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Users of Microsoft's sync 'n' share service say it corrupts Office 2013 files

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September 2, 2014

Users of Microsoft's sync 'n' share service say it corrupts Office 2013 files when they attempt to open them with 'OneDrive'.

To be sure, answers.microsoft.com forum threads explain that it's impossible to open some files stored in OneDrive-– Excel files seem especially susceptible, from machines other than the one that created it.

The file loads, but its content is replaced by gibberish and useless hexadecimal codes.

Several reports of the issue started to emerge on August 27th. Only documents created since that date suffer from the problem.

Some users tested the various scenarios reported and found that Windows 8.1 users seem to be the only ones adversely impacted by whatever is going on in Microsoft's cloud.

For now, Windows 7 users appear to be spared the pain, so it remains to be seen where exactly the problem is coming from.

There's no data loss apparent-- documents remain accessible in a variety of ways. One workaround is to sync an OneDrive account with a Windows 7 machine.

The resulting downloads to the Windows 7 PC appear to restore access to the files, at least for now.

Microsoft has yet to formally address the matter, but a tweet from OneDrive program manager Arcadiy Kantor offers some relief.

Posters to the thread say Microsoft has acknowledged the problem, but hasn't advised when a fix will be available, however.

In other IT news

Market research firm IDC says that global server sales continue to increase for the current quarter, which suggests that the long-term outlook for the market appears to be brighter than the previous three quarters.

IDC says that factory revenue in the global server market grew 2.5 percent year over year to US $12.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014.

It's actually the midrange servers that were up 11.6 percent year over year thanks to technology refresh cycles that kicked in.

That cycle has been accelerated by the looming demise of Windows Server 2003, users' desire to get their hands on new Intel chip sets and, lastly, budgets finally allowing replacement of systems acquired after the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Volume systems (ie: low-end or so-called utility servers) saw vendors book 4.9 percent revenue growth after demand rose for a fifth consecutive quarter.

However, enterprise servers took a 9.8 percent plunge, but IDC explains that the number is not a cause for concern since it's a trickier segment to accurately account for.

But an interesting anomaly in the market concerns servers destined for utilization in hyperscale data centers and those used in more conventional capacities.

But sales of the former are going well, even though the latter server varieties are falling victim to various server consolidation projects in some companies.

There's also some good news for HP, as it emerges as the market's top server vendor. Interestingly, IDC has also popped in a line for “ODM direct” sales, which we take it to be a way of describing sales by the likes of Supermicro and Inspur. At $835 million for the quarter, such vendors are ahead of Cisco and Oracle by sales value.

IDC notes that sales of 'Power' servers declined sharply year over year in advance of a significant technology refresh,most likely caused by Microsoft's abandonment to continue to support Windows Server 2003.

In other IT news

It's reported that Hybrid array vendor Nimble Storage saw its revenues grow as its rivals were unable to deliver equivalent price/performance products.

Overall, revenues were $53.8 million for its second quarter, an 89 percent increase year-on-year and beating its own guidance of $49 million to $51 million.

There was a net loss of $26.1 million however, 149 percent worse than a year ago, meaning that losses are increasing faster than sales revenue.

Nimble CEO Suresh Vasudevan’s statement was enthusiastic, however-- “We added a record 663 new customers during the quarter, ending with a total of 3,756 customers, an increase of 115 percent from Q2 of 2013. During the last four quarters, we added a total of over 2,000 new customers as we continued to increase our share of the market. We also closed a record number of deals with a value over $100,000 each during Q2, including the largest deal in our history.”

William Blair analyst Jason Ader said Nimble had “continued its land-and-expand success (large enterprise and cloud service provider customer bases up 81 percent and 119 percent year-over-year, respectively).”

All in all, he sums it up like this-- “Overall, in line with commentaries from our reseller contacts, the company appears to be firing on all cylinders as it continues to make inroads against large storage incumbents and disrupt the market at large.“

The company is “on track to achieve the break-even point on a non-GAAP basis by the end of our next fiscal year,” meaning by May 1st, 2016. That means a GAAP profit later in 2016.

Fibre Channel support should be added around January 2015 and this could increase its revenues in larger enterprises.

Ader comments-- “We believe that the addition of Fibre Channel support, the newly released high-end platform, and the general availability of its new scale-out software should expand the company's addressable market beyond the midrange and enable it to continue taking share from vulnerable incumbents.”

Technology giants such as Dell, EMC, HP, IBM and NetApp appear unable to respond to Nimble’s success by developing competing products.

Nimble’s international direct sales force is now in 19 countries, vs. 13 in the prior quarter, while Nimble has international distribution arrangements in an additional 26 countries, vs. 21 in the prior quarter.”

We don’t see how competitors could lower prices to meet the price/performance levels of Nimble without drastically affecting their profitability.

The best method would be for them to bring out hybrid array product ranges which don’t impact their mainstream revenues but, at first glance, that would seem like an impossible marketing stunt to pull off.

The outlook for Nimble’s third quarter is for revenues between $56 million and $58 million, the midpoint being 71 percent higher than the year-ago period.

In other IT news

It looks like VMware is feeling the heat that OpenStack poses to its livelyhood and has decided to do something about it by developing its own distribution of the cloud called VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIOS).

OpenStack is often perceived as a direct threat to VMware because the two stacks have a fair amount of overlap. Think of duplication of services in a way.

VMware's argument suggests that “Organizations, particularly enterprises, have found that deploying OpenStack can be time and resource intensive, and that the underlying infrastructure does not always meet their requirements for security, resilience and performance.”

The operations people who do care about those things sometimes rely on VMware to provide the qualities listed above, so by making an OpenStack distribution that is driven by VMware developers gets the best of both worlds.

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Details about just what's in VIOS are sketchy, but the information provided to us last night before the VMworld 2014 keynote says it will offer “full integration with VMware administration and management tools, allowing customers to leverage existing VMware expertise to manage and troubleshoot an OpenStack cloud.”

The VMworld keynote will also reveal the likes of vCentre, and VMware's other management tools, now live under a brand called “vRealize Suite”. The suite won't just manage private clouds or hybrid clouds running in VMware's own Air public cloud-- the company says workloads in Amazon Web Services' cloud will also be fair game.

Also on offer will be “Infrastructure services costs, metering and analysis including public cloud rate cards, facilitating optimal workload placement and transparent show/charge back” along with “On-demand delivery of applications and infrastructure services via a service portal/catalog or API and guided by policy.”

Analytics and performance optimization tools are other elements of the suite, along with “an ecosystem of third-party management packs for Microsoft, AWS, Cisco, SAP and more.”

VMware will also reveal “vRealize Air Automation”, a subscription application and infrastructure service.

Another software announcement from the show is NSX 6.1, an update to VMware's network virtualization tool with a headline feature of improved network micro-segmentation.

There's also a new version of VMware's top certification – the VCDX – focussed on network virtualization.

Material we've been provided ahead of the keynote doesn't mention a vSphere update, but does include news of a 5.8 release for vCloud Suite complete with “policy-based provisioning capabilities that will enable customers to add compute, network, security, storage and now disaster recovery services to their applications and infrastructure.”

VIOS is scheduled for the first half of 2015. vRealize Suite will land later in Q3 2014. NSX 6.1 and vCloud Suite 5.8 appear to be available now, according to what we've seen.

Source: Microsoft.

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