft, and Apple. Strong proponents say the shift helps circumvent a needless barrier to workplace diversity.
“I really do believe an inclusive diverse workforce is better for your company, it’s good for the business,” Ginni Rometty, former IBM CEO, told Fortune Media CEO Alan Murray during a panel last month for Connect, Fortune’s executive education community. “That’s not just altruistic.”
Under Rometty’s leadership in 2016, tech giant IBM coined the term “new collar jobs” in reference to roles that require a specific set of skills rather than a four-year degree. It’s a personal commitment for Rometty, one that hits close to home for the 40-year IBM veteran.
When Rometty was 16, her father left the family, leaving her mother, who’d never worked outside the home, suddenly in the position to provide.
“She had four children and nothing past high school, and she had to get a job to…get us out of this downward spiral,” Rometty recalled to Murray. “What I saw in that was that my mother had aptitude; she wasn’t dumb, she just didn’t have access, and that forever stayed in my mind.”
When Rometty became CEO in 2012 following the Great Recession, the U.S. unemployment rate hovered around 8%. Despite the influx of applicants, she struggled to find employees who were trained in the particular cybersecurity area she was looking for.
“I realized I couldn’t hire them, so I had to start building them,” she said.
In 2011, IBM launched a corporate social responsibility effort called the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn. It’s since expanded to 11 states in the U.S. and 28 countries.
Through P-TECH, Rometty visited “a very poor high school in a bad neighborhood” that received the company’s support, as well as a community college where IBM was offering help with a technology-based curriculum and internships.
“Voilà! These kids could do the work. I didn’t have [applicants with] college degrees, so I learned that propensity to learn is way more important than just having a degree,” Rometty said.
Realizing the students were fully capable of the tasks that IBM needed moved Rometty to return to the drawing board when it came to IBM’s own application process and whom it was reaching. She said that at the time, 95% of job openings at IBM required a four-year degree. As of January 2021, less than half do, and the company is continuously reevaluating its roles.
For the jobs that now no longer require degrees and instead rely on skills and willingness to learn, IBM had always hired Ph.D. holders from the very best Ivy League schools, Rometty told Murray. But data shows that the degree-less hires for the same jobs performed just as well. “They were more loyal, higher retention, and many went on to get college degrees,” she said.
Rometty has since become cochair of OneTen, a civic organization committed to hiring, promoting, and advancing 1 million Black individuals without four-year degrees within the next 10 years.
If college degrees no longer become compulsory for white-collar jobs, many other qualifications—skills that couldn’t be easily taught in a boot camp, apprenticeship program, or in the first month on the job—could die off, too, University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Sean Martin told Fortune last year.
“The companies themselves miss out on people that research suggests…might be less entitled, more culturally savvy, more desirous of being there,” Martin said. Rather than pedigree, he added, hiring managers should look for motivation.
That’s certainly the case at IBM. Once the company widened its scope, Rometty said, the propensity to learn quickly became more of an important hiring factor than just a degree.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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Oct 14, 2022 (Alliance News via COMTEX) -- Market Overview
The comprehensive analyses of the most recent trends, growth prospects, and market growth drivers are offered to readers of the global market research reports. The COVID-19 effects on the Enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market are also discussed in detail in the research, along with the market’s predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030.
Artificial intelligence has been one of the fastest-growing technologies in recent years. AI is associated to human intelligence with similar characteristics, such as language understanding, reasoning, learning, problem solving, and others. Manufacturers in the market witness enormous underlying intellectual challenges in the development and revision of such technology. AI is positioned at the core of the next-gen software technologies in the market. Companies, such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, and other leading players, have actively implemented AI as a crucial part of their technologies. The research also provides a market analysis using various analytical techniques, including Porter’s Five Forces Analysis and PESTEL Analysis. These tools provide an in-depth analysis of the micro- and macro-environmental elements that influence the market’s expansion during the forecast period.
