Last week Jason Newton at HP blogged about what his company thinks (or at least wants you to think) are the hot trends in the data center for 2009. He provides a good list that's less a reflection of what enterprise customers are necessarily doing but certainly what they should be thinking. Heck, his list reflects a lot of the tactics we discuss with customers every day in our inquiries and published research, such as in "Retrofitting Your Data Center for Better Capacity".
Friday, Iron Mountain and Microsoft announced a new partnership. Customers of Microsoft's backup offering, Data Protection Manager (DPM) 2007 service pack 1, can electronically vault redundant copies of their data to Iron Mountain's CloudRecovery service. This is welcomed news for DPM customers. Customers will continue to backup locally to disk for instant restore but rather than vault data to tape and physically transport tape to an offsite storage service provider, customers will vault data over the Internet to Iron Mountain. For disaster recovery purposes and long-term retention services, you need this redundant copy of your data offsite. By eliminating the physical tape transport you eliminate the risk of lost or stolen tapes or the need to deploy some kind of tape encryption solution. Microsoft DPM hasn't taken the backup world by storm since its introduction in 2005, but each subsequent release has added critical features and application support. Additionally, because it is often bundled in with Microsoft System Center, I expect adoption will increase among small and medium businesses (SMBs) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Tuesday, January 20th, Riverbed Technology announced its acquisition of Mazu Networks for $25 million in cash with the possibility of an additional payment up to $22 million if future sales meet or exceed $35 million in the 12 months after closing. Mazu, which provides an application and device performance monitoring and reporting solution, will be integrated with Riverbed's current WAN Optimization offering to provide a more comprehensive solution for enterprises. In addition, the move also shows a competitive response to Blue Coat Systems' acquisition of Packeteer last year.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that, while we continue to hear stories of layoffs, "consolidation", and dire financial straits IT pros are faring quite well. According to a study conducted by employment site Dice.com, IT pros saw an average salary increase of 4.6% last year over 2007. Whether that type of jump will occur throughout 2009 is up for debate and doubtful, it does seem that businesses are recognizing IT professionals for the work that they're doing to help bring efficiency and savings to the business. Good news for IT pros casting a wary eye on the road ahead in 2009.
I reported recently on the fact that spending in IT seems alive and well, based on research I conducted using data from our IT readership panel. Areas such as networking, virtualization, and consolidation are seeing budgets increase in 2009, all in an effort to continue the momentum of IT-drive bottom-line improvements.
Nortel’s future does not look bright. It admitted to huge financial reporting misstatements in 2002 and 2003, and the Canadian federal police are pursuing the former CEO, CFO, and comptroller for fraud. Nortel has lost more than $7 billion since CEO Mike Zafirovski took over in 2005. Competitors like Cisco and Juniper have been gaining share and new ones like Huawei have emerged. Since 2005, Cisco’s revenues have grown by almost 60%, Huawei’s have more than doubled, and we estimate that Juniper’s revenue has grown by well over 40% over the same three year period. In contrast, Nortel’s revenues have declined. During this time, Nortel’s share price has dropped by 90%. Nortel is losing share in the IPT market and the overall economic climate will clearly affect telecom hardware purchasing. All of this makes Nortel’s recovery even more difficult ¬— despite having $2.4 billion in cash on hand.
CES, the showcase of all tech that is likely to make a splash over the next year, is upon us. While reserved primarily for, as the name implies, consumer technology, there are fundamental tools and technologies that will impact businesses as well.
News coming out of Las Vegas today is around chipmaker Intel's use of existing Wi-Fi radios for personal area network (PAN) connectivity. The release of the updated Wi-Fi driver software will allow the existing wireless 802.11 radios inside devices with the Centrino 2 chipset to use the radio as a means to connect to an IP-based network as well as local, Wi-Fi-enabled devices. The devices, ranging from cameras to network attached storage (NAS) will allow users to rely on the Wi-Fi radio in their Centrino-powered device to provide IP connectivity as well as file sharing and peripheral connectivity. Currently, the standard for most PAN applications and peripheral devices is Bluetooth, however Ozmo Devices, a firm partially funded by Intel, is out to change that.