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Top stories for December 2010

The VCE coalition, backed by EMC, Cisco and VMware, enthralled and irked VARs and topped the list of hottest stories in December.

The most-read story for December 2010 detailed how a hiring binge by VCE Coalition, backed by EMC, Cisco and VMware, sparked concern over channel conflict.

The second hottest story dealt with VARs' newfound love of Kinect gaming devices and continued passion for iPads. Those devices topped the list of most-wanted holiday gadgets.

Dell Inc.'s acquisition of Compellent Technologies was also popular. That Dell, the PC giant still viewed by many VARs as an enemy of the channel, should buy out VAR-favorite Compellent, struck many as an ironic turn of events but was perhaps made inevitable by the scramble by computing giants to bulk up their storage arsenals.

Here are the top five stories for December 2010.

1: VCE hiring, as Acadia fades, spurs channel conflict

As the VCE Coalition morphs into The VCE Company and works to boost sales of Vblocks, it is hiring on more virtualization-savvy people, including some from the ranks of its channel partners. That hiring, while understandable (who knows more about virtualization than virtualization VARs?), sparked some ill will and fears of channel conflict from those VAR organizations.

2: Kinects, iPads rule this year's most-wanted gadgets list

Nobody appreciates a good gadget more than an IT professional. And what VARs most wanted for the holidays were Kinects, iPads or smart phones of the iPhone or Android variety, although, truth be told, most of these folks already have one or more of such phones. Microsoft's Kinect, however, hit the market just in time for holiday shopping!

3: Compellent VARs eye Dell ownership

The fact that boutique storage vendor Compellent Technologies was acquired by Dell really got the attention of storage VARs and integrators. Compellent, after all, was a huge fan favorite among VARs because of its 100% channel focus and its innovative technology. Dell, on the other hand, is usually seen as a channel nemesis, although some Compellent VARs were ready to cut the giant PC maker some slack at least for the time being.

4: VARs in HP's partner program worry about company's direction

Hewlett-Packard VARs are worried, very worried, about the company and its partner program. Starting in August, they were unnerved by the surprise ouster of CEO Mark Hurd and then by the subsequent failure of HP to name a qualified insider as CEO. They were not reassured when HP brought in former SAP CEO Leo Apotheker (who had also been ousted from his gig) as the new top dog. Several pointed to a dysfunctional relationship between HP's board and top management that, they said, goes far beyond problems with Hurd.

5: Tech predictions for 2010

The success rate of our predictions for top IT services trends to watch in 2010 was mixed. We nailed the one about the server virtualization wave continuing apace. We (and by "we" I mean contributor Heather Clancy) didn't do so well predicting the wild success of Apple's iPad tablet device. But, to be fair, many tablet PCs debuted and flamed out before Apple finally got it right this year.

Check out the most-read stories for November 2010.

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