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The increase in number of innovative start-ups and advancements in technology have led to rise in investment in artificial intelligence technologies. Moreover, escalating demand for analyzing and interpreting large amount of data boosts the requirement of artificial intelligence industry solutions. Moreover, development of more reliable cloud computing infrastructures and improvements in dynamic artificial intelligence solutions have a strong impact on the growth potential of the AI market. However, lack of trained and experienced staff hinders the growth of the enterprise Artificial Intelligence (AI) market. Furthermore, increase in adoption of AI in developing economies, such as China, and India are expected to provide major opportunities for the market growth in the upcoming years. Also, on-going developments in smart virtual assistants and robots are anticipated to be opportunistic for the growth of the enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) market.
The global enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) market is segmented on the basis of deployment type, technology, organization size, industry vertical, and region. Based on deployment type, the market is bifurcated into cloud and on-premise. Based on technology, the market is divided into machine learning, natural language processing, image processing, and speech recognition. Based on organization size, the market is classified into large enterprises and small & medium enterprises. Depending on industry vertical, the market is segmented into media & advertising, BFSI, IT & telecom, retail, healthcare, automotive & transportation, and others. Based on region, the market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
– The report provides an in-depth analysis of the global enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) market trends, key driving factors, and potential areas for product investments.
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– The quantitative analysis of the global enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) market share from 2018 to 2026 is provided to determine the market potential.
KEY MARKET PLAYERS PROFILED IN THE REPORT
– Alphabet Inc. (Google Inc.)
– Apple Inc.
– Amazon Web Services, Inc.
– International Business Machines Corporation
– IPsoft Inc.
– MicroStrategy Incorporated
– NVIDIA Corporation
– Wipro Limited
KEY MARKET SEGMENTS
BY DEPLOYMENT TYPE
– Machine Learning
– Natural Language Processing
– Image Processing
– Speech Recognition
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BY ORGANIZATION SIZE
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– Automotive & Transportation
– North America
o Rest of Europe
o Rest of Asia-Pacific
o Latin America
o Middle East
Table of Content:
Market Report Scope and Methodology
Overview of Market Research Methodology
Market Overview and Dynamics
Market Revenue Share Analysis, By Key Players
Market Segmentation By Application, By Type
Market COVID-19 Impact analysis with the Impact of COVID-19
Market Competitive Landscape Analysis
Market by Region, Historical Data and Market Forecasts
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Microsoft and Kyndryl have unveiled a new aspect of their global strategic partnership with plans to help enterprise customers make better use of data held on mainframe systems.…
According to Kyndryl, the services outfit has worked with Microsoft in order to enable data pipelines between mainframe systems (including Kyndryl's zCloud platform) and Microsoft's Azure cloud, intended to make it easier for customers to move data stored on their mainframes to a cloud environment for analysis.
Kyndryl is the former IT infrastructure services division of IBM, which Big Blue spun out last year, and so it would be ironic if it were now helping IBM customers to ditch the mainframe – though the reality is more complicated than that, of course.
The zCloud platform is Kyndryl's managed multi-tenant mainframe cloud service.
Microsoft and Kyndryl announced the formation of their trade relationship within days of the Kyndryl spinoff being finalized last year. However, the company now has agreements with all three of the big cloud providers.
The purpose of this new arrangement is for Kyndryl to help enterprise clients squeeze more value from their mainframe data by connecting it with the Microsoft Power Platform, various cloud-based tools that Redmond offers which combine low-code application development and workflow automation with existing services such as Power BI.
In a short video, Kyndryl's VP and CTO for zCloud Richard Baird discloses how the company has linked its zCloud platform and Microsoft Azure. It involves deploying an Azure Stack HCI environment alongside a mainframe in one of Kyndryl’s zCloud Centers, or a customer’s own datacenter, then using that as the integration point between the mainframe and the Microsoft Power Platform.
Integrating cloud-based functionality with the mainframe not only preserves the value of existing enterprise IT investments, but enhances them to enable faster digital transformation, Kyndryl claimed, which hints that it doesn't quite see the mainframe going away just yet.
