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Top stories for September 2010

Concerns among HP VARs about that company's pricey 3Par purchase and VAR interest in Oracle's Exalogic appliances were some of the hottest news on in September.

Fallout from Hewlett-Packard Co.'s purchase of 3Par and the questions that buyout raised for HP VARs dominated the hot topics in in September. Other top stories detailed VAR interest in Oracle Corp.'s Exalogic devices and the business opportunities that WAN optimization can create. Here are the five top stories from September 2010.

1. HP VARs worry that HP overstepped with 3Par purchase

Hewlett-Packard VARs wonder aloud whether HP got enough bang for its buck when it outbid Dell to buy 3Par for $2.1 billion. One of the chief concerns is that for all of 3Par's good attributes, such as thin provisioning and improved storage capacity, the company has yet to prove that it's profitable.

2. Oracle Exalogic appliances intrigue VARs

Oracle's proposed Exalogic appliances piqued the interest of Oracle VARs, but it's unclear how they can turn these high-end appliances into profits. The lack of a resell model for the channel and dearth of demo machines have turned off many partners, but the ability of a product such as Exadata to cut workload times has VARs talking about making the heavy investment. Hardware-only cost for a full-rack Exalogic will be $1,075,000.

3. Custom server sales driven by IT virtualization boom

System builders said their custom server configuration market has displayed year-over-year growth. One reason is that business customers are getting more comfortable with virtualization and high-performance computing and are willing to put those workloads on custom hardware. Gartner Inc. reported that worldwide server shipments grew 27.1% and revenue 14.3% in the second quarter of 2010. System builders said they are responding to customer desire for infrastructure optimization and power conservation, which custom servers provide.

4. Sun VARs to Oracle: You need us!

More than a few Sun VARs are excited about the arrival of new Oracle co-president Mark Hurd. They think Hurd, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, brings much-needed channel know-how and hardware experience over to Oracle. But, many others in the Sun channel are still reeling from Oracle's direct-sales focus and the impending loss of Sun hardware renewals. Barbara Darrow writes that Oracle has been keeping VARs guessing about its plans for Sun hardware and how valuable an asset it is to the company.

5. Channel hopes to profit in WAN optimization makeover

Just as with custom servers, the rise of virtualization has spurred business opportunities in WAN optimization for VARs. Retooled WAN optimization can ensure that rich content is being funneled through, but cloud computing will become more prominent in coming months. VARs also need to know about new delivery mechanisms for WAN optimization, including virtual appliances.

Check out the top stories from August 2010.

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