There's nothing like an end-of-life story to stir up VAR angst. And Cisco's latest purge signals the end of support for some $9 billion worth of Cisco gear. Ouch. That story was the most widely read channel news item in the dog days of August. Also hot was news -- buried in a Microsoft blog -- that Windows Server 2008 R2 will not run Exchange Server 2007. Google Apps' face off with Exchange and Domino also caught readers' attention.
1: Cisco faces controversy over 'forced obsolescence'
Cisco Systems is ending support on much of its tried-and-true networking hardware and wants its partners to push new-fangled unified communications and telepresence solutions. This year, Cisco's end-of-life list provoked a bigger uproar than in previous years, probably because of the recession. Cisco VARs must face customers angry about swapping out no-longer-new-but-still-working hardware when their IT budgets are already stressed.
2: Dilemma: Exchange Server 2007 won't run on next Windows Server
Speaking of end of life, even Microsoft partners were surprised to hear that the two-year old Exchange Server 2007 won't run on Windows Server 2008 R2, due this fall.
3: Tech Watch: Google Wave to face off against Exchange, Domino
Google still badly craves enterprise credibility for its paid business-oriented products, but even email VARs that make a living selling and supporting Exchange Server and Lotus Domino said Google Wave is making waves in their accounts.
4: Oracle's silence boosts angst around Sun's hardware future
Poor Oracle was caught between a rock and a hard place: The software giant couldn't talk much about its Sun Microsystems plans until the Feds signed off on its Sun buyout. But that silence freaked out Sun partners and customers who assumed that Oracle ownership means Sun's hardware business is a dead duck.
5: Solid-state drive prices still hinder adoption
SSDs are very fast and very tiny, but their initial price compared to traditional tape and disk storage still puts off potential buyers, according to storage VARs.
Check out the top IT channel news for July 2009