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HP Pavilion dv4-41 Battery www.all-laptopbattery.com

In the meantime, iSCSI inherited most of the good stuff from FCoE (suh as DCB, or Data Centre Bridging, for example) and it has slowly become much more appreciated by end users and vendors.The standardisation process of FCoE started in 2007. Now, after eight years, most of the vendors support only iSCSI and/or FC while FCoE is no longer to be seen in any future roadmap.Thanks to FCoE, Ethernet storage has grown tremendously. A few years back, it was considered only for secondary needs. Mostly because it was associated with mid-range or low-end iSCSI storage, and often poorly implemented on the networking side.Now, it is considered as first citizen and some vendors (like SolidFire) leverage it to build huge infrastructures. Nonetheless, all VSAs and hyper-converged products are all based on Ethernet communication protocols, and not FCoE.Would you buy FCoE today? Cisco partners don’t even use it: EMC maybe, but most NetApp FlexPod installations I’ve spotted in the field primarily use NFS, and other storage suppliers, such as Pure or Nimble, don’t support it at all.FCoE failed miserably … and Cisco lost a chance to control the whole data centre. It can’t always be a success.From this point of view, today, Cisco is the market leader for data centre blades and networking. However, it has a very poor standing where storage is concerned. Despite the fact that it isn’t doing that badly with FC switches and directors.

It’s time for it to look around, forget FCoE (and other false steps made with Invicta), and start building a serious storage portfolio, especially now that it is no longer tied to EMC. Product Roundup I’ve long sung the praises of the Longchamp Le Pilage. Stylish and hardwearing, this super light bag weighs in at just 225g. Yes, you have to add your own laptop sleeve, but what’s not to love? Yet in the daytime commute, women everywhere now haul this stalwart bag. A First World problem it might be, but who wants to be one of the homogeneous bunch?So, following on from our round-up of laptop bags for him, it was a pleasure to commuter-test the latest satchels, briefs and backpacks made to appeal to women. The choice was immense as were some prices; however, my top picks were whittled down to four factors: ease of carrying, the weight – ideally around the 1kg mark – protective padding and durability.A nice touch is that some manufacturers offer an optional battery pack to keep the phone and tablet powered while on the hoof. Unlike the men’s choices covered yesterday, the bags here cover a range of different laptop sizes. So, let’s kick off with the some satchels

Made from the softest leather for an 11” MacBook Air or something similarly svelte, this bag is among my favourites – and there’s the AO 15” multi canvas satchel at £170 for those with bigger machines. The AO range is pricey but Apple enthusiasts wanting covert style will approve, no doubt.Albeit small, the leather satchel offers plenty space for all the stuff we girls stash in a handbag. Protection comes from the padded laptop slip, with zipper and phone pocket. In use, the buckles are fiddly compared to modern openers but this is a minor foible. Like any quality leather bag, it’s water resistant, and, lest we forget, AO recommends you keep it clean with baby wipes – soft bottoms and leather both enjoy them, so it seems.If you’re looking for a full leather large-satchel and your budget doesn’t stretch beyond £100, the Marselisborg has much going for it, provided your laptop screen is no bigger than 14 inches. For a tough bag that can bulk out to take the gym kit or tuck-box too, this is great value. From the large leather flap with water-resistant outer, the main interior has a laptop padded section, further pockets for phone, wallet and pens.

It has a modern magnet closure and the overall quality feels good but lacks the finesse of a bag to last decades. Even so, affordable style shouldn’t be sniffed at. Available in Golden Tan or Hunter Dark finishes.The revenue from newer converged storage systems (3PAR, StoreOnce, StoreAll, etc) rose 5.3 per cent over the year to $356m (from $338m), but traditional storage revenues (EVA, MSA, tape) slumped 18.3 per cent to $384m (from $470 million).Overall storage revenues of $740m were 8.4 per cent down on the year-ago’s $808m. It wasn’t the worst part of HP’s Enterprise Group business, where revenues declined one per cent on the year to $6.6bn.Business Critical Systems‘ revenue shrank by 15 per cent and networking revenue was down 16 per cent.So, newer storage systems revenue failed to grow past the trad systems, and overall quarterly storage revenue carried on declining, as it has done for 12 quarters or so.At least things aren’t as bad as the latest NetApp storage results but the pattern of continued, multi-year decline prompts the same basic question; if what you have been doing isn’t working what are you going to do to re-ignite growth?