Instead, Kyndryl talked up the creation of a hybrid environment that makes mainframe data available via Azure and opens it up to the benefits of cloud-based applications, machine learning and AI. What this means is that - in theory - mainframe customers can choose the right platform for the right workload, it said.
"Microsoft's AI-enabled Power Platform capabilities, Kyndryl's rich mainframe ecosystem, and managed services experience are a strong combination that will help customers unlock their mainframe data," said Microsoft's VP for Global System Integrator and Advisory Partners, Kelly Rogan.
Kyndryl and Microsoft said they also plan to combine mainframe data with other internal and external cloud-based data sources, in order to let customers create new applications that make use of modern analytics and visualization tools.
As part of the joint mainframe modernization initiative, Kyndryl said it will offer consulting and integration services to help customers more easily and efficiently plan, design, and connect mainframe data to Azure Cloud and Edge Computing environments. ®
With the implosion of cryptocurrencies, several of the best blockchain stocks to buy find themselves on fire sale. However, it’s important to realize the tremendous risks involved. Fundamentally, anything crypto-related are reliant on the actions of the Federal Reserve. Specifically, the central bank’s commitment to a hawkish monetary policy poses problems for risk-on assets.
At the moment, the central bank wants to unwind prior monetary excesses. That’s deflationary (i.e. reduced money supply equals deflation). With fewer dollars chasing after more goods, purchasing power rises. In this scenario, people have an incentive to save dollars rather than spend or invest them. That’s not great for risk-on assets, especially with some of the best blockchain stocks to buy. Moving forward, because of the deflationary approach toward monetary policy, global economies risk recession. Again, that’s deflationary.
Still, if you want to take a shot at crypto-related investments, you might as well consider some of the best blockchain stocks to buy.IBM IBM. $120.04 MA Mastercard $288.69 V Visa $182.62 NVDA Nvidia $112.27 AMD Advanced Micro Devices $55.94 HIVE HIVE Blockchain $3.20 ARBK Argo Blockchain $1.79
While IBM (NYSE:IBM) garners the most attention today for its work in artificial intelligence and cloud-computing services, it also moved into the blockchain. Fundamentally, the blockchain’s main innovation centers on its facilitation of decentralized operations across a distributed platform. In other words, people can function together toward a common goal without trusting each other. The blockchain functions without participants having knowledge of the others’ existence.
Essentially, blockchain features its own economic incentivization based on capitalistic motivation and economic rationality. IBM represents one of the best blockchain stocks to buy because it converts this organic capitalistic ethos toward business operations.
Although Mastercard (NYSE:MA) earned its reputation as one of the gatekeepers of the fiat currency system, it jumped into blockchain, as well. Fundamentally, pivoting toward crypto-related transactional services makes sense for both payment providers and merchants. Increasingly, many businesses actively consider adopting virtual currencies to address booming demand.
Recognizing this trend, Mastercard stepped up to the plate and offered various programs to help everyone in the value chain adopt to distributed decentralized transactions. For instance, the financial services giant offers a crypto card program, enabling blockchain-driven services for everyday purchases. In addition, Mastercard offers consultation services for major enterprises and government agencies regarding blockchain adoption.
Plus, MA stands as one of the best blockchain stocks to buy for astute investors because of its undervalued profile. Specifically, Gurufocus.com calls out excellent strengths in growth and profitability metrics. As well, Mastercard features a return on equity of 144%, ranking better than 99% of its peers. This stat also reflects the high-quality nature of MA stock.
Visa (NYSE:V) is another global fiat financial services powerhouse that pivoted to crypto-driven transactions, thus making it a solid idea for best blockchain stocks to buy. No, neither Visa nor Mastercard shares are likely to make you rich in a short time frame. However, these companies present better probabilities of not leaving you hanging out to dry.
Fundamentally, Visa benefits from emerging generations relationship with wealth. Because Generation Z features no real memory of analog mechanizations, it’s normal for this age cohort to adopt cryptos. In addition, evidence indicates that market fluctuations don’t perturb crypto users broadly as a demographic. This suggests that Visa’s myriad initiatives tied to digital assets will eventually pay off.
