Most of today's CIOs like to keep the company's most critical data and applications close, inside the biggest data center, where IT can see or touch the servers involved.
Stories by Kevin Fogarty
Rivals Citrix and VMware have taken their battle beyond technology development, even beyond marketing. Now they're working on the imaginations and psychology of potential customers and, to a certain extent, rewriting history.
CEOs and the technologists who work for them like to say the applications they rely on -- especially the kind custom-written by specialists at banks and investment companies with fortunes behind them -- are safe as houses.
Long ago, when servers still came one to a box, "sysadmins" spent all their time running from one machine to another, with boxes of tools and utilities designed to squeeze out every bit of performance and stability from physical servers.
Microsoft is warning customers that signing long-term enterprise license agreements can chain them for years to the unpredictable, often self-serving development schedule of an IT vendor--which may not suit the customer's unique needs and priorities.
To most people -- especially in August -- 'Ocean Services' probably conjures visions of boogie boards, sun umbrellas and bringing the drinks without getting sand in the glass.
If certain server and virtualisation vendors get their way, end-user companies will be buying many fewer individual servers in a few years, and many more integrated packages of infrastructure.
More than halfway through what vendors and many analysts predicted would be the year virtual desktops would replace enormous numbers of the physical kind, sales of desktop virtualization products are growing at a rate "that looks about the same as in 2009," according to Ian Song, analyst for International Data Corp.
While the newest version of VMware's vSphere virtualization suite represents a big step toward practical cloud computing, virtualization technology continues to spread based on the same basic benefits that made it popular in the first place, analysts say.
Virtualization and cloud computing haven't eroded the online security of most companies, analysts say. But they may be contributing to situations in which IT-service customers leave themselves vulnerable to attack because they assume their cloud provider is taking care of security.
Despite predictions that cloud computing will change the economics and strategic direction of corporate IT, the cloud's greatest impact so far has been in focused, often small projects that owe little to visions of complex, enterprise-class, computing-on-demand services, some users and analysts say.
Facing strong concerns about control and security, the cloud-computing trend has drifted somewhat-- away from the notion that all computing resources can be had from outside, and toward a vision of a data center magically transformed for easy connections to internal and external IT resources.
Desktop virtualization has a predicted growth curve that leaves much of the PC and IT services industries smiling: Yet none of the technologies or service providers promising to offer hosted virtual desktops are ready to step into key roles in enterprise IT infrastructures, according the same well-respected analysts who set the server virtualization market on its ear with a similar conclusion last year.
Though most U.S. companies still list customer and other corporate information as their most valuable assets, many keep pushing this data farther from safe lockdown in the data center--and are about to give it another strong shove in that direction.
Virtual desktops-once the most rigid, least friendly way to put applications in front of end users-have become a hot topic by promising to deliver the security and easy maintenance that was always desktop virtualization's strength. The trouble: Desktop virtualization now comes in so many varieties that even vendors confuse terms referring to the flavors.