While CEO Meg Whitman is occupied with splitting HP into two, there is not much exec mindshare focussed on getting the storage business out of its slump.Stifel MD Aaron Rakers notes: "HP’s reported storage revenue … is down eight per cent year-on-year (12 per cent sequentially) versus combined EMC, IBM, HDS, and NetApp storage revenue at -2 per cent. EMC reported total storage product-only revenue at -5 per cent year-on-year, while IBM reported -2 per cent year-on-year recently; NetApp reported branded revenue declined seven per cent year-on-year in its April quarter."He said "HP expects that continued growth in converged storage will drive a return to overall storage growth in constant currency in the second half of 2015."There was some comfort for HP in this point: "3PAR was the fastest-growing all-flash array in 2014 according to Gartner, growing a fantastic +1,000 per cent from $8.8m revenue in 2013 to $102m in 2014, capturing seven per cent market share behind EMC, Pure, IBM and NetApp."

We might make the crude assumption that the initial and big 3PAR boost to HP’s storage revenues is pretty much over. Yes, there will be more conversion of trad systems to converged storage, but nothing dramatic because HP storage customers are faced with the same choice as NetApp ones.Do I stick with the known quantity that is HP for my storage needs, they ask, or do I move to newer all-flash array, hybrid array, hyper-converged arrays, scale-out arrays or the cloud instead? The steady downwards storage revenue trend suggests that they may well be buying from alternate suppliers.In the short term, it’s to carry on doing what they’ve been doing while the business bifurcates. In the longer term, there is the prospect of the radical Machine architecture revitalising the scene. In the medium term?There’s the rub. Does HP wait for the coming of its Machine Age or does it do something in the hyper-converged, hybrid, scale-out space, with a possible acquisition getting it to market faster than an in-house development process?

Then there is the wild card; should HP merge with EMC or do something similarly revolutionary to turn itself into a part of a larger lean, mean, enterprise revenue go-getting machine?Watching gigantic oil tankers turn is a frustratingly slow business. So it is watching IT behemoths like HP. Meanwhile, the storage business, at just three per cent of HP’s overall revenues, probably gets a three per cent Meg Whitman mindshare. So who really cares at the moment? The market expected the company to post earnings of 85 cents on US$25.64 billion in revenue. The company trumped the earnings figure by announcing it delivered 87 cents per share, but missed on revenue with a figure of $25.45bn. That’s down seven per cent from 2014’s corresponding quarter.Also down is revenue outside the Americas. As the graphs below show, the company is sliding in Europe and the Asia PacificCEO Meg Whitman reminded investors in the company’s earnings call that “over 65% of our revenue [comes] from outside the United States and over half of that in EMEA, [so] we are disproportionately impacted by currency movements versus our competitors.”

But the graphs below are “Adjusted to eliminate the effects of currency”, so reflect dips in revenue. Troubles in EMEA can perhaps be ascribed to Europe’s ongoing economic struggles. Asia, however, is supposed to be the growth engine of the world. Whitman said geopolitical issues slowed sales in Russia and China.In the latter country, HP has a new plan: the expected divestment of China-based networking appendage H3C came to pass. As predicted, Tsinghua Unigroup now owns 51 per cent of the business. The deal also means Tsinghua picks up HP’s server storage and technology services business in China. Around US$2.3bn will change hands, meaning H3C is valued at $4.5bn. HP still has skin in the game, but isn’t in charge any more.HP CEO Meg Whitman reckons the deal means “In one move we have repositioned HP and shifted the entire technology landscape in the critical Chinese market to accelerate our overall performance and better serve our customers and partners.”

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