Recent IDC research indicates that spending on virtualization will rocket to nearly $15 billion worldwide by 2009.
To cut costs by consolidating servers, customers are partitioning smaller two- and four-way x86 volume servers with special software that helps carve up space on a server to run multiple operating systems, or applications.
"Virtualization is a follow on to a lot of the consolidation activities we've been seeing over the last four or five years," said Matt Eastwood, vice president of IDC's server research.
"The virtualization aspect of consolidation becomes more strategic because you can have a real impact on your infrastructure in terms of how many systems you have. You can really take out costs associated with management of systems if you do it correctly." P>He said dual- and multi-core processors and 64-bit computing for Windows and Linux are gaining popularity, noting that existing offerings for Intel-based platforms are perceived as "proven," and will drive wider acceptance.
IDC also found that:
More than three-quarters of all companies with 500+ employees are deploying virtual servers
Survey respondents using server virtualization technologies said they expect 45 percent of the new servers purchased next year will be virtualized
More than 50 percent of all virtual servers are running production-level applications, including the most business-critical workloads
There is significant opportunity to optimize virtual server performance based on the types of server workloads
S390, OS400 and Unix systems account for the bulk of customer spending on virtualized servers today, but rapid growth is occurring on Windows and Linux servers.
IDC's research comes as software vendors are scrambling to find fair licensing schemes.
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