Today's blade server design places memory and processors into a fixed combination inside a blade, and until recently neither memory or processors from one blade could be combined with that of other blades.
New server designs will allow several blades to be merged across a 'computing fabric', in which they will appear as a single server to an operating system.
"The fabric based server of the future will treat memory, processors and I/O cards as components in a pool, combining and recombining them into particular arrangements to suit the owner's needs," the analysts wrote. "This evolution will simplify the provisioning of capacity to meet growing needs."
Increasingly ubiquitous network access with reasonably useful bandwidth is enabling the beginnings of what analysts are calling the "real world web," Claunch said. The goal is to augment reality with universal access to information specific to locations, objects or people. This might allow a holidaymaker to snap a picture of a monument or tourist attraction and immediately receive information about the object, instead of flipping through a travel book.
Social software such as podcasts, videocasts, blogs, wikis, social bookmarks and social-networking tools, often referred to as Web 2.0, is changing the way people communicate both in social and business settings.
"It's really been empowering people to interact in an electronic medium in a much richer fashion than we did with email or corporate collaboration systems," Cearley said.
The effectiveness of these tools for enterprise use varies, and some tools that have the potential to improve productivity aren't yet mature enough for enterprise use, Gartner says. For example, wikis are highly valuable and mature enough for safe and effective enterprise use. Meanwhile, Gartner says prediction markets potentially have a lot of enterprise value but so far have low maturity. Podcasts, conversely, can be used safely and effectively but don't have a lot of business value, the analyst firm said.
- Green IT
- Unified communications
- Business process management
- Metadata management
- Virtualisation 2.0
- Mashups & composite applications
- Web platform & WOA
- Computing fabrics
- Real world web
- Social software
For more IT business buying advice, as well as news, reviews, anlysis and opinion, visit PCA's Small Business Advisor website, the perfect day-to-day resource for IT buyers.