As a technologist, you parse the vendor doublespeak, read the fine print and try to separate the wheat from the chaff on overblown claims about a cutting-edge technology's capabilities. It's no surprise that vendors sometimes overpromise and underdeliver.
Here are some recent gems that demonstrate vendors' marketing hype and missteps.
If you haven't already gotten word, Oracle Corp.'s latest claim is that its cloud computing platform is a "subscription-based (SaaS) deployment model with easy, predictable pricing."
But Oracle's cloud will likely cost more than the usual pay-as-you-go cloud plans, according to SearchCloudComputing.com, and so far, information about this cutting-edge technology in terms of availability and features seems anything but easy to follow.
After IT pros expressed concerns over Citrix Systems Inc.'s decision to move all versions of XenApp before version 6.5 to end-of-life status by July 2013, Citrix lengthened the XenApp lifecycle through the Extended Support Program, a technical support offering.
While it's true that Citrix extended XenApp support, the price is exorbitantly high. One large enterprise in Europe with 2,500 XenApp platinum seats was given an approximate quote of $121,000 per six months by its support provider, according to SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK.
Microsoft introduced a new Windows 8 Metro-style touch interface that works on all form factors and allows end users to choose which input method to use when. "This is what we mean when we say Windows 8 provides a no-compromise experience," the company said.
But Metro certainly requires users to compromise their familiar Windows look and feel, which may affect productivity and desktop security, according to SearchEnterpriseDesktop.com.
VMware Inc. claims that rival Microsoft's Hyper-V server virtualization offering isn't cheaper than its vSphere product, while Microsoft asserts that VMware is far more expensive. So which is it?
Unfortunately for those shopping for virtual products, there is no black-and-white answer. In the recent report "VMware vSphere vs. Microsoft Hyper-V: Which Is Cheaper?" SearchServerVirtualization.com found that many factors play into the true cost of a virtualization environment. It's a complicated formula, but we'll likely hear plenty more claims of cost-effectiveness from the leading virtualization vendors.
Hewlett-Packard Co.'s service-level agreement (SLA) offers 99.95% availability and states that if it does not meet this commitment, it will apply a service credit to your account.
Beware the financial promises of the SLA. HP and other cloud vendors promise between 99.95% and 99.9% of uptime monthly, but pay out on an SLA only if the number dips far below those levels on several occasions. And the way HP calculates availability isn't exactly straightforward. In fact, some experts think that cloud SLAs are nothing more than a cheap marketing ploy.
NOTE: This article first appeared in the October issue of Modern Infrastructure.