Judging by the most-read SearchITChannel.com stories last year, VARs remain very much interested in the Hyper-V versus VMware virtualization options available to their customers; and the reverberations from Oracle's buyout of Sun Microsystems on both the Oracle and Sun channels. Also top of mind: the state of the VCE coalition, formed by Cisco, EMC and VMware to sell Vblock data center bundles was a top draw as well, especially late in the year.
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1: Hyper-V vs. VMware: VARs guide customer choice
VARs love having the opportunity to talk out IT options with customers, and the fact that Microsoft and VMware both tout viable server virtualization offerings gives them that entry. VARs with virtualization chops can cement their trusted adviser relationship with customers by guiding their server virtualization choice.
2: Top ten IT services trends for 2010
With apologies (or kudos) to Dave Letterman, everyone loves a good top ten list. And Heather Clancy did herself proud last January ticking off her predictions of top ten IT services trends for 2010. She forecast that discussions around desktop virtualization would take off in 2010 as would deployment of disaster recovery solutions. She also thought Windows 7 upgrades would be huge.
3: Oracle-Sun combo sparks VAR anxiety
Oracle Corp. completed its drawn-out acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January and the angst among Sun resellers was off the charts after Oracle execs detailed plans to take the largest Sun accounts direct.
For Sun partners that hoped for a soft landing, the word from Larry Ellison, Charles Phillips and others wasn't reassuring. At all.
4: Oracle-Sun deal done, channel shakeout expected
As European regulators finally OK'd Oracle's buyout of Sun Microsystems, Sun VARs braced themselves for an expected channel shakeout. They were not wrong to worry.
Oracle, unlike some software vendors, does not share recurring maintenance and upgrade revenue with partners -- something that Sun had done. Taking that business direct would significantly impact a small, but vibrant portion of the Sun reseller community.
5: VCE hiring, as Acadia fades, spurs channel conflict
Many virtualization-savvy VARs love the idea of Vblocks, the pre-packaged and pre-tested bundles of EMC storage, Cisco hardware and VMware virtualization. Vblocks fit nicely into the converged data center hardware puzzle, but the VCE coalition sparked fears of channel conflict when it tried to recruit talent from VARs. VARs were also perplexed by VCE's Acadia services arm, which some viewed as a competitor. VCE was formed by EMC, Cisco and VMware expressly to build Vblock momentum.
Check out the top VAR stories of 2009.