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The Virtualization Freight Train Is Hurtling Through Europe Too

IDC Releases 2008 European Server Virtualization Survey - first carried out in 2007 and now repeated in 1Q08

"Virtualization use has exploded since our last survey of the European market," said Chris Ingle, consulting and research director of IDC's Systems Group, as IDC this week released its 2008 European Server Virtualization Survey. The study was first carried out in 2007 and has been repeated in 1Q08 with a larger sample of organizations and a wider range of questions.

According to the survey, the pace of adoption of virtualized servers is incredibly rapid among organizations that are using virtualization, with 35% of servers purchased in 2007 being virtualized and 52% of those bought in 2008 expected to be so. 54% of those not using virtualization expect to do so in the next 18 months.

While both large companies and smaller organizations are seeing virtualization as being key to their datacenter strategy, their next challenge will be to make more effective use of this capability.

"Both large organizations and smaller businesses are using the technology for a wider range of applications and for business critical projects," said Ingle. "As use of virtualization grows the challenges around managing complexity, finding skills and software licensing become more apparent," he added.

Further IDC survey findings Include:

Organizations are increasing their virtualization of x86 systems for core business applications, although the majority of virtualization is still for test and development and for network server applications. Expertise and skills are the biggest barrier to virtualization adoption.

  • Growth of virtualization as a strategy remains strong, rising from 46% of the base to 54%. What is interesting is that virtualization is growing as a datacenter strategy in itself rather than as part of other projects. This supports the view that virtualization is increasingly seen as a standard for a wide range of workloads.
  • VMware is the clear market leader in providing virtualization technology with 82% of the sample using VMware. Despite high levels of Linux use, only 3% of the sample were using Xen as their virtualization platform. Microsoft was used by 13% of the sample base with various Unix technologies and mainframe accounting for 14%.
  • 59% of implementations have fewer than four VMs or partitions per physical box. The largest growth area for virtualization use over the past year, particularly in small and medium businesses, is improving disaster recovery, backup, and enhancing availability.
  • Availability of skills and application vendor licensing are the factors causing most problems for virtualization users. 23% of virtualization users report that their application vendors' licensing is still not meeting their needs and 33% of large businesses report that it limits use of virtualization.
  • Despite seeing virtualization as a vital tool for their business, the majority of organizations do not measure benefits and use virtual infrastructure in the same way they do physical infrastructure

"Some companies have both a large set of applications that can be managed more effectively and, more importantly, a backlog of applications they need to deploy," said Nathaniel Martinez, program director, European Enterprise Servers. "Virtualization enables these companies to rationalize their application portfolio and deploy applications more effectively. As the market matures, we expect companies to start to measure their virtualization projects more closely and look for greater value from virtualization across their infrastructure."

Chris Ingle added: "The range of approaches makes the right technology selection critical: Microsoft is making a strong push for market share later in 2008; VMware seems to be in the right place with its focus on business continuity and virtualization management; Citrix and the Unix vendors are appealing to their core markets; HP, IBM, Fujitsu-Siemens Computers, Dell, Sun, BMC, and others will look to take the lead in systems and management."

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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