SearchITChannel.com's Channel Tech Watch series provides expert analysis of trends in the channel technology market. You'll find expert opinions on what emerging technologies channel partners should investigate as possible business opportunities. Channel Tech Watch has covered emerging technologies from desktop virtualization to fixed-mobile convergence. Email us your requests for more Channel Tech Watch stories, and check back here for more installments in the series.
Tech Watch: Tech Watch: Fierce segmentation drives custom server sales
Because of integration and optimization capabilities, custom servers are a target for small businesses and a need for high-performance computing.
Tech Watch: With a new Microsoft SDK that will Kinect-enable Windows 7 apps, VARs explore business apps that need more than a mouse or keyboard.
VARs help businesses get a handle on application downloads. But this is a business problem as well as a technological problem.
For VARs and MSPs that already do email archiving, social media archiving is a logical next step.
Hype aside, there’s a ton of opportunity for health care VARs with Epic and Cerner expertise.
Even as Iron Mountain and other vendors nix cloud backup services, the model attracts small businesses.
As the concept of managed services becomes commoditized, some technology solution providers look to new services, such as hosted IP telephony, to set them apart from the competition. Others use managed services offerings to weed out unprofitable customer relationships.
VARs say that videoconferencing at desktops, in boardrooms and even 'immersive' telepresence is finally selling.
Security consultants believe that the ongoing economic malaise is prompting many businesses to rush skunkworks server virtualization projects into production without thoroughly considering how these deployments might affect their overall security posture.
Virtualization-ready servers bring multi-core CPUs, extra memory and embedded hypervisors to the job.
Now that virtualization deployments are creeping out of test beds and extending more deeply into corporate data centers, a serious challenge has risen: How can organizations manage these increasingly complex environments?
Big IT vendors are pushing data center containers, aka "data centers in a box," but most customer sites aren't yet ready for the technology.
While some customers are curious about preconfigured data center containers that make deployment more modular, several VARs say their needs are too custom or specific to be served well by this approach.
The emergence of network virtualization will eventually force VARs and integrators to rethink the rules of fundamental network design, but it will also provide countless benefits when it comes to network management and marrying business agendas to network resources.
Like server virtualization, network virtualization is about consolidating data center resources. But the similarities stop there.
That's because the main argument in support of network virtualization isn't about ditching all your old switches (at least not right away) and saving thousands on hardware maintenance, although this is certainly part of it. And, to equate network virtualization with the decades-old practice of creating multiple virtual LANs (VLANs) on a single piece of network hardware vastly oversimplifies the concept.
Telepresence solutions -- with their ability to contain business travel costs and meet market pressure for corporate environmental responsibility -- could prove relatively recession-proof in 2009.
If you're a solution provider that relies heavily on server hardware product margin, the trend toward cloud computing doesn't bode well for your revenue several years down the road. But value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators can prepare for and profit from the cloud movement by shifting their value proposition to emphasize software integration services and better support of business processes through technology. They can also leverage the so-called cloud to cut their own infrastructure and operations costs, according to VARs and analysts.
I can't count the number of times I've forgotten one of the dozens of passwords I've created to sign onto all my virtual private networks, social networking sites and other cyber-accounts -- and I'm willing to bet most readers of this article can say the same.
Display makers are beginning to see the light -- light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, that is.
A display backlighting option that promises brighter, more balanced displays with a lot less heft and power consumption, LED panels are becoming a familiar feature for ultraportable business notebooks. They could be in half of all notebook PCs shipped by 2011, according to one market estimate.
Whether or not Apple really sold 1 million iPhone 3G models during its first weekend on sale, as the company reported, the extended hoopla over its very existence marks a turning point for the smartphone category.
The power inefficiencies associated with many older desktops and servers start with the lowly power supply. But now these components are getting a makeover, giving value-added resellers (VARs) at least one short-term answer for customers' burgeoning concern over energy management and power costs.
Value-added resellers (VARs) should care at least a whit about terabit networks -- they may not be selling a lot of terabit routers and switches into the commercial enterprise or small and medium-sized business (SMB) space anytime in the next three to five years, but terabit capacity at the carrier level and backbone will become critical in an IT world increasingly obsessed with managed services and broadband applications such as videoconferencing.
The proliferation of three-dimensional visual software -- tied to solid modeling and architectural applications as well as interest in cyber games and virtual communities such as Second Life -- has sparked an interest in technology that can output this content. In effect, more businesses are seeking ways to render 3-D models not just on the computer screen but in the real world.
Hindered by concerns about cost and integration with SIEM, network access control (NAC) technology has been slow to infiltrate customer sites. But VARs are finding success with NAC in specific vertical markets and as part of larger projects.
Advances in solid state technology are increasing the appeal for enterprise use of solid state storage. Learn about the developments that could impact your customers' storage choices.
First things first: Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is still much closer to proof-of-concept than real product. It is not a replacement for or alternative to iSCSI, as debated by some. But its potential as a convergence technology within the data center already has the attention of enterprise storage VARs.
WiMax technology revenue will see big growth in the next few years, though it's less certain when your customers will implement. Learn about the technology behind WiMax and whether or not it could mean profits for you.
Analysts predict desktop virtualization will be headed for the mainstream by 2010, driven by VMware, Citrix and Microsoft, among others. This could mean more business opportunities over the next few years for channel partners. Find out if this trend could spell out profits for your channel business.
With two approaches to fixed-mobile convergence in today's business market, resellers have prime business opportunities and the potential to boost profits. Learn the details of both approaches and decide which one is best in the last installment of this TechWatch series.
Fixed-mobile convergence is a potential windfall for both networking vendors and the channel. The challenge is picking how to get involved, when, and with which vendors. Find out about the business side of fixed-mobile convergence in this second installment of the series.
The outlook for fixed-mobile convergence in the enterprise is good, but there are a few obstacles to be cleared before it takes off. This first installment of a three-part feature explores the driving forces in this trend.
This was first published in July 2008