IBM would love to come into your data center and eradicate all forms of IT chaos.
All IT managers face IT chaos at one time or another. Even if you are one of the lucky ones relatively free from it at this time, then you can expect it to show up eventually. If IT chaos can be done away with, IT managers around the globe will be falling to their knees in thanksgiving; naturally, that means profit for IBM and all the other vendors that can solve these issues.
This chaos, as defined here, is usually the result of software, hardware and networking equipment acquired piecemeal, and subpar practices built up in an infrastructure over a number of years. Thanks to different eras and vendors, varying licenses, and changing standards and best practices, much of what goes into a data center simply doesn't work together very harmoniously.
IBM says it will be all about integrating and simplifying complicated IT resources and components in 2009, so everything works together to ultimately help enterprises to profit. IBM certainly has always been about that; however, thanks to the skyrocketing use of virtualization software in 2008, we can expect the next 12 months to bring more complicated IT problems to solve than ever before.
The main issue that IT managers fear, more than any other, is loss of control of virtual machines. Once virtualization gets instituted in a system-and it's being instituted every day somewhere in the world-then control of where these nonphysical servers are and how and what they are doing becomes nearly a full-time job for someone.
Also on the rise are hosted subscription-type services, thanks to the weak macroeconomy. These also must be accounted for and controlled at all times.
It's not easy to monitor all these things on a 24/7 basis, because with servers up and down (and in and out), security patches and software upgrades frequently dogging administrators, and compliance measures causing constant pressure, there's never a dull moment in the data center.