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
When it comes to security, all eyes will be on Redmond, as 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. At the same time, those big vendors are likely to expand outside the security space, as Symantec did in acquiring Veritas.
App dev matters
Security will not be the only reason attention will be focused on Microsoft in 2005. The software giant 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
Whether 2005 will witness the first solid beta of Microsoft’s much talked about Longhorn remains to be seen. Company officials have indicated their hope to deliver the next-generation beta by the end of 2005. That first beta of the upcoming operating system is supposed to contain greatly improved security capabilities; a built-in Web services architecture, Indigo; and a brand-new graphics subsystem, code-named Avalon. To the disappointment of many, however, the OS will not contain WinFS, the hallowed file system Microsoft has been promising since its Cairo initiative back in the mid-1990s.
Microsoft’s archrival in the operating systems market, the Linux community, will hardly be sitting still during the next 12 months. 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 such as those endorsed by Hewlett-Packard and IBM.