Better yet, I’m much more comfortable talking about Visa as one of the best blockchain stocks to buy. If the crypto angle doesn’t work out, guess what? Gurufocus.com labels V stock significantly undervalued. One of the standout metrics for Visa is its return on equity of nearly 40%. This ranks better than 97% of its peers and also indicates that the company represents a high-quality business.
Specializing in graphics processing units or GPUs, Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) made a name for itself in the computer gaming space. No longer an obscure niche for the friendless, gaming represents a rapidly expanding global market. However, Nvidia’s powerful GPUs also come in handy for crypto-mining operations. With many blockchains still utilizing processing-intensive proof-of-work protocols, NVDA offers relevance as one of the best blockchain stocks to buy.
Personally, I’m not involved in crypto mining, preferring instead to speculate on digital assets. However, the general consensus is that Nvidia tends to deliver the best of the best for mining-centric GPUs. For instance, Windowscentral.com noted that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 represents the company’s most powerful GPU from the RTX 30 series to date.
Of course, opinions on the above will vary depending on the individual miner or enterprise. However, what’s not arguable is that as of this writing, Gurufocus.com labels NVDA significantly undervalued. The company features strengths across the board, with a stable balance sheet, excellent growth metrics and outstanding profitability indicators.
In an effort to spare my inbox from colorful messages, we need to discuss Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) as one of the best blockchain stocks to buy. For one thing, I can’t show love to rival Nvidia without mentioning Advanced Micro Devices. Otherwise, I may incur some problems. But please note that as one of the biggest names in GPUs, AMD enters this list on merit.
While the consensus might be that Nvidia enjoys a slight edge on AMD in terms of mining performance, the matter is really neck and neck. For instance, Tomshardware.com rates the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT as one of the best crypto-mining GPUs. And while blockchain networks consider pivoting to the more efficient proof-of-stake protocol, plenty of networks utilize proof of work. Therefore, AMD should enjoy much relevance in the long run.
However, I must bring in some not-so-pleasant news. According to Gurufocus.com, the investment resource warns that AMD presents possible value-trap concerns. Presently, one of the main differences between Nvidia and Advanced Micro is that the latter features a poorer quality of business; that is, AMD has a return on equity of 11.8% versus Nvidia’s 31.8%. Still, AMD does enjoy a strong balance sheet so it might be worth speculating on as one of the best blockchain stocks to buy.
Hive Blockchain Technologies (NASDAQ:HIVE) technically enjoys first-mover status. Per its website, the company uses 100% green energy to mine digital assets. As well, management committed to an environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy from day one. Ultimately, Hive aims to bridge the gap between blockchain/cryptos to traditional capital markets.
Among the key advantages undergirding HIVE stock is low-cost operations. In addition, Hive’s operations situate in “cool and politically stable jurisdictions (Canada, Sweden & Iceland) with access to low cost green/renewable energy.”
Now, for the not-so-great part. Blockchain miners align with crypto sentiment. There’s no getting around that. Therefore, on a year-to-date basis, HIVE stock slipped almost 75%. If that wasn’t enough, Gurufocus.com labels the underlying business as a possible value trap. Here’s the deal: HIVE represents one of the best blockchain stocks to buy for speculators, I repeat, speculators. It’s a no-pain, no-gain approach. That said, Hive features a surprisingly decent balance sheet so gamblers have that going for them.
Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ:ARBK) champions the use of renewable sources of power to support the growth and development of blockchain technologies, per its website. In addition, the company features 220 megawatts of total mining capacity. Additionally, Argo’s facilities are located in North America, providing jurisdictional and geopolitical stability.
As appealing as these and other attributes are, the reality is that pure-play blockchain firms – even the ones deemed the best blockchain stocks to buy – incurred substantial volatility. Since the beginning of this year, ARBK hemorrhaged over 85% of equity value.
