Forrester Analyst: Regardless of Virginia Tech ‘Big Mac’ supercomputer, IT pros will ignore Apple pr

“Apple Computer has announced plans to ship its new XServe G5s to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Although the machines — which will replace the 1,100 PowerMac G5s currently assembled into one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers — are a feather in Apple’s cap, they may not help to sell many XServers [sic],” Jason Lopez writes for NewsFactor Network.

“Virginia Tech surprised the high-tech world by configuring over a thousand Apple G5 personal computers, using InfiniBand connection technology, to create the world’s third-fastestsupercomputer. Dubbed ‘System X’ (that’s ‘System Ten’ in true Mac-speak), it ranks as a high achievement, regardless of how mundane the details are,” Lopez writes.

[MDN Note: “System X?” But, we digress…]

“‘Was there anything in particular that Apple added to this?’ Forrester analyst Frank Gillet pondered. ‘Fundamentally — no, the heart of the processing power here comes from IBM, and at some level, IBM could have done something similar to this,’ he told NewsFactor. One thing seems certain, Apple’s server strategy will not be successful based on selling supercomputer hardware. What about overall sales? Will the Virginia Tech experiment payoff in the enterprise? Probably not. Apple’s goal is to be recognized as a bona fide supplier to the enterprise, but Gillet says the firm can only be a niche player. ‘Apple does a good job of making products that you turn on, and they work,’ he said,” Lopez writes.

[MDN Note: Frank, as an “analyst,” shouldn’t you know that the G5 is the result of Apple’s collaboration with IBM, not IBM alone. Apple makes “products that you turn on and they work.” Gee, thanks for the insight, you must be a Super Duper Analyst there, Frank. Here at MDN, we prefer products that work when you turn them on, but we’re part of the fringe. Again, we digress…]

“But that marketing strategy, which attracts consumers, rings hollow to many I.T. professionals who are focused on two dominant systems: Linux and Windows. Forrester says the handwriting is on the wall for Unix,” Lopez reports. “The problem with Apple’s Unix-based OS X Server software is, ‘it ain’t Linux,’ says Gillet. I.T. departments probably will not pay much attention to Xserve G5 technology, because enterprises want more than physical pieces of hardware. ‘Doing a spec comparison of a Dell server with a G5 is not sufficient; you’re buying into a whole value proposition,’ Gillet asserted,” Lopez reports.

[MDN Note: Forrester’s Gillet says the “writing is on the wall for Unix and Mac OS X Server isn’t Linux and an Xserve running Mac OS X Server isn’t “more than physical pieces of hardware,” so buying into the Dell “value proposition” is what I.T departments will probably want to do. Makes about as much sense as anything Frank’s said so far. What more? Here you go, gluttons…]

Lopez reports, “‘Apple is acquiring the raw materials in terms of product technology, initial product positioning, and the talent they’re hiring to begin to make a serious effort,’ Gillet remarked. ‘But I would argue they have not yet made that effort other than delivering the product.'”

[MDN Note: Yes, Frank. Apple’s done nothing except “deliver the product.” You know, the product that makes up the world’s third fastest super computing cluster for a fraction of the price of competitors. Any I.T. person who can’t see that and won’t investigate further should be fired. As should you, Frank, for gross incompetence.]

Full mess, laced with FUD for your enjoyment, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Now that Virgina Tech will have 2/3rds of their racks empty with the upgrade to Xserve, shouldn’t Steve Jobs toss them $10 million worth of extra Xserve’s to fill them up? We’d like to see “Big Mac’s” numbers then, though it probably still wouldn’t matter to Frank Gillet, star analyst of Forrester Research.

62 Comments

  1. notice there is also no mention of price. hmm…. it’s cheaper, far easier to maintain, and just works. boy, no wonder I.T.’s are not looking at it. my grandmother could put together a cluster at the rate apple is delivering the product. This “analysis” is among the funniest I’ve ever read. That’s why the government is looking into Apple, right? Hmm.. guess this “analyst” also doesn’t know that Linux runs on Apple hardware. So brilliant, must be under the virus attack… oops, this supercomputer is also immune to viruses! such mundane, insignificant details… SKYNET anyone?

  2. I want to smoke what that analyst is smoking. He is obviously high.

    This is what bugged me a lot.

    Perhaps the forgotten piece in the Virginia tech supercomputer legend is the PowerPC G5 microprocessor, a technology derived from IBM’s 64-bit Power4 chip. IBM calls it a “server on a chip.”<p>

    “Was there anything in particular that Apple added to this?” Forrester analyst Frank Gillet pondered. “Fundamentally — no, the heart of the processing power here comes from IBM, and at some level, IBM could have done something similar to this,” he told NewsFactor. <p>

    They make it seem like all Apple did was repackage an IBM product. Any idiot knows that the software has to be written to take advantage of the chip. And, um, I do not recall IBM writing OS X or OS X server for the G5. Just like I don’t remember Intel writing Windows.

