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The top data center trends in 2009: From virtualization to cloud and beyond

In 2009, the watchwords were server virtualization and unified computing. Check out our roundup of data center trends in 2009 and a look ahead to 2010.

The year 2009 signaled the entrenchment of server virtualization as a major force in data centers as well as the emergence of converged data center hardware. These trends were the standouts in 2009. But amid the flurry of convergence, virtualization and integration, other IT trends emerged, including cloud computing as a rival model to in-house infrastructure management and potential growing adoption of Windows Server 2008 in data centers, though IT managers remain cautious.

In 2009 server virtualization clearly went mainstream and became a central tool to reduce hardware costs, improve server management and reduce data center power consumption. Server virtualization has enabled data center professionals to automate some server tasks, such as provisioning and configuration, and engage in more holistic data center management.

So too, the server hardware market featured serious consolidation and integration, as evidenced by the still-pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle to the rollout of Cisco Systems Inc.'s Unified Computing System, sparking intense competition with Hewlett-Packard Co. While these trends reflect the impact of the economic downturn, they also signal data centers' increasing demand for integrated technologies and fewer pieces and parts to manage. As more shops turn to consolidating servers, storage and networking hardware, how hardware is sold to data centers will change.

Further, there were signs of IT revitalization after the long economic downturn. After stalling on desktop virtualization adoption, for example, many IT shops have geared up to spend on virtual desktop infrastructure in 2010 . Alongside these trends, 2009 also featured new Linux operating system releases, the October 2009 release of Windows Server 2008 R2, and the emergence of cloud computing as a viable alternative to in-house compute infrastructure and management.

In what follows, we've provided a roundup of best data center, virtualization and Windows-related content on IT trends in 2009 and predictions for 2010 as well as some lighter fare on the best books, movies and more from 2009.


The top 10 data center stories of 2009 
This year was marked by technology innovation and economic upheaval, but data center pros rolled with the change. Here are the top data center stories of 2009, ranked by popularity.

Unified computing: A 2010 data center trend? Gartner says unified computing is the future of the server platform, but end users remain skeptical about 'converged architecture' in the data center.

Mainframe year in review 2009 
Last year it was all about controlling mainframe costs -- stemming MIPS growth, pressing zLinux into service and offloading work to specialty engines.

Iron Man 2 tops the list of geek flick picks for 2010 
Movie geeks are psyched about Iron Man 2, Avatar and other far-out flicks hitting theaters in 2010.

Gadget geeks look back at the greatest gizmos of 2009 
Smartphones, high-res digital cameras, large screen e-readers and netbook computers were the hot technology purchases of the year, but many technophiles await Apple's tablet computer.


2010 virtualization predictions 
In our 2010 server virtualization predictions, we wager that VMware will respond to aggressive price pressure with price reductions and Citrix will shutter XenServer development.

The top 10 virtualization news stories of 2009 
VMware, Microsoft and Citrix all released new server virtualization products in 2009. Find out which became the biggest virtualization news story of the year .

Hyper-V R2, vSphere 4 dominate virtualization in 2009 
In this second half of our top 10 news stories of the year, we recap how Hyper-V R2 and vSphere 4 releases escalated the Hyper-V vs. VMware feud.


A look at Linux in the recession: Linux 2009 year in review
How did Linux and open source fare in 2009? A review of the news stories in the enterprise Linux market during the economic downturn shows that Linux's strengths aided its success -- with new OS version launches, interoperability agreements, new products, a few legal controversies and a few spectacular achievements.

Oracle's MySQL acquisition shifts open source database market Concerns about the fate of MySQL under Oracle ownership roiled the open source database market, with users increasing PostgreSQL adoption over MySQL.

Linux operating system future is in cloud computing and devices 
The Linux world in 2010 will witness a push toward easier deployment, better packaging and management and embedded Linux in non-PC devices, experts say.

The must-read Linux books of 2010 
These five future masterpieces cover the hot Linux topics of 2010, from advancements in Linux kernel developments to working with Ubuntu and Eucalyptus in the cloud.

The top 10 Linux tips of 2009 
Whether you're considering an update to SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 or setting up cloud computing with Eucalyptus, there's something for everyone in our top 10 Linux tips of 2009 .


Tales from the cloud: The year 2009 in review 
For all its successes, the cloud computing market had its share of blunders in 2009. Famed holiday humbug Ebenezer Scrooge took some time to explain where cloud went wrong.

The top 10 cloud computing news stories of 2009 
From Google's $7.2 million deal with the city of Los Angeles to an interview with the project manager of Google App Engine, here are the most-read cloud stories of the year .

The top Amazon Web Services stories of 2009 
Amazon's run-in with blacklist provider Spamhaus and the release of the company's Virtual Private Cloud topped the list of Amazon Web Services news stories in 2009.

The top five cloud computing tips of 2009
An introduction to Amazon EC2 and the steps behind running a Web service on Google App Engine were among the topics discussed in the top five cloud computing tips of 2009.


Top Windows Server tips of 2009 
Check out our best server management tips of the past year . Find advice on troubleshooting server crashes, Windows 2008 R2 features, the best PowerShell commands and more.

Five Windows Server books to look for in 2010 
Brush up on your skills or gain new ones in the New Year. Here are < a href="">five books scheduled to be released in 2010 that will explore the intricate world of Windows Server management.


The top virtualization trends of 2009 
Hindsight is 20/20, and we've got an eagle-eye view of the virtualization landscape. Did analysts' predictions come true? Find out in this review of 2009's top trends .

10 virtualization predictions for 2010 It's the end of 2009, which means it's time for 2010 predictions. Check out a consultant's thoughts on VMware, cloud computing and virtual desktops.


IT pros pick their favorite books 
T pros typically don't get a lot of time to read, but if a few moments of downtime pop up this holiday season, here are some peer book recommendations ranging from mainstream fun to super geeky.

Sell your CIO on helpful technologies 
Want to get on your CIO's good side this holiday season? Here are some suggested smart technologies that might help your enterprise reduce costs and earn you points with the boss.


Many IT shops budget for server, virtual desktop projects in 2010 After a tough year for desktop virtualization, IT pundits have made some predictions about spending in 2010 .


Top 10 VAR news stories of 2009 
Windows 7 services opportunities and Oracle's layoffs and maintenance fees were among the top VAR news stories of the year. Find out what else made our list for 2009.

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