2005 will be remembered for the emergence of multicore CPUs, the rise of enterprise x86, and even the quiet realization in datacenters throughout the land that CPU virtualization works wonders. But these weren’t the only technologies making waves. The year also brought important -- if perhaps more subtle -- progress to nearly the entire IT landscape. InfoWorld followed the action, analyzing the advances and lifting the hood on the latest innovations. What will be the most meaningful developments in 2006? What were the best products of 2005?

Fast times for industry-standard system hardware
2006 will bring more cores, lower power requirements, hardware virtualization, and a few surprises

Operating systems vendors prep for next-gen hardware
Windows, Linux, Solaris get ready for a new generation of hardware, leaving the polish to Apple

Widespread adoption of virtualization awaits help from hardware
Hardware-assisted CPU virtualization will bring big-iron adaptability to x86 enterprises

Traffic optimization takes center stage in networking show
Despite lack of progress in many areas, 2005 saw networking gains

Storage vendors move beyond blocks and LUNs
Innovations, acquisitions, and partnerships pave the way to smarter storage

Application development tools focus on team process and code quality
Software development tool vendors focus on process and code quality, prepare for multicore CPUs

Middleware finds its mojo again
Maturing Web services standards and solutions shift the focus from development to deployment

Data protection and change control drive database developments
Auditing and encryption products address top concerns, while Microsoft shoots the moon

Wanted: Methods for moving mountains of content
Document management fosters compliance while enterprise search cracks silos

Year of the enterprise Wiki
Lightweight Web collaboration gets down to business

End-to-end identity management suites still coming together
CA, HP, and Oracle round out portfolios as identity management suites mature

Threat landscape and lapses justify security paranoia
Gadgets abounded in 2005; common sense remained AWOL for some

2006 Technology of the Year Awards: The winners' list
Find all of our Technology of the Year Award winners here, organized by category

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