Collaboration

Upcoming Microsoft server releases may drive hardware sales

Andy Moon shares his thoughts about SharePoint 2010 and discusses why he thinks Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 might be a boon for server sales.

Our organization uses SharePoint 2007 in production for document storage and management, shared calendars and task lists, blogging, wiki libraries, and discussion boards. I've been keeping up with the news about SharePoint 2010 so I'll know what to expect when we're ready to upgrade.

The beta version of SharePoint 2010 is available for download. It's rumored that Microsoft plans to release the newest version of the business productivity suite to manufacturing next month. The final release of SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 for business customers will be May 12, with the wider retail release set for June.

SharePoint 2010 was put through the paces during the 2010 Winter Olympics and appears to be ready for prime time. Also, if you have Software Assurance, Microsoft claims that your upgrade may be paid for already.

Since not many technologies compete with SharePoint, the result is slower innovation and changes that are more cosmetic than substantive. For instance, SharePoint 2010 includes a ribbon much like the one in Office 2007 applications, which allows faster access to the most commonly used commands, but it doesn't seem to have many additional features. I was hoping that the collaboration suite would have Silverlight and RemoteFX technologies to allow easier audio/video conferencing and whiteboarding (it feels cumbersome to have to open LiveMeeting for these functions), but I suppose we will have to wait for another version.

Although SharePoint 2010 looks quite useful, I would recommend to anyone who might ask to wait until SharePoint 2010 is out of beta for installation in a production environment.

Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 may be a boon for server sales

The timing for SharePoint's newest version works out well for Microsoft, which is rumored to be in the planning stages for its release of the first service pack to its latest version of its flagship server OS. Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will surely drive new server sales as a result of Microsoft abandoning 32-bit architecture altogether in favor of the 64-bit version (read 10 reasons to consider upgrading to Windows Server 2008 R2). Don't underestimate the need for upgrades -- the recent economic woes have led many technology executives to put off upgrades; for instance, I recently wrote about an Intel executive saying that a third of the processors in operation today are over four years old.

My gut tells me that server purchasing will be ramping up over the next few months since it looks like budgets will free up a bit as the economy continues to improve. Many companies may wait for Windows Server 2008 R2 to release before taking delivery, but the new offerings from Microsoft seem destined to increase demand for beefier hardware.

What are your organization's plans?

Does your organization use enterprise content management software such as SharePoint? Will the new version drive hardware purchases for your business? Let us know in the discussion.

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9 comments
s_villaire
s_villaire

Windows Server 2008R2 has been out since August 2009.... Where have you been.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

Sorry, I should have been clearer, the first service pack for R2 is what MS is planning to release in Q4. It will include various enhancements including an upgraded RDP based on a technology called RemoteFX.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

people write a blog, save it for later and then trot it out without sometimes checking the facts are still correct.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

...but the lack of caffeine in my system when I wrote the article caused me to write "R2" instead of "SP1 for R2." Mea Culpa

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

An Intel executive saying that a third of the processors in operation today are over four years old. And....???? What off it?

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

...is far more likely to be upgraded. Most companies have about a four year upgrade cycle for server hardware. That time has been extended given the budgetary issues most companies are experiencing, but that statistic indicates that we may be headed for a rather large upgrade cycle if Intel and AMD can make a good business case for upgrading. As I wrote last week, the new Intel chips can replace some older hardware at a 15:1 ratio, which creates a compelling business reason to upgrade. If you can reduce your server room footprint or increase the processing power in your data center by that much, even the bean counters get on board.

jck
jck

If you make servers from high-end consumer parts, soon you'll be able to build a 6-core energy efficient server for under $2000. New Black Edition AMD 6-core 3.2GHz 125W TDP CPU is apparently going to retail for $295 or something.

jck
jck

Plus, it's building it yourself...not coming pre-canned. But you could put an AM3 mobo in with that x6 Thuban chip, 8GB of DDR3-1600, raid 5 you 6-500GB WD Caviar Black disks, and even RAID 0 a couple 60GB SSDs for apps executions for under 2000 now. But, the AMD 6 core is a heck of a chip for $295. The Intel 6-cores are gonna be astronomically high. Keep an eye out :)

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

...to the AMD server you referenced? I would love to buy a home server and that might actually be in my price range! EDIT: Never mind, that was the price for the processor alone. Still a nice price, but I'll have to wait a while for my home server. :(

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