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The Biggest IT Stories of 2009

It's almost time to wave goodbye to 2009. It was an amazing year for ExtraHop. As for the broader world of IT, 2009 was packed with major news stories that will have significant impact, even years down the road. So here's our recap list, for the biggest IT stories of 2009.

  1. The Demise of Nortel - The once formidable network behemoth died a painful death. 2009 saw a continuous stream of lay-offs and piecemeal dissolution of its various product lines.
  2. System Integrators get Gobbled Up - 2 system integration mega mergers took place in 2009. For $6.5 billion, Xerox scooped up ACS, Dell bought Perot Systems for a cool $3.9 billion. The industry's consolidation trend continues, as large tech players buy up service firm to round out their offerings in their desire to become "one-stop-shops".
  3. The Vblock coalition. - In November Cisco, VMware, EMC announced a joint venture to produce and market preconfigured cloud systems based on Cisco's UCS and switches, EMC's storage products and VMware's vSphere virtualization platform.
  4. Virtualization become more of a horse race. - Even though VMware in no way is losing its dominance in this space, Microsoft's aggressive marketing push and pricing has clearly turned this into a two horse race, with Citrix as a distant third. More and more companies are seriously considering alternatives when they evaluate new virtualization projects.
  5. The Cloud Grows Up.  - 2009 was arguably a break out year for cloud computing. It was certainly the darling that graced many a cover for tech publications. After much debate and several high profile outages, the future of this technology in the enterprise seem better defined. Private clouds are being deployed in large scale projects, as security concerns keep the enterprise off public clouds for business critical applications.
  6. Cisco enters the Server market. - In March, Cisco jumped with both feet into the blade server market with its Unified Computing System. It's too early to tell, but news coming from the channel seem to indicate most of the early adopters of this product are midmarket customers who are just starting out with virtualization projects. 
  7. HP fights right back and buys 3Com. - HP already enjoyed a good deal of success with its ProCurve line of networking gear, the $2.7 billion acquisition of 3Com brings it new products and new markets. How successfully can the two companies come together remains to be seen, but this move will definitely have far reaching implications on the market.
  8. Oracle buys Sun, or Tries To. - The dust has not settled on this story yet, but it looks like with Oracle's concessions, the EU will clear the $7.4 billion blockbuster deal between Oracle and Sun. This gives Oracle control of Java and the Solaris operating system, and just as importantly, MySQL, Sun's open-source database. As for what the future holds, Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison has been touting his vision of integrated hardware/software systems tuned specifically for the "high value, high performance market" and for cloud computing.
  9. Windows 7 launched. - It looks like this operating system will actually get adopted. Devoid of the over the top launch shenanigans the world saw with Vista, Windows 7 launched quietly, and actually drew long lines at Microsoft retail locations. With XP support due to expire in 2014, Windows 7 is fully expected to take off in the enterprise.
  10. Cisco vs HP, fight of the next decade. - Neither companies have been very subtle about the fact that it's out to eat the other's lunch. The interesting twist to this fight is the division this is forcing in the channel landscape-- it has become increasingly difficult for a reseller to play both sides. Not to mention this is also starting to draw Dell into the fray. It's shaping up to be an epic battle, hopefully it's one that customers will benefit from.
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