IDC released its worldwide system infrastructure software predictions for 2007. IDC defines system infrastructure software as software that controls the operation and management of computing infrastructure resources, and is a key element of any IT infrastructure deployment. Operating systems, enterprise virtualization software, and enterprise systems management software all are in system infrastructure software.

"System infrastructure software is being impacted by game-changing forces, such as new use cases for virtualization and wider adoption of ITIL within the enterprise," said Tim Grieser, program vice president of IDC's Enterprise System Management Software group. "Winners will be those who are best able to harness these game-changing technologies to lower operational costs or increase corporate agility."

IDC's top ten predictions for infrastructure software are:

1. The next wave in virtualization emerges, which IDC calls Virtualization 2.0. Users will focus on continuity, disaster recovery, and high availability.

2. Software appliances will become a household word in 2007. The convergence of virtual machine technology and a new initiative by several tool vendors is giving birth to this new form of software packaging.

3. The use of Linux paravirtualization will be mostly sizzle - not steak. Few users are going to substitute their current kernel with a paravirtualized kernel.

4. Management of virtual infrastructure takes center stage at large enterprises, extending adoption of virtualization across test, development and production.

5. Virtualization and security will become stronger focal points for ITIL/ITSM vendors, who will do more to add support for virtualization and managing virtual environments to their service management offerings.

6. Major system management vendors will accelerate "productization" of ITIL best practices by incorporating functional software components with automated workflows that implement service delivery and service support processes.

7. Leading system management vendors will start putting a vertical focus to their ITIL marketing and product developments. These vertical segments will include Financial Services, Health Care and Manufacturing.

8. There will be "growth separation" between software vendors that have made major acquisitions. Vendors must develop and execute sales and marketing strategies for combined entities that differentiate and clarify product offerings.

9. Microsoft's client operating system antipiracy efforts will backfire. Microsoft's antipiracy campaign will drive customers toward Linux.

10. Our expectations remain consistent that Windows Vista in 2007 will not uplift the operating system or PC market spend dramatically, but we are predicting a meaningful shift of adoption favoring premium Windows Vista SKUs.

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