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Server Technology Hits A Crossroads

Highlights of exclusive InformationWeek Analytics research as it appears in "State Of Server Technology 2010," our report evaluating changes in the server market motivated by the push to consolidate data center systems, get power and cooling costs under control and make the most of the cloud.

One-quarter of the 579 business technology professionals who responded to our 2010 State of Server Technology Survey told us their organizations plan to invest in more physical servers in 2010/11. But far more -- 44% -- said they intend to decrease their server counts, indicating that system consolidation and virtualization are becoming increasingly critical to efficient data center operations. Those planning to keep server counts about even over the year: 31%.

The result is that the server value proposition is shifting from the processor to peripheral considerations, such as the ability to effectively implement virtualization, system manageability, and power and cooling.

Indeed, after acquisition cost, the ability to deploy, manage and redeploy on-the-fly virtual processors (from physical or logical cores) is the single most important factor in server technology today. The uptake of these supporting technologies has been slowed to some degree by constrained IT budgets, set in late 2009, before the green shoots of recovery sprouted. Nonetheless, system consolidation and increased use of virtualization will continue to drive server updates, as IT organizations extract maximum usage from available resources. That's the top-level finding from the 579 business technology professionals who responded to our InformationWeek Analytics 2010 State of Server Technology Survey.

Download the full InformationWeek Analytics report State of Server Technology 2010.