The Next Big Thing

During a recent PowerScripting podcast, I posed the question, “Virtualization is a hot and major topic today in IT. What is the next big thing? What is coming that is just under the radar but will play a major role for IT professionals?” 

I’d like to start a meme on this topic. Here’s my contribution.

I think the next big thing will be the dramatic change in server and desktop hardware that will ultimately affect everything an administrator does from deploying an OS and applications, to patching to asset management. I think administrators will be faced with quad core 64bit machines with large solid state drives running 8GB or more of RAM. I think the hardware capabilities will once again far exceed software requirements. Virtualization will of course continue and spread to the desktop, readily supported by this new breed of hardware. Deploying an OS will happen in minutes as an entire image can be loaded into memory and written to the hard drive. Rebooting servers will take seconds, assuming we even need to. I’m expecting future versions of Windows to cut down on the number of reboot scenarios even further.  More and more of the OS and applications can be stored in RAM for improved performance. Even if page swapping is needed, solid state drives will improve performance there as well.

One thing I don’t see changing much is network connectivity. I don’t expect desktops to see more than a 1GB connection. This will probably be true for most server environments as well except for some special situations. I think the network card will be the bottleneck, heck it’s likely a bottleneck today for many people.

What do you think? You don’t necessarily have to agree with my prediction, although please add comments if you have any.  If you write an IT-oriented blog (hint Don, Greg, Jaykul, Hal, Steven, Robbie et al) what do you think will be the next big thing?