Some of this erosion centers on the increase in the average network difficulty for the underlying cryptos. Unfortunately, this circumstance represents a worst-of-both-worlds scenario: difficulty pings higher while prices drop lower. Thus, Argo must conduct some serious hedging to stay afloat.
As with Hive Blockchain above, ARBK represents a high-risk, high-reward opportunity. Financially, it does feature several intriguing metrics, such as a price-sales ratio of 0.9 that sits well below the industry median ratio of 3 times. Still, only gamblers need to apply here. If that’s not you, you may want to consider the more conservative offerings among the best blockchain stocks to buy.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.
The post 7 Best Blockchain Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2022 appeared first on InvestorPlace.
IBM Corp. is making some big changes to its data storage services, announcing today that it will bring Red Hat Inc.’s storage products and associates under the “IBM Storage” umbrella.
The aim, IBM said, is to deliver a more consistent application and data storage experience across on-premises and cloud infrastructures. It’s a big move that will see IBM Spectrum Fusion data management software adopt the storage technologies of Red Hat’s OpenShift Data Foundation as its new base layer.
Even more interesting, perhaps, is that the open-source Red Hat Ceph Storage offering will be transformed into a new IBM Ceph storage offering. IBM said this will result in a unified, software-defined storage platform that’s better able to bridge the architectural divide between data centers and cloud computing providers.
The computing giant said the move is in line with its software-defined storage strategy of a “born in the cloud, for the cloud” approach that will unlock bidirectional application and data mobility based on a shared, secure and cloud-scale solution.
IBM Systems General Manager of Storage Denis Kennelly said the shift is designed to streamline the two companies’ portfolios. “By bringing together the teams and integrating our products under one roof, we are accelerating IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy while maintaining commitments to Red Hat’s customers and the open-source community,” he insisted.
The company presented the changes as a big win for customers, saying they will gain access to a more consistent set of storage services that preserve data resilience, security and governance across bare metal, virtualized and containerized environments. More specifically, IBM is promising that customers will have a more unified storage experience for container-based applications running on Red Hat OpenShift, with the ability to use IBM Spectrum Fusion, which is now based on Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation. Doing so will provide higher performance, greater scale and more automation for OpenShift applications that require block, file and object access to data, the company said.
As for IBM Ceph, the company said this will deliver a more consistent hybrid cloud experience with enterprise-grade scale and resiliency.
Furthermore, by unifying IBM’s and Red Hat’s storage technologies, customers will be able to build a single data lakehouse on IBM Spectrum Scale to aggregate all of their unstructured data in one place. Benefits will include less time spent on maintenance, reduced data movement and redundancy, and more advanced schema management and data governance.
Industry watchers were united in their belief that the changes would be of benefit to customers. Steve McDowell of Moor Insights & Strategy told SiliconANGLE that today’s move makes a lot of sense because it enables IBM to leverage the storage strengths of both companies.
McDowell explained that although IBM Spectrum is considered to be one of the most comprehensive data management platforms around, its foundation predates the rise of cloud-native technologies. On the other hand, he said, Red Hat OpenShift was built from the ground up to support cloud-native workloads.
“IBM is evolving Spectrum Fusion to take the best of Red Hat’s efforts, and is using Red Hat’s storage software as the base for its IBM-branded products moving forward,” McDowell said. “It makes a lot of business sense for IBM to leverage R&D from Red Hat into its more traditionally proprietary systems. It also gives IBM an easy path to better serve the needs of containerized workloads.”
International Data Corp. analyst Ashish Nadkarni said the two companies are now “speaking with one voice on storage” and finally delivering on the synergies between them that were mentioned when IBM acquired Red Hat in 2019.
“The combining of the two storage teams is a win for IT organizations as it brings together the best that both offer: An industry-leading storage systems portfolio meets an industry-leading software-defined data services offering,” Nadkarni said. “This initiative enables IBM and Red Hat to streamline their family of offerings, passing the benefits to their customers.”