    But, like I always do, I will take this with a grain of salt b/c these people just don’t know what they are talking about. And like I continue to do, I show my Wintel clients the light.

    I still have yet to see any of my switchers go back to Windows.

  3. Oh god the guy is so full of himself and ill informed. Sheesh! I’d like to make stupid ill-researched remarks like this and get paid. Sounds like fun.

    What is this? Jesus…these people are losing credibilty with every word that comes out of their mouth. They need to just NOT talk!

  4. How ignoramuses think:

    Third fastest supercomputer. Cool.

    Least expensive supercomputer. Wow.

    Less wattage with XServe. Great.

    64 bit processors. All right!

    Made by Apple. Oh, I thought it was, like, a real computer, dude.

  5. The Dictionary (OmniDictionary) says it all:
    From Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913):

    Luddite Lud”dite, n.
    One of a number of riotous persons in England, who for six
    years (1811-17) tried to prevent the use of labor-saving
    machinery by breaking it, burning factories, etc.; — so
    called from Ned Lud, a half-witted man who some years
    previously had broken stocking frames. –J. & H. Smith. H.
    Martineau.

    —————–

    From WordNet (r) 2.0:

    Luddite
    n 1: any opponent of technological progress
    2: one of the 19th century English workmen who destroyed
    labor-saving machinery that they thought would cause
    unemployment
    See also closely related FUDDITE

  6. You know not too long ago there was a CNET News.com article saying pretty much the same thing and everybody went screaming bloody murder. I’m a huge Apple fan, but I know CNET and Forrester aren’t doing this analysis based on what comes out of their butts, they’re commenting on the research they’ve done talking to people who buy, install and use supercomputers. The VT Big Mac is an awesome achievement no doubt, but who’s building the second one?

  7. “… Gillet says the firm can only be a niche player. “Apple does a good job of making products that you turn on, and they work,” he said.

    But that marketing strategy, which attracts consumers, rings hollow to many I.T. professionals who are focused on two dominant systems: Linux and Windows.”

    Amazing Insights Abound in this Article!
    Does this mean to imply that I.T. professionals prefer products
    that you turn on and they don’t work … Hmmm sounds like Windows
    (and even Linux on bad days!) … mostly like Windows … 😎

  8. Quoth Nobody with Nothing to Say:

    ‘I’m a huge Apple fan, but I know CNET and Forrester aren’t doing this analysis based on what comes out of their butts. . . .’

    How do you know that? By comparing what they say with the facts, which anyone can easily obtain? No? I didn’t think so. You just ASSUME they must have done their homework, because they go on getting published & paid. Believe me, it isn’t so. Journalists make elementary factual errors all the time & nobody calls them on it; Wall Street analysts have an even worse record. (Remember all those wise old market gurus who told you Enron was a buy?)

    As long as people like you go on believing that the Emperor is wearing clothes, his tailors will do just fine.

  9. IT Pros will ignore this? Oh, no wonder NASA, the US Navy, and several other federal government agencies are looking into Apple’s technology.. they must be fools! This analyst is a total genius ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  10. “products that you turn on and they work.”

    Then I can lay off or retrain 2/3 of my no longer necessary MIS staff, show a huge productivity savings for my company, and negotiate a hero’s promotion and parachute.

  11. Does this mean to imply that I.T. professionals prefer products
    that you turn on and they don’t work …

    yes….when products “DONT WORK” and are insecure, this opens up a plethora of opportunity for an enterprising IT manager. they can get certifications and diplomas in “security” which focus primarily on how to repair a hosed system or network. A system or network that would be secure and running fine if the fundamental OS that ran on the servers and clients were more intelligently designed. Also, poorly designed OS’s need a large and well paid IT staff to support them which equals a bloated IT dept, which equals a bloated paycheck (cha-ching) for the enterprising IT manager, and that equals job security, or at least the appearance of job security.

    A friend of mine who works at apple enterprise sales said something funny. She said MS is like a Mafia Thug who is offering you “Family Life Insurance”. As long as you pay the boss, work for the boss, and never rat the boss out, you and your family will stay alive and be able to live a relatively normal lifestyle. The fact that this sort of “life” is fraught with mortal fear and anxiety is something that they don’t point out in their sales pitch. And if you say no, well the common belief is that you just don’t say no to these guys.

    Unfortunately, most executives don’t even realize there is an alternative that would dramatically reduce operating expenses, increase productivity, increase security and true peace of mind, and foster a more enjoyable and creative working atmosphere.

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