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Thursday, December 30, 2004

Infoworld's 2005: The year ahead

Infoworld has come out with a practical set of expectations for year 2005 Excerpts ( am only including those I strongly agree with) with edits and some comments added:

The coming 12 months will bring a continued focus on security, app dev tools, on-demand, storage, and desktop search. 2004 closed with a veritable blizzard of mergers and a downpour of desktop search offerings - events and products that may well dominate IT managers’ thoughts well into the new year. With analyst companies such as IDC and Forrester Research predicting an increase in IT spending, 2005 will also witness additional developments in operating systems, SOAs (service-oriented architectures), on-demand computing, storage, open source, and - of ever increasing importance - security.

Setting up the defense - Security: Microsoft is expected to announce a series of new products and an increased emphasis on protection in its current product line. Meanwhile, traditional security vendors will have plenty to offer in 2005, and networking and storage companies will continue to integrate security features into their lineups. Cisco’s year-end purchase of Protego, a network edge security appliance company, presages the direction the industry will take, with consolidation likely to continue, as point products get swooped up by larger security vendors.

App dev matters - Microsoft is also expected to ship next-generation upgrades to its Visual Studio developer toolbox and to its SQL Server 2005 database. Code-named Yukon and talked about as far back as 2001, SQL Server 2005 will feature enhancements in BI, database administration, development, and security. Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidbey, will come in a new flavor, Team System, which features application lifecycle management and collaborative development. Competing with Microsoft, Sun Microsystems plans to upgrade its Java Studio Creator tool, with additional application server support planned for spring.

Waiting for Longhorn - Beta of longhorn by the end of 2005 with improved security capabilities; a built-in Web services architecture, Indigo; and a brand-new graphics subsystem, code-named Avalon. The overall market revenue for desktops, servers, and packaged software running on Linux will top $35 billion by 2008, according to IDC. Linux-compatible packaged software is expected to reach $14 billion in that same time frame.

In the emerging open source database market - MySQL in 2005 plans to ship Version 5.0 of its MySQL database with stored procedures and triggers capabilities. Enterprise-level, commercial database companies have declared their open source rivals not ready for the enterprise, but MySQL is looking to change that.

On-demand and SOAs - A technology trend that will take an even deeper hold in the enterprise during the course of this year will be the “dynamic IT” environments.“There will be a new focus on a new foundation in IT ,the vendors call ‘on-demand’ or ‘adaptive.’ It’s about the ability to apply flexible approaches based on things like SOAs, Web services, virtualization, and standard components. It is this technical foundation underneath the enterprise that will be the driver for change,” said Frank Gens, senior vice president of research at IDC.

SOA - BEA Systems IBM, Microsoft, Oracle,and Sun,are vying in the SOA space, promoting the use of component-based interchangeable application architectures as the new wave of IT infrastructure.

Computing without wires - In wireless, 2005 will be a year of pilot projects and evaluations. To comply with the first Wal-Mart and Department of Defense mandates for RFID tags, in January thousands of suppliers will deploy RFID tags but only in what is being called a “slap-and-ship” model.After the tags are applied to satisfy customers’ requirements, however, suppliers will start their own pilot projects to see how RFID might reduce costs in their supply chain. RFID will not be generally deployed until late 2006 or 2007.

Storage spreads out - In 2005, more acquisitions among storage software vendors shall happen, as storage management increases in importance and tiered storage continues to come of age. Storage resource management software will continue to grow, as will storage archive software. Dell’s success with its AX100 storage device will no doubt translate to more storage systems with ease-of-use features.Microsoft will increase its stake in storage by adding products that feature tighter integration with Windows to its storage lineup. Other products to look for in 2005 include EMC’s storage switch, which the company plans to release early in the year. Tape vendors will continue to integrate disk into their products and will offer better integration into storage networks. In the same vein, expect to hear a lot about ILM (information lifecycle management) from the major storage vendors and to see plenty of products with iSCSI (Internet SCSI), as the technology begins to take off this year.

Networks will grow faster, more complex, and larger in 2005:As more 10 Gigabit Ethernet products come to market, the network core will see a marked increase in performance. At the same time, the network edge will see a performance boost as Gigabit Ethernet extends to the outer edge.

Search gains significance : Enterprise search platforms will grow in prominence in 2005, fueled by skyrocketing volumes of unstructured content and the closing in of government regulations that mandate quick discovery of a wide range of corporate content -- from e-mails, to documents, to chat conversations.Led by IBM and its Masala project, large software vendors will accelerate the commoditization of full-text search in the enterprise. In addition, enterprise search will continue to blur more and more with content management and business analytics.In addition to continued platform expansions by Autonomy, Fast Search & Transfer, and Verity, new search-related product entrants are expected to be launched by Oracle and Sun in 2005. Meanwhile, the emerging desktop search market is expected to heat up both in enterprise and in consumer markets throughout the year.

Hosted search, another nascent space, will gain more prominence in the enterprise this year, as vendors such as Atomz and CrownPeak push the on-demand model benefits of quicker startup time and lower cost of ownership. Several exceptions : consolidation into platforms, flux in eai space, portals becoming platforms, master data management have not been covered. But overall,a balanced set of expectations - very likely to happen.

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