IBM also moved to reassure users of Red Hat’s open-source technologies that it will remain fully committed to them following today’s announcements. As part of the deal, IBM will take over Premier Sponsorship of the Ceph Foundation and, along with Red Hat’s teams, continue to drive innovation and development. Both IBM Ceph and Red Hat OpenShift will remain 100% open-source, the company added, and will continue to follow an upstream-first development model.
McDowell said today’s move would likely make some users nervous about the prospect of Red Hat’s technology becoming more proprietary over time. “IBM has been very careful since it acquired Red Hat in 2019 to keep Red Hat’s open-source business segregated from IBM’s branded offerings,” he said. “This is the first time we’re seeing IBM cross that that line, and it’s natural to wonder how blurred those lines will become.”
Still, McDowell said, he’s inclined to believe IBM’s promises as it has been very deliberate about keeping Red Hat’s storage technologies open-source.
“Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation and Ceph will still be available as they always have, though its evolution will undoubtedly be more strongly guided by the needs of IBM’s storage business,” the analyst continued. “Overall this is a net positive for IBM and its customers. It makes good business sense and there should be minimal impact to Red Hat’s existing community.”
IBM said the first storage solutions to launch under the new IBM Ceph Storage and IBM Spectrum Fusion banners will arrive in the first half of 2023, so users will have plenty of time to digest the changes.
Investors this year increasingly turned away from dividend stocks in favor of the rising yields being offered on bonds. Given that investors can now earn a 4.3% return on a 2-year Treasury note, many prefer that guaranteed return to the risks of putting money into the stock market.
International Business Machines (IBM -1.44%) offers a dividend yield that exceeds that bond return. But with a bear market in progress, are investors better served to take a chance on the cloud stock or to take the 4.3% return at virtually zero risk?
IBM didn't participate in the bull market of the 2010s. The stock dropped as its tech businesses suffered a considerable growth slowdown. In an effort to change that, IBM pivoted into the cloud computing sector aggressively, in part via its $34 billion purchase of Red Hat in 2019. Grand View Research forecasts a compound annual growth rate of 16% through 2030 for the cloud industry. Growth like that could certainly help both IBM and its stock.
Also, IBM spun off its managed infrastructure business into a new public company, Kyndryl. This business was less of a fit with the parent company amid its pivot to the cloud. Separating it off should make it easier for IBM to grow its revenue.
Time will tell if these moves can help the stock price recover. Nonetheless, IBM currently pays its shareholders $1.65 per share every quarter, or $6.60 per share annually. At the current stock price, that adds up to a yield of 5.6% per year. Moreover, depending on your financial situation, the IRS may tax your dividends at a lower capital gains rate, which can offer an added advantage.
Additionally, IBM hiked its payout annually for 27 consecutive years, making it a Dividend Aristocrat. That status carries some importance as many income investors will be more inclined to buy and hold IBM stock because of this status. Also, since abandoning Dividend Aristocrat status tends to hurt a stock, management will probably prioritize maintaining it by continuing to raise those payouts.
Investors also can also reinvest their dividend payments into more IBM stock. However, such newly purchased shares will pay you the dividend yield at that time. The return will rise if the stock falls since investors can buy the exact cash return at a lower price. Conversely, cash yields will drop if the stock rises, but those investors still benefit since the stock has increased in value.
U.S. Treasury notes offer more stability than stocks such as IBM. Investors who purchase the 2-year Treasury note receive semiannual interest payments. At the current interest rate of 4.3%, investors will receive a 2.15% cash return on their invested amount in each of the subsequent three six-month periods. In the fourth period, when the note matures, investors receive the final 2.15% payment along with the return of their principal.
Investors should also be aware that bond values can fluctuate. If interest rates drop, the value of the bond will fall; the opposite will happen if rates rise. This affects investors if they decide to sell the bond early. Upon maturity, the note will return to its par (or nominal) value.
Additionally, bond interest payments are subject to federal income tax but exempt from state and local taxes. In some cases, this is higher than taxes on dividends. Still, bond issuers are obligated to make such payments. In contrast, IBM faces no legal obligation to continue its dividend.
