December 10, 2010 – Infrastructure software and initiatives in 2011 will be dominated by maturing cloud technology and server virtualization, according to IDC’s annual slate of tech predictions.

The Massachusetts-based research firm also sees a big year for Microsoft and an upheaval of Linux in the coming year in its annual list of infrastructure management trends. Assessed based on ongoing and gathering trends, and potential market disruption, the list for 2011 includes:

  1. Private cloud plans mature and dominate enterprise software agenda
  2. Battle for next generation of cloud platforms shifts to platforms as a service
  3. Microsoft Windows Azure gets due respect
  4. IBM zEnterprise mainframe creates opportunities amid continued MIPs competition
  5. Server virtualization subsumes high availability and replication functions
  6. Client virtualization becomes strategic, mainstream choice
  7. Microsoft displaces HP as top distributed systems management vendor
  8. Social collaboration forces shift in IT support best practices
  9. Enterprise struggles to accommodate elastic infrastructure and cloud-scale operations
  10. Novell acquisition is catalyst for Linux upheaval

Mary Johnston-Turner, IDC systems management software research director and one of the authors of the predictions, says that the hype from the cloud is turning into action from CIOs. The possibility of reducing costs while expanding technology will give deployment and virtualization room to grow in 2011, she says.
“It’s really a catalyst for looking across a section of IT assets,” says Johnston-Turner.

Two infrastructure giants may get bigger next year, the predictions indicate. IBM mainframes are expected to continue their success, and IDC researchers said users should closely watch Azure and Microsoft’s virtualization agreements.
Ian Song, enterprise virtualization software research analyst, said these developments and industrywide maturation will allow virtualization to trickle throughout infrastructure enterprises.

“It will continue to mature, thus gaining the credibility of making it a viable option for enterprises looking to diversify their desktop,” Song says.

For more recent predictions for 2011 by IDC, visit here.

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