Virtualization Is The Future For Servers, Says Gartner - InformationWeek

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Commentary
9/28/2010
10:54 AM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
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Virtualization Is The Future For Servers, Says Gartner

Users adopt virtualization to save money, but then find more and more uses for it.

Users adopt virtualization to save money, but then find more and more uses for it.A recent report by market research firm Gartner (condensed in this press release) lays out the current state of virtualization: the boulder currently rolling downhill will soon turn into an avalanche.

Gartner indicates that 90 percent of servers are x86 machines. Most are deployed on the basis of one machine per application. Consequently, their utilization rate is only about 10 to 20 percent.

Because of that simple fact, organizations can save money through virtualization, since it can reduce the number of machines needed. However, virtualization does require some investment, and specific results can't be guaranteed.

The word about virtualization has gotten out to the extent that 80 percent of enterprises have some sort of virtualization project underway, but Gartner estimates that only 25 percent of the server workload will be running on virtual machines by the end of the year.

So it should be no surprise that Gartner also estimates that virtualization will be the main force driving infrastructure planning for the next four years, as server users get acquainted with its advantages.

Indeed, Gartner also stated that organizations with "mature" server virtualization deployments are virtualizing for more reasons that cost savings. These include: faster deployments reduced downtime disaster recovery usage accounting and chargeback capacity planning hosted virtual (thin client) desktops

And doubtless there are more advantages than that. The whole thing reminds me of the original stampede to adopt personal computers in the early 1980s, as people discovered that those inexpensive machines were more than toys.

But the negative perception hobbling virtualization is better-founded than the original perception that hobbled desktop computers-people have to see that virtualization is not the IT equivalent to open-heart surgery. Vendors must give priority to automation and the user interface. Also, Gartner notes that licensing issues remain a minefield.

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