Despite slow adoption Gartner identifies virtualisation as a major growth market
Although server virtualization is not currently as widespread as many presume, the market is growing rapidly, according to Gartner.
Only 16 percent of workloads are running in virtual machines today, but Gartner predicts that this will rise to around 50 percent of x86 architecture server workloads by the end of 2012, representing approximately 58 million deployed machines.
Gartner said that the fastest growing market for virtual machines is the small business sector.
“While large enterprises were quick to leverage virtual machines to reduce server sprawl and power costs, as well as conserve data center space, small business started late on virtualization,” said Tom Bittman, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, by year-end 2010, enterprises with 100-999 employees will have a higher penetration of virtual machines deployed than the Global 500. For years the entry point was simply too high for small enterprises, but increased competition by server vendors has enable smaller firms to embrace virtualization.”
Gartner advocates a ‘start small, think big’ approach to virtualized server deployments that begins with a specific project but builds towards a wider strategic plan that includes management and process changes.
“Starting small both reduces risk and provides for a learning curve while building the foundations for sustainable reductions in total cost of ownership (TCO) and improvements in service quality,” Mr. Bittman said. “The other aspect, ‘thinking big’, means it’s important to proactively plan ahead for the major process and management changes virtualization brings – not to mention how virtualization is a path to cloud computing.”