Research: Virtualization Management

Oct 03, 2011


State of Virtualization: Diversity Breeds Complexity

Think VMware owns the enterprise virtualization market? Not so fast. While IT pros love VMware vSphere 5's functionality, they're not so keen on the license structure, even after the company backpedaled from a recent price hike. And that's given rivals a golden opportunity to establish footholds in the enterprise data center, beyond just desktop virtualization and niche applications. To see what it will take for Citrix and Microsoft, as well as Oracle, Red Hat and Ubuntu, to capitalize on VMware's missteps, and to take the pulse of the market and technology as a whole, we fielded two virtualization surveys in August. 

In our InformationWeek 2011 Virtualization Management Survey, we polled 396 business technology professionals at companies with more than 50 employees on a variety of topics. Does IT see Hyper-V and Xen challenging VMware's dominance on data center servers? Is standardization an achievable goal? Are we still experiencing VM sprawl? Are vendor APIs robust enough to support next-generation automation projects, and can IT teams get up to speed on the skill sets required for automation?

We'll explore, with a view to the real endgame: abstract data streams, processes and hardware from the workloads that they support to enable private clouds, defined as an internal network that combines compute, storage and other data center resources with a high level of virtualization, hardware integration/consolidation, automation, monitoring and orchestration. The goal is improved resilience and ease of service activation, and 48% of Virtualization Management Survey respondents are buying into the vision now. But getting there with few standards and a lack of cross-discipline expertise is going to be tough.  

We also dug into attitudes on VMware's controversial pricing decision. Our InformationWeek VMware vSphere 5 Survey, which we explore in depth here, shows 93% of 410 respondents use some version of vSphere, and most weren’t happy with the virtual machine memory-consumption licensing constraint. The company quickly backpedaled, but reaction to the misstep was highly negative. Yes, VMware continues to define enterprise-class server virtualization. But IT pros have long memories, tight budgets and a big job ahead of them. It’s going to be an interesting year. (R3391011)

Survey Name: 2011 InformationWeek Virtualization Management Survey
Survey Date: August 2011
Region: North America
Number of Respondents: 396 from organizations with 50 or more employees

To determine the state of virtualization use and management in the enterprise.

Research Report