Also, like with a stock, investors can reinvest their interest payments into more notes or other forms of Treasury bonds. However, those purchases will be subject to the prevailing interest rates at that time.
Investors who lack much risk tolerance should choose the Treasury note. Given its guaranteed return, they will not have to worry about volatility.
Nonetheless, for investors comfortable with buying stocks, IBM is a surprisingly strong buy. The cloud industry is in growth mode, which should propel IBM stock to a long-awaited turnaround. Moreover, IBM has repeatedly shown it wants to hold on to its Dividend Aristocrat status. This should give its income investors returns that are not only larger than the bonds offer, but also likely to increase in size.
IBM announced it will add Red Hat storage product roadmaps and Red Hat associate teams to the IBM Storage business unit, bringing consistent application and data storage across on-premises infrastructure and cloud.
With the move, IBM will integrate the storage technologies from Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation (ODF) as the foundation for IBM Spectrum Fusion. This combines IBM and Red Hat's container storage technologies for data services and helps accelerate IBM's capabilities in the burgeoning Kubernetes platform market.
In addition, IBM intends to offer new Ceph solutions delivering a unified and software defined storage platform that bridges the architectural divide between the data center and cloud providers. This further advances IBM's leadership in the software defined storage and Kubernetes platform markets, according to the vendor.
"Red Hat and IBM have been working closely for many years, and today's announcement enhances our partnership and streamlines our portfolios," said Denis Kennelly, general manager of IBM Storage, IBM Systems. "By bringing together the teams and integrating our products under one roof, we are accelerating the IBM's hybrid cloud storage strategy while maintaining commitments to Red Hat customers and the open-source community."
Benefits of the software defined portfolio available from IBM will include:
"Red Hat and IBM have a shared belief in the mission of hybrid cloud-native storage and its potential to help customers transform their applications and data," said Joe Fernandes, vice president of hybrid platforms, Red Hat. "With IBM Storage taking stewardship of Red Hat Ceph Storage and OpenShift Data Foundation, IBM will help accelerate open-source storage innovation and expand the market opportunity beyond what each of us could deliver on our own. We believe this is a clear win for customers who can gain a more comprehensive platform with new hybrid cloud-native storage capabilities."
Under the agreement between IBM and Red Hat, IBM will assume Premier Sponsorship of the Ceph Foundation, whose members collaborate to drive innovation, development, marketing, and community events for the Ceph open-source project.
IBM Ceph and Red Hat OpenShift Data Foundation will remain 100% open source and will continue to follow an upstream-first model, reinforcing IBM's commitment to these vital communities, according to the company.
Red Hat and IBM intend to complete the transition by January 1, 2023, which will involve the transfer of storage roadmaps and Red Hat associates to the IBM Storage business unit.
Following this date, Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus will continue to include OpenShift Data Foundation, sold by Red Hat and its partners.
Additionally, Red Hat OpenStack customers will still be able to buy Red Hat Ceph Storage from Red Hat and its partners. Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat OpenStack customers with existing subscriptions will be able to maintain and grow their storage footprints as needed, with no change in their Red Hat relationship.
Forthcoming IBM Ceph and IBM Spectrum Fusion storage solutions based on Ceph are expected to ship beginning in the first half of 2023.
For more information about this news, visit www.ibm.com.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — President Joe Biden predicted Thursday a $20 billion investment by IBM in New York's Hudson River Valley will help give the United States a technological edge against China, hailing the expansion during an appearance with two House Democrats in competitive races in next month's critical elections.
The president cited IBM's commitment as part of a larger manufacturing boom, spurred by this summer's passage of a $280 billion measure intended to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research. That legislation was needed for national and economic security, Biden said in Poughkeepsie, adding that “the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied against” it.
