Symantec's downsizing and the continued Microsoft vs. VMware hypervisor debate piqued Channel Marker readers last year. But Hewlett-Packard's Mark Hurd (and then Mark Hurd-less) saga was a continuing draw. Some likened the HP management drama to a slow-motion train wreck. HP partners bemoaned the HP CEO's departure as well as the company's aggressive pursuit of 3Par. Sun hardware partners' frustration with Oracle has been well-documented, but blogger Barbara Darrow reported that Oracle's entry into the server market is also scary for other constituencies as well.
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1: Symantec starts FY 2011 with layoffs
News ofSymantec Corp. cutting jobs — especially in its midmarket sales force -- stimulated VAR interest. The security software powerhouse was cutting 20% of its sales force at the beginning of its fiscal year in April 2010, according to Channel Marker blogger Barbara Darrow.
2: Oracle: The world's scariest software company
VARs know about Oracle Corp.'s database and software prowess, but the thought of it becoming a major hardware provider was daunting. Many VARs watched carefully as Oracle tried to morph into a hardware company by building on its purchase of Sun Microsystems.
3: Is Microsoft vs. VMware SO last year?
Business accounts may not need to go all-in with either Microsoft or VMware virtualization, and that's good news for VARs. Virtualization-savvy VARs could now more easily recommend that customers run both Microsoft and VMware in their virtual environments.
4: Hurd out at Hewlett-Packard
Mark Hurd's not-so-quiet exodus from HP was a huge story for VARs last year. Many HP partners viewed Hurd as a channel champion within the IT giant, citing his willingness to meet with VARs regularly. Hewlett-Packard Co. claimed Hurd breached its standards of business conduct and Hurd resigned.
5: It's on! HP outbids Dell for 3Par
The drama-filled bidding war between Hewlett-Packard and Dell for data storage specialist 3Par Inc. had readers clicking last year. HP's desire to outbid Dell for 3Par was a sign that HP wasn't afraid to make a deal even while in management limbo with Hurd out. This also may have meant that the big boys in the server game are pining for data center hardware business over storage and networking platforms.
Check out the Top IT Channel Marker blogs for 2009.