12 Great Tech Innovations (Of All Time): Page 2


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4. VMware ESX (virtualization software)

While virtual machines have been around since the 1960s on IBM mainframes, it took VMware to bring it to the desktop PC marketplace back in 1999. The company released its ESX server version in 2001.

Since then, they have created a wide variety of virtualization management tools that have taken the modern data center by storm. The use of virtual machines makes PC servers much more productive, enabling the use of more of their internal memory and processing power and distributing loads across a wider hardware base.

Now most IT shops have virtualized parts of their servers. And while Citrix and Microsoft are players in this market, VMware (now owned by EMC) is still a leader, moving into open source cloud computing with a series of announcements and new products.

12 innovative tech products

ESX virtualization software

5. Amazon Web Services (cloud computing services)

Amazon may be the world's largest bookstore, but in the past nine years it has quietly built up a series of more than a dozen cloud-based computing services as part of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) product offerings.

Some of the services are older and better known, such as renting online storage using Simple Storage Service (S3) or setting up virtual supercomputers to work on knotty CPU-intensive computations using the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). But there are others that are newer that serve important niches, such as

• The ability to stream videos using CloudFront.

• Tie Amazon's resources with your own data center with its Virtual Private Cloud service.

• Bring up database servers with SimpleDB and Relational Database Services.

• Automatically add or subtract computing resources as needed with its Auto Scale and Elastic Load Balancer features.

There are now more than a dozen different Amazon services and the company continues to innovate and be a leader in cloud computing. As an example, Ubuntu has its Electronic Cloud that can make use of AWS programming interfaces.

12 innovative tech products

Amazon Web Services

6. Wordpress (blogging software and hosting)

Blogs have been around since 1999, but they really took off in 2003 when Wordpress began its operations. Now there are millions of blogs hosted with the software. Certainly there are alternatives, including Blogger (later purchased by Google) Typepad.com and several aborted Microsoft efforts. But Wordpress continues to be the go-to spot for bloggers due to its use of open source software, a free price tag and a potent plug-in developer community. Wordpress remains one of the easiest tools for building web sites from scratch, and contains to grow.

12 innovative tech products

Wordpress software

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Tags: cloud computing, iPad apps, Gmail, BlackBerry Apps, virtualization software

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