There are few ways a CIO can look better than by walking in to the CEO's office to offer a sophisticated technology service that answers a desperate business need without requiring large capital expenses or delays before implementation.
Stories by Kevin Fogarty
The metaphor of cloud computing may go all the way back to mainframe computing, though some cloud gurus heartily dispute that view. Still, the implementation is new and complex enough that many of the basic rules are still being set, according to analysts and IT departments building heavy-duty cloud infrastructures.
It might have been the rage in 2006, but interest in green IT drooped along with the economy during the last two years, analysts say.
The reality of cloud computing has always been a lot more about the nuts and bolts of data-center operations than about the metaphor of on-demand computer power flowing from anonymous sources somewhere on the other end of the network connection.
Despite enhancements on both cloud and virtual computing products, major vendors aren't taking into account many of the ways even a technology designed to save IT resources can unintentionally waste them.
Most CIOs have had to deal with rogue business units - parts of the organization that, for one reason or another, can stave off any attempt to modernize, standardize or stabilize its idiosyncratic IT systems, but still need solid data connections to the parent company.
In addition to being a top priority for legislators and the press, healthcare has become a major target for IT vendors. Driven by economic pressures that force hospitals to merge and consolidate, regulations that force better documentation and security, and legislation that may fundamentally change the industry's business models, healthcare companies will spend more on technology this year than any other type of company, according to a study released Jan. 31 by Enterprise Strategy Group.
Choosing just enough virtual machines, but not too many, for a given server has always been a challenge. Running a set of virtual servers and the applications that they support on one physical server running just one operating system seems easy enough - at first.
IT people with skills and experience in server virtualization, cloud computing or both have a far greater chance of getting and keeping jobs than most other IT people now, according to recruiters and analysts. But what do you call these gurus?
Surveys showing the spending and hiring picture for IT as bleak for at least the first half of 2010 seem to reflect more the caution of IT managers and CIOs than their real hiring plans.
What has driven the market for virtual servers more than the potential to squeeze several servers worth of performance out of just one physical server? It's the relative ease with which most applications can move from a physical infrastructure to a virtual one.
A host of substantial problems with porting legacy apps to the cloud will keep most companies from diving in for now, say analysts reporting on weaknesses in the cloud and ISVs trying to fill in the gaps.
Did you think all those legacy apps would just float up into someone else's cloud infrastructure? Management, licensing and migration concerns highlight the list of troubles that vendors are now trying to address.
While VMware and Citrix go head-to-head over how to virtualize the desktop, most users say they prefer to deploy more than one flavor of desktop virtualization. Here's a look at today's five main desktop virtualization choices and their advantages and disadvantages.
Predictions from analysts and virtualization vendors that desktop virtualization will take off during 2010 may be off the mark. Sales may take off, but the desktop PC may not have much to do with it.