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Predictions for Virtualization in 2014

Despite virtualization being common today, there is still room for significant evolution and growth to occur

According to a prediction made by IDC back in 2010, 70 percent of servers would be virtual by 2014. Gartner now estimates Windows being at between 60 and 70 percent virtualized and Linux being at between 35 and 45 percent virtualized, making IDC's largely accurate. In addition, very few systems shipped today are not virtual, borne out by the fact that there is a decline in the number of servers being shipped and the growing number of virtualized environments that exist today.

To sum this up, physical servers are becoming increasingly uncommon and virtual servers are now the most common mode adopted in all industries, across all sectors, regardless of company size. Despite virtualization being common today, there is still room for significant evolution and growth to occur.

The following are my predictions for virtualization in this year:

Virtualization Provides Scalability and Flexibility Flexibility and scalability make virtualization extremely attractive, particularly as virtualization provides the ability to make adjustments to any setup and workloads can be redistributed smoothly and effortlessly. Scalability is also possible because adjustments can be easily made to resource capacity, without the need for cumbersome rearrangement methods to be implemented.

Costs Will Continue to Make Virtualization Adoption Attractive Although costs have been a major deciding factor in the adoption of virtualization for some time, 2014 will see this become increasingly so, particularly as traditional SMBs and small home-based businesses elect to adopt virtualization in increasing numbers, thereby realizing an efficient distribution of expenses associated with costly hardware. In order to reduce costs such as network infrastructure, electricity, floor space for a data center, and other costs, investment in virtualization will continue to be an attractive option.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Will Increase Server Demand One of the consequences of adopting a BYOD policy is that workloads are moved away from desktops and laptops to servers. Consequently, organizations implementing BYOD will find adopting virtualization a necessity in order to cope with the increasing demand for server-based computing. A good example of this in practice is the Chromebook, which is more of a personal access device than it is a personal computing device because the actual computing all happens on the servers. Of course BYOD also utilizes the cloud, but usually only for less critical tasks and operations associated with the organization.

Increase in Infrastructure Virtualization 2014 will see a significant increase in infrastructure virtualization, with storage and network hardware leading the path. There are several choices of infrastructure virtualization on the market today, including such options as VMware’s vSphere 5.5 and Microsoft’s Hyper-V 2012 and 2012 R2.

The Beginning of Virtual-Cloud Convergence Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and virtualization convergence will begin to be recognized as the way of the future in 2014. Solutions will start emerging that will provide a means of migrating workloads from in-house virtual environments to the cloud and vice-versa. In fact, it is likely that as soon as 4 years from now, this will be the norm.

More Stories By Jason Williams

Jason Williams is a former Microsoft employee and an expert on virtualization, in particular the Hyper-V platform. You can read more of his content at HyperVBlog.com.

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