Looking back on 2010 and what's ahead for 2011.
I took a trip down memory lane today, thinking back on all the changes that have happened this year and I’d like to review them with you. 2010 started off with a bang with every company waiting to release news that had brewed for the fourth quarter 2009. Cloud-computing still reigns as the big winner for newsworthy fodder for industry bloggers, insiders and sideliners. Larry King announced back in June that the recession had ended as quickly as it arrived and that hiring and growth were on the way. Mergers and rumors of mergers filled the air at every technical conference and trade show throughout the year, including the two big announcements at VMworld in San Francisco.
The world stood with mouth agape at the coolest news on the planet from VMware: Pseudo-Hypervisors. If you weren’t there or hid yourself under a rock since then, Pseudo-Hypervisors (as VMware christened them) are Cisco Ethernet Adapters with a chip-based hypervisor on board. Each Pseudo-Hypervisor has a remote management tie-in from Cisco’s Centralized Management Console (CCMC) where you can manage your entire Cisco-based network infrastructure, including your VMs. Revolutionary, disruptive and exciting; Cisco turned the virtual world on its collective ear with that little gem.
The other noteworthy announcement made at VMworld was the purchase of Parallels by Novell. This move wasn’t as much of a surprise as one might think. It actually fits in well with Novell’s SUSE Linux offering, their Platespin product and controversial partnership with Microsoft. It’s a wise move by Novell and plants them firmly as a major force in the virtualization space.
2010 was the “Year of the Rumor,” if nothing else. Though, like all rumors, many of these turned out false, there’s always a thread of truth in every one. Finding that thread, proved impossible for even the stealthiest reporters. There were rumor acquisitions swirling around Amazon, IBM, Red Hat and VMware. The Amazon rumors, unfounded as they were, had an interesting and realistic flavor to them. One rumor had them purchasing PayPal and Ebay. One had them gobbling up the Best Buy chain. And, still another had them rustling up support to open a limited chain of retail stores. All untrue.
The IBM rumor mill was in full-swing with the proposition that they would purchase a huge facility in still-struggling Las Vegas. The report said that they would bring their worldwide manufacturing efforts to that area. The jury is still out on the validity of this rumor.
Red Hat, another victim of false rumors, reportedly entered negotiations to buy what’s left of SCO. Truth, however, reigned supreme in the rumor that Red Hat Enterprise 6.5V arrives as a Type 1 hypervisor with an unlimited license for Red Hat virtual machines and a built-in management application (Stetson) that manages VMs from any registered hypervisor. Using Stetson, you can manage VMs hosted on Hyper-V, Xen, VMware, KVM, containersâ€”as well as Red Hat’s hypervisor.
There’s always a lot of buzz surrounding VMware but no rumor could touch actual fact this year with their new combined Cisco strategy. VMware proves again that truth is stranger than fiction.
Of all the predictions made at the end of 2009 for 2010, the one that came abundantly true was that companies would spend billions of dollars in virtual infrastructure and blade technology. New green data centers have popped up in the American Midwest in order to relieve the overburdened power grids of the right and left coasts creating a mini economic boom for those regions. In another attempt to revive the economy, some forward-thinking companies decided to move to lower cost locations in the U.S.
Sometimes called “Rural Sourcing,” CXOs have found that by moving call centers to rural locations in the Midwest, South and Southwest, they can save money and enjoy a high level of quality and company morale. Some companies have gone so far as to relocate their entire businesses to these more cost-friendly regions.
Peering into the second decade of the new century isn’t an easy task. No one, not even the brilliant industry observers, could have predicted the goings on of 2010. 2011 is no easier to predict but I’ll add my two cents to the array of confusing voices by saying that next year brings tidings of more growth in a now booming cloud-based economy. President Obama and federal CIO Vivek Kundra will name Richard Stallman as a special government consultant to draft a resolution for all government agencies to adopt free software including its mass conversion to one of the GNU/Linux-based operating systems.
The new year will also bring an upsurge in third-party product and support businesses focused on rapid cloud application delivery. Fledgling cloud-focused businesses will spring up everywhere as localized computing begins to diminish. Web-based and mobile computing will change the way we purchase personal computing equipment as well. Everyone will own a netbook by the end of 2011. Meganet (Internet-everywhere Satellite-based access) services will spring up in place of traditional ISPs and link directly to your cellular or satellite phone services, which results in uninterrupted communications access, 24 by 7, anywhere on the planet. 2011 promises more excitement than 2010 in innovation, products and business start-ups. Keep your eyes on those IPOs.
2011′s buzzword is “more.” More growth, more services and more access. Lock yourself in, put you’re your hands in the air and prepare for an exciting rideâ€”this one goes to eleven. 2011, that is.