Top 10 data center trends that shaped 2013

Technological advances caused necessary changes in IT strategies in 2013. Companies strived to keep up with new data center trends and the market.

With the evolution of servers, storage and even mainframes, and the need for major changes in IT strategies, 2013 brought more affordable and accessible technology. It was also a year for addressing inefficiencies and technological disparities.

SearchDataCenter's editors have curated the top 10 news stories covering the most relevant data center trends of 2013.

1. The struggle to define converged infrastructure

Categorized by many definitions, converged infrastructure is hyped by IT vendors. The number of platforms that are truly converged is surprisingly low, and there are both benefits and inadequacies with converged infrastructures.

2. New wave of server innovation

Is server technology on the brink of evolution? Hewlett-Packard Co.'s introduction of the ProLiant Moonshot server could mean better compute efficiency and lower cost for IT professionals. Compare Dell's microservers to HP's and decide which are the most innovative.

3. Red Hat shared updates to RHEL's roadmap

The recent changes to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) are minor, so immediate upgrades aren't likely. Denise Dumas, director of software engineering at Red Hat Inc., claims that Red Hat took its customers into consideration when it updated RHEL, but will the comfort of Gnome 2 keep some Linux users stagnant?

4. Declarative or imperative? You decide

Scalability is the cause for debate between advocates of Puppet and other configuration management and automation tools. Their approaches -- declarative or imperative -- are cause for contention among supporters of both DevOps camps. Is your IT shop on Team Declarative or Team Imperative?

5. New technologies mean new data center strategies

How will your data center spend its budget? With all the new technologies and apps available, the demand for compute capacity affects IT decisions on what to buy. Check out what the TechTarget Data Center & Reader's Choice 2013 survey reveals about IT professionals' choices.

6. What will IBM look like?

In order to stay relevant, IBM has reinvented itself several times. IBM experienced significant losses on its midrange servers in 2013, posing the question, should IBM reinvent itself again? With rumors about big changes at the company, what is in store for IBM?

7. IBM mainframes became more relevant

More data center trends from 2013

Power usage trends

Data center power design

Management and server technology

Infrastructure of the data center

Can't afford a mainframe? IBM's new zEnterprise BC12 is a lower-cost model -- $75,000 -- geared toward smaller IT shops that are restricted by price, and younger administrators with different skill sets than the mainframe generation. With migration away from big iron, IBM's making a play to have IT shops transfer workloads onto contemporary mainframes.

8. Finding IT jobs is easy, if you're qualified

If you're looking for an IT job, you might be highly sought after; third-platform IT skills can be your ticket to a new job. Although finding a job in today's economic climate is difficult, IT certifications can lead to a job in a much-touted field. Do you have what it takes?

9. Avoid HealthCare.gov's mistakes

We all know that the launch of HealthCare.gov was a disaster. Of course, there are lessons to be learned from the project management team's neglect of important considerations. The government's IT organization didn't consider the fundamentals necessary to launch a site of this magnitude.

10. RISC at risk, Wintel servers gain approval

HP and IBM's reduced instruction set computer (RISC) and other proprietary platforms might be in trouble. The future of these higher-end servers in data centers appears dim as less-expensive industry-standard Wintel servers gain favor.

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