Infrastructure

Conclusion: Data centres which are less energy efficient will ultimately be more expensive to host in; because customers will end up paying for a data centre's excessive power consumption. CIOs should insist on knowing the Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) score of their data centre service provider, as this score will have a direct impact on pricing. Some data centres are very shy about their PUE, so any PUE claim should be independently verified.

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Conclusion: Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform has a long heritage in the enterprise, but in the past five years its market share has decayed as a tsunami of consumer-oriented smartphones hit the market. Microsoft’s latest offering, Windows Phone 7, is a big step up from its previous mobile offering, but it is unlikely that it will be able to bury the iPhone, as Microsoft attempted to imply recently1. However, the platform has a strong story to tell with regards to enterprise mobility.

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Conclusion: With the release of View 4.5 VMware has failed to move beyond the limitations of a centralised, virtualised desktop (aka VDI) to a robustly managed Dynamic Desktop that supports Full, Virtual and Published Desktops. VMware claims to have eliminated the capital cost barriers to VDI adoption and has introduced a management framework concept called the Modular Desktop that in the long run will enable VMware to expand out of its desktop niche.

VMware will continue to be challenged by Citrix which has much greater experience in the desktop market and has delivered a Dynamic Desktop for over 12 months. Microsoft also has the capability to deliver a Dynamic Desktop, but has yet to articulate it in a robust or compelling way.

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Conclusion: Being acquired by Oracle is a good thing for Sun technologies. However the long acquisition period, followed by weak marketing of the benefit and poor communication of the product roadmaps, has left many customers unsure about their strategic investments in Sun technologies.

Oracle has a clear plan for Sun, with detailed product roadmaps, but customers will have to dig deep to get this information.

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Conclusion: Defining the Cloud is proving to be elusive. This is because vendors are trying to neatly define Cloud around their products and services. This creates competing, product based definitions for what is actually an aspiration to create a “better IT environment”.

Viewed as an aspiration, the Cloud becomes a journey to create an IT environment with specific characteristics, such as cost transparency, utility pricing, capacity on demand, commodity pricing, self-service, location and device independence. Like all journeys there are many different paths which depend on where you start and where you want to go.

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Conclusion: The increasing cost of energy is not being widely considered in IT departments, but ignoring this trend is a mistake. Not only is the electricity getting more expensive, but data centres are using more of it. CIOs must take immediate action to improve energy efficiency in the data centre and reduce total energy consumption, or they could face a doubling of electricity costs within five years.

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Conclusion: The last 15 years was the era of the controller-based storage array. As organisations built ever large storage networks the storage array grew in both capacity and functionality. These devices are now extremely powerful, but for many organisations they are overly complex and the unit cost of storage is very high compared to low end storage.

As the controller-based storage array reaches its plateau of maturity it is ripe for displacement by a disruptive innovation. While no clear product has yet emerged there are four interesting candidates that should be examined to see how storage technology will evolve over the next five years.

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Conclusion: Traditional approaches to web application performance optimisation have focused on the physical network infrastructure, WAN optimisation, and to a lesser extent application development. As web applications become mainstream, the complex issue of ensuring they remain responsive has received increased attention.

Web application performance is impacted by physical infrastructure, application design, software, specialised services and WAN optimisation. This begs the question, who is actually responsible for a web application’s performance? IBRS recommends that a single person, or team, be responsible for end-to-end web application performance, with direct governance of the physical infrastructure, software and services needed.

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Conclusion:Client hypervisors have been available from start-up vendors for over a year, but this technology has largely gone unnoticed. The release this month of Citrix XenClient Express will quickly change this and raise the client hypervisor into mainstream awareness.

The client hypervisor is a very interesting technology and much hype will be generated over it, however its business value is limited. Nonetheless the client hypervisor will be quickly adopted by PC vendors looking for the “next big thing” and it will become common in new desktops/laptops over the next three years. IT organisations should look at the client hypervisor to understand how it can be used to lower desktop TCO or to create new business capabilities in the desktop.

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