At the other end of the extreme, cloud computing gained steam. A dozen or so mega data centers from companies such as Amazon, eBay, Facebook and Google commanded an increasing share of business and an outsized portion of the innovation in severs, switching and storage.
The big back end systems were at the receiving end of the growth in mobile and Internet data of all types. They fueled the flood with their own social networks and Instagrams. In presentation after presentation, industry observers pointed to a rising data deluge.
Facebook courted the open source movement, flinging open its doors to show the world exactly what sorts of systems it wants to buy. In reaction, Google cracked its doors slightly, but most mega data centers continued to work under the cover of NDAs as they sorted out their road maps.
Slideshow: Facebook remakes the server
Google opens doors to its data centers -- sort of
Ten shifts in chips, comms: