What is the most significant technology development of 2009?

The author thinks Cisco's Unified Computing System is the most significant technology development of 2009

It's this time of the year again, time to look back and analyze the events what shaped this year and years to come.

As a UC oriented engineer, this was my first area to look into. Many things happened in this area during 2009, market leaders have crashed (Nortel's liquidation and its acquisition by Avaya), big companies were purchased (Cisco bought Tandberg) and many more, but these are more financial then technical. 2010 will probably bring some significant UC announcements; Cisco's UC 8.0 is expected and will have some interesting developments, Avaya is expected to make its portfolio roadmap announcement (including Nortel's product line) and Cisco's plans toward Tandberg are yet to be announced.

With that said, the one product that did make a significant difference in the technology world is coming from a new area Cisco decided to play in, servers. UCS (Unified Computing System) which was announced on March 16 2009 is the most significant technology announcement that occurred during 2009.

Why is it significant? Not just because of its conceptual changes to the way we use servers in the datacenter, but more because it created a wave of changes in partnerships and alliances that will affect the way we operate in 2010 and probably after. The most significant change is that HP interpreted this announcement as the business equivalent of 'Casus belli' (and was probably right to do so). Some of the responses from HP were the acquisition of 3Com, The Procurve blade switches announcement (6120XG and the 6120G/XG) which used to be OEMed from Cisco and updates to the blade servers offering. Cisco is probably responding with steps that affect HP's OEM business with it, steps that time will reveal.

This is not the only change that happened because of UCS, it is also fair to conclude that IBM and brocade's OEM arrangement is a direct response to it. Other developments in the server manufacturing world including Dell's accusation of Perot and its distribution partnerships with Aruba (Wireless), Fonality (UC) and LifeSize (Video Conference). Sun has anounced about a blade switch of thenselves (NEM) and what about Oracle's bid for Sun? Hard to say but probably somehow related.

 And back to the technical aspect of things, here are some UCS related articles that can serve as a good read on a quiet holiday morning:

 How Cisco UCS reinvents the datacenter

 Test Center review: Cisco UCS wows

 REVIEW: Cisco Unified Computing System Is a Robust Platform for Physical, Virtual Data Center Ops

In sum, Cisco's move into the servers business is a significant if not the most significant technology development of 2009.

Do you agree? If not what do you think is the most significant technology of 2009?

Happy holidays

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