Top IT admin trends of 2013, predictions for 2014

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A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to technology. Things change so fast that it can be hard to keep up with what's important, or know when it might be time to train for some new skills. At Pluralsight, we're lucky to work with industry experts who keep close tabs on what the existing trends are and where they are headed. Using the combined expertise of Pluralsight staff, and data collected from our most popular courses, we put together a list of top IT admin technologies for 2013, and a few predictions on the trends you should look out for in 2014.

Top 5 IT admin technologies of 2013

1) Hybrid virtualization solutions – In 2013, Microsoft and Amazon updated their offerings (Azure and AWS respectively) to make it even easier to implement hybrid solutions for server and application infrastructure. These options greatly increase the admin's ability to both scale and maintain security over sensitive data, and are important because they offer highly flexible and functional solutions for many businesses.

2) Cisco Data Center and Cisco (UCS) – UCS was one of the first to seriously gear hardware towards virtual environments and to create synergies between hardware, virtualization and performance. Today, it is one of the most streamlined offerings.

3) Windows Server 2012 / Windows 8Windows Server 2012 has made great strides with Hyper-V, server core installations and DirectAccess. While Windows 8 has been trying find a common footing to evolve into a reliable and intuitive OS, Microsoft still maintains the largest market share in operating systems for both server and desktop.

4) Citrix XenDesktop – With the announcement of XenDesktop 7, Citrix is merging application virtualization and desktop virtualization into a single product. While still dwarfed by server virtualization, a lot more companies are getting comfortable with leveraging the same benefits of server virtualization with desktop and application virtualization.

5) Storage – As the digital footprint of every user increases, so does the need for greater storage. The more powerful and efficient the servers, apps and cloud offerings get, the more noticeable (and costly!) it is if your solution isn't up to snuff.

IT admin trends to look for in 2014

Virtualization – This has become a fundamental part of IT administration and will continue to be unless there is a fundamental change in programming or hardware that relegates its value and flexibility. Migration – Windows XP will reach end of life this year, as well as a few other server offerings that are still widely used. This means numerous organizations are going to need to upgrade to newer offerings or risk security and troubleshooting issues. Data science – Now that companies understand the importance of collecting and storing data, attention is going to focus on how to use it for financial, strategic and other gains. Topics like predictive analytics will drive the data science industry to figure out new ways to use it, while putting data scientists in demand by top companies. And don't forget to check out the top developer trends of 2013-2014.

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Manya Susoev

Manya Susoev edited content on the Pluralsight blog. Say hello on Twitter: @manyas.