nito - Fotolia

The 10 biggest data center news stories of 2015

Data center teams modernized and adapted throughout 2015, with help -- and hindrance -- from major changes in the IT industry, which ranged from new job demands to transitions among providers.

The top data center news stories of 2015 highlight shifts in the IT job market, technology changes and disruptive events among major industry vendors.

Dell's planned EMC purchase could impact countless product roadmaps and rearrange data center purchasing decisions on IT equipment. IBM's open source embrace might change workloads and utilization at mainframe shops.

Popular stories include in-depth coverage of ongoing trends, such as cloud migrations and more energy-efficient data center cooling. The year was also pocked by headline-grabbing outages, such as the NYSE failure that reminds all data center teams to test changes and monitor roll-out vigilantly. Here are the top 10 data center news stories we followed in 2015.

IBM starts the year ready for a change

IBM's revenues in January 2015 signaled that the company needed to make changes to stay relevant to IT organizations throughout the year. Big Blue responded with a shift to SoftLayer infrastructure as a service, new applications for cognitive data analysis on Watson and a mobile-friendly mainframe message.

Enterprises clamor for Linux admins

Linux adoption among enterprise data center teams continues to grow, particularly with the move to cloud computing and a call for collaboration and open source efforts among IT groups. Over 95% of Amazon Web Services and OpenStack deployments are Linux, shows Linux Foundation research, and Microsoft added support for Linux on Azure in 2015. "More and more talent will be needed in the coming months and years to maintain these systems," said Clyde Seepersad, general manager of training and certification at the Linux Foundation. Now the question is whether there are enough skilled Linux admins to go around.

DevOps tool moves into new territory

Chef, one of the major DevOps tool vendors, released continuous delivery for its users, encroaching on the part of the tool chain typically filled by Jenkins. The company says its Chef Delivery workflow engine provides change governance and visibility.

IT proves its cool to be warm

It may not happen overnight, but data centers are replacing the stalwart computer room air conditioners with more energy efficient and targeted cooling systems. This trend coincides with power reduction efforts around technology, as well as new servers that endure warmer inlet temperatures.

Clouds may rain on IT parade

If you can describe your job as "traditional" IT, the disruptive nature of cloud computing is a force you'll reckon with sooner or later. Even without a cloud focus, IT shops have to adapt to the as-a-service and on-demand nature of cloud offerings to stay relevant.

HP breaks apart to appeal to enterprises

One of the biggest data center news stories of 2015 broke mid-year, when HP leaders said the company would split near the end of the year, becoming Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and HP Inc. Data centers will keep a close eye on HPE, comprising the long-established tech vendor's enterprise software, services, and hardware, in 2016.

The NYSE goes down

In July 2015, data center news became front-page news. Three household names -- the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines and The Wall Street Journal -- experienced unrelated outages in one week, prompting renewed focus on IT automation and safe deployments to production data centers.

IBM open sources big iron

IBM brought sizeable contributions to the open source community mid-year, with opened mainframe code resources and two Linux mainframes. IBM's pricing for the LinuxONE mainframe departed from the norm as well, thanks to a subscription-based, pay-as-you-go model.

Dell moves in on EMC, VMware

As the data center industry digested HP's plans to split in half, Dell disclosed a seemingly opposite strategy: Its plans to acquire storage giant EMC and virtualization leader VMware. The deal -- should it succeed -- puts product lines and technology roadmaps in question.

Cognitive computing promises new thinking about IT

IBM Watson is a cognitive IT platform that makes connections and analyzes data in a way meant to mimic human thinking. Watson's level of big data processing could change many sectors, from healthcare to meteorology to IT. Programmers should not despair though -- change could be a good thing.

Meredith Courtemanche is the senior site editor for SearchDataCenter. Follow @DataCenterTT for news and tips on data center IT and facilities.

Next Steps

IT vendors, activist investors -- and you

The events leading up to HP's split

Why taxes are a certainty -- and the Dell-EMC deal is not

See where DevOps news led in 2016

Dig Deeper on Data Center jobs and staffing and professional development