Top 7 for 2007

OK time to play Karnack. The end of the year is a time where I like to reflect on the outcomes for the year and think about what will be the hot trends for 2007. In the Information-centric IT arena - I give you my 7 predictions for 2007. 

1. Virtualization

Ouch – hot, hot, hot. The value is just so compelling. Server virtualization will stay on fire.  Network Storage Virtualization will also start to gain momentum. NSV didn’t have the utilization gains (as we already fixed most of that with Network Storage) but the excellent value for dynamic data migration/provisioning/operations is still there. 

2. Information Security

Heating up. No one wants to be the next one in the press. To start, data classification will become a big goal for many companies. 

3. Data Vaults (replacing Tape Backup) – data de-duplication

This one is going to catch fire next year. That value proposition is just too good. Let’s see - I can keep everything on disk, make it more secure, backup maybe 20 times faster, recover like 100 times faster and do it for less cost than tape. This one is a no-brainer. 

4. Power and Cooling moves to the front burner

Kind-of like the car industry – those huge SUVs look great until gas skyrockets. Then maybe a hybrid isn’t that silly after all. Unlike automobiles, this will not be a passing fad. Power/density is a huge problem and will remain top of mind. 

5. Virtual Appliances

Once the world is “virtual,” there is a second-order benefit – the ability to create “Virtual Appliances.” We will no longer use a common OS to achieve HW heterogeneity. Virtual appliances - essentially companies packaging their Application with all of the necessary infrastructure components (OS, rdb, etc) will become a favored way to distribute applications. It will be much more reliable, cost effective, and easier to use. 

Watch for this trend to take off next year.

6. Collaboration Tools 

Our information is more scattered and our people are more scattered globally, yet we want to increase our efficiency and “ROI” (in this case Return on Information). Collaboration tools will be sought out to bridge this gap and should see a very good year.

After all, the airlines have now taken away food! Air travel is one of the few things that I can safely say is harder and more frustrating and less comfortable today than even 20 years ago. Technology will not fix travel but my guess is companies and employees will embrace these tools as an alternative to so much travel.  

7. Web Services move to the enterprise data center (aka SOA)

Look for big efforts to start to make IT Datacenters look more like Web 2.0. SOA will be the driver/enabler - some call it Enterprise 3.0. It is still early, but this one is a forgone conclusion of when, not if. Overall, combined with technologies like virtualization, it will transform the data center. Information Services that connect into SOA (what we call the Service-Oriented Infrastructure) will bring new value, consistency and cross-application leverage to information.

Honorable Mention – Rich Media (Digital Video)

While not quite a top pick, I do believe we will finally see the rich media (including IPTV, digital video production, digital movies, etc) gain significant ground in the coming year. This has been one of those thing that has been “on the horizon” for more than a decade but just not made it to prime time. 

What is different this time is that the technology has reached a point where commercial off-the-shelf components can be utilized for rich media. No more specialized systems costing 10X the price. Add in the distribution capabilities brought on by things like iTunes and uTube and it is clear that this one is really going to happen this time…

There you have it, my picks for the top “Information-Centric” technologies to watch in 2007. 

Happy New Year!

Mark…

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