Windows Azure platform enhanced with OS versioning featureIn response to requests for more control over the Windows Azure platform, Microsoft has added the new OS versioning feature, which allows solutions providers to choose which patches and updates they want to apply. Unexpected patches and updates are known to affect application performance. Therefore, OS versioning is a boon for solutions providers that previously had to vet and pre-test all patches before applying them to production systems. Solutions providers also now have the ability to choose from existing Azure versions by updating their configuration files, and they can save their Azure instances from automatic patching, according to SearchCloudComputing.com. Server virtualization still has obstacles to conquer Because of lingering technical and security concerns, server virtualization technology still hasn't reached its full potential in the virtualization market. CDW used its Server Virtualization Life Cycle Report to survey 387 IT executives in organizations with 100 employees or more and to gather information on the implementation, migration and adoption practices for server virtualization. The results indicate that 90% of these respondents have implemented virtualization in some form, and 95% believe they are saving significant money. Respondents maintain there are still obstacles to full implementation, and the survey revealed that the server virtualization adoption rate hasn't risen as expected. Only 54% of the respondents who implemented server virtualization had completed deployment, and only 37% of fully deployed infrastructures had virtual servers in place. VARs see a bright beginning for 2010 Value-added resellers (VARs) have quite the positive outlook for business activity in the first quarter of 2010. An enterprise VAR survey by Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. provided commentary from 46 IT resellers on 2010 expectations, experience with vendors and new technology adoption. Fifty-eight percent of VARs thought the first-quarter of 2010 will be more positive. They also predicted that VMware Inc., NetApp and Cisco Systems Inc. will have the highest-selling products in2010, while Hewlett-Packard Co. and NetApp will continue to be the most channel-friendly. Cost-efficient technologies such as server virtualization, data deduplication and thin provisioning will continue to draw user interest in 2010, according to the report, and VMware held its reign as the top server virtualization technology provider. Fifty-three percent of respondents thought server offerings from HP would continue to improve during the first half of 2010, and 68% believe Cisco's Unified Computing System will also have a good year. Check out more systems channel news.