President Joe Biden says a $20 billion investment by IBM in New York’s Hudson River Valley will help give the United States a technological edge against China. He hailed the company’s expansion during an appearance Thursday in Poughkeepsie, New York, with two House Democrats in competitive races in next month’s critical elections. The president cites IBM’s commitment as part of a larger manufacturing boom, spurred by this summer’s passage of a $280 billion measure intended to boost the semiconductor industry and scientific research. He says that legislation was needed for national and economic security and that “the Chinese Communist Party actively lobbied against” it.
Twitter says it wants trial against Musk to proceed
NEW YORK (AP) — Twitter is asking a Delaware court to proceed with an upcoming trial against Elon Musk. The social media platform says the billionaire refuses to accept the contractual obligations of his April agreement to buy the company for $44 billion. Twitter attorneys sent a letter Thursday to the Delaware Chancery Court’s head judge. It came not long after Musk’s legal team asked her to call off the trial while he works on a renewed bid to buy the company.
EXPLAINER: How will OPEC+ cuts affect oil prices, inflation?
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Oil cartel OPEC and its allies are cutting production. And that means oil prices are likely going up. The OPEC+ alliance says they’re trying to support prices against future sagging demand from an uncertain and slowing global economy. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister says the alliance is bringing stability to the oil market. Yet high oil prices are contributing to fears of a slowdown and have been criticized by Washington. Meanwhile, supply could take another hit as the U.S. and allies try to impose a price cap on Russian oil to reduce the money flowing into Moscow’s war chest after it invaded Ukraine.
IMF warns of higher recession risk and darker global outlook
WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is once again lowering its projections for global economic growth in 2023. It is projecting world economic growth lower by $4 trillion through 2026. Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, told an audience at Georgetown University on Thursday that “things are more likely to get worse before it gets better.” She says the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February has dramatically changed the IMF’s outlook on the economy. Georgieva said the institution downgraded its global growth projections already three times, to 3.2% for 2022 and now 2.9% for 2023.
US applications for jobless benefits increased last week
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, the largest number in four months, but the labor market remains strong in the face of persistent inflation and a slowing overall U.S. economy. Jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 1 rose by 29,000 to 219,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The Federal Reserve, determined to bring down decades-high inflation by raising its main borrowing rate, takes labor force data into consideration when making its rate decisions. But the more important data comes Friday in the form of the September jobs report.
In a first, Netflix’s ‘Glass Onion’ to play in major chains
NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time, the major U.S. theater chains will play a Netflix release after exhibitors and the streaming service reached a deal for a nationwide sneak-peak run of Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Netflix announced Thursday that AMC, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark will all carry the “Knives Out” sequel for an exclusive one-week run beginning Nov. 23, one month before it begins streaming on Dec. 23. Up until now, those chains have largely refused to program Netflix releases. The deal stops short of a full theatrical release window for “Glass Onion.” The film will play in about 600 domestic theaters.
Munich Re to stop its backing for new oil, gas fields
BERLIN (AP) — Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, says it will stop backing new oil and gas fields beginning next April. The company said it will also no longer invest in or insure new oil pipelines and power plants that weren’t already under construction by Dec. 31, 2022. The company said Thursday the moves were part of its effort to reduce the harmful impact its business has on the environment. The burning of oil and gas is one of the main sources of greenhouses gases fueling climate change. It also invests the insurance premiums it receives from customers and third-party assets, making it a major institutional investor.
Fed’s Cook says more rate hikes needed to combat inflation
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook says more interest rate increases will be necessary to wrestle inflation under control. Her remarks Thursday echo several tough speeches by other central bank officials this week. Cook also says she has revised her views on inflation in the past several months and now sees it as more persistent. She says that while real-time, private-sector data is showing signs that inflation could cool in the coming months. But she adds that the Fed should only slow rate hikes when inflation actually falls. Cook’s speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics was her first as a Fed governor.
The S&P 500 fell 38.76 points, or 1%, to 3,744.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 346.93 points, or 1.1%, to 29,926.94. The Nasdaq fell 75.33 points, or 0.7%, to 11,073.31. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies fell 10.18 points, or 0.6%, to 1,752.51.