Seven technology battlegrounds

Choosing among competing technologies has never been tougher. Here are InfoWorld's calls on the most important matchups

Some people enjoy a good fight; others would prefer to look the other way. One thing is certain, though: If you have a stake in that fight, you’ll watch the outcome closely.

With nearly every purchase, IT decision-makers place bets large and small on one technology versus another. They might try to minimize risk and cover their bets with a backup strategy, but at key points choices must be made: Which among competing technologies will have the lowest total cost of ownership? Is the technology suited for the long haul? Will the benefits promised by a new technology outweigh the disruption of replacing an old one?

For this article, we picked head-to-head battles designed to grab the attention of InfoWorld readers, especially those about to plunk down cash on one side or the other. Yes, that means a report from the Windows vs. Linux front, but we’ve also dug into topics less obvious and perhaps more important, including: software as a service vs. conventional software; centralized vs. distributed data; blades vs. big SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) systems; Fibre Channel vs. iSCSI; and more. Each blow-by-blow commentary comes from an expert observer or practitioner, so we’re confident you’ll find insight here that you won’t find anywhere else. Along the way, if we’re lucky, we might even help you pick your own winning combination.