Over fifty percent of enterprises use virtualization today, said Bob Gill, chief research officer for TheInfoPro (TIP). It has been embraced so quickly compared to other technologies we have been tracking over many years.
With the other breath, however, he exposes the fact that few of these companies have rolled virtualization out widely. According to TIP figures, 80% of organizations using virtualization have deployed it on from one-to-50 servers. He tempers this by noting that 60% of those using it intend to invest more dollars in it next year.
When you divide the number of images by the number of servers, the results are far from emphatic about the adoption rates for virtualization. They seem to indicate that enterprises are only virtualizing a few machines, about 1.1-to-1.2 images per server with little difference between UNIX, Linux and Windows.
I dont think people can virtualize fast enough when it is a priority, said Mark Levin, senior partner at MBA. But it just isnt as big a priority as it seems.
TIP has been conducting virtualization surveys for several years. Most respondents insist virtualization is critical to achieving business objectives and cite server sprawl and application growth as big drivers. Not surprisingly, the primary reason behind adoption is consolidation.
Gill reports that virtualization is also gradually making its way up the server food chain. Whereas early deployments were on small, low-powered servers, it is appearing on more and more on the radar screen for 4-way and 8-way models. Particularly in 2008, he expects an explosion in the adoption of virtualization in these larger x86 server configurations.
Further, companies are tending towards virtualization on a multi-core rather than a single-core platform. The sweet spot for virtualization is probably in the two-way and four-way multi-core server market, said Gill.
IT managers, it appears, are utilizing these machines primarily to support new applications rather than existing apps or databases. And perhaps surprisingly, they are relatively slow to roll out virtualization to blades. TIP figures reveal blades wont become predominantly virtualized until 2009. This reticence could be due to unresolved issues over software licensing, support, performance under load and other issues with virtualization which have yet to be ironed out.
Server virtualization is still the Wild West, concludes Gill.