These vendors, large and small, are shaking up the status quo with their new products, approaches and models.
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In less than a decade, VMware -- No. 8 on my earlier list of most strategic IT vendors -- has initiated a wholesale reorganization of data center and systems management around the virtualization of the software layer. In a recent InformationWeek Analytics survey, 45% of respondents said their companies planned to have at least half of their servers virtualized by the end of 2011. Next stop for VMware, according to my colleague Charlie Babcock: managing the creation of the private cloud through its virtualization software layer. "Being the supplier of hypervisors and virtual machines translates directly into cloud formation, cloud use, cloud monitoring and cloud management, also known as more advanced data center management," he says.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.