VMware is still the leader, and disaster recovery is still the top use case, but the virtualization market is seeing lots of change as well, according to TechTarget's "Virtualization Decisions 2010 Purchasing Intentions Survey" results.
More than 800 IT professionals from around the world responded to the survey this summer, telling us about their current uses and future plans for server virtualization, desktop virtualization and cloud computing.
Microsoft's server virtualization market share is expanding overall, but VMware is still the vendor of choice, according to the survey results. More than 76% of respondents identified some VMware platform -- vSphere, ESX, ESXi or VMware Server -- as their primary platform. Microsoft's offerings -- Virtual Server, Hyper-V and Hyper-V R2 -- were the primary platforms for 13%.
Last year, VMware got 67% and Microsoft had 12%, so the gap between the two vendors actually widened. Citrix XenServer netted 3% of responses this year, open source Xen received 1%, and no other platform reached the 1% mark.
Some good news for all vendors is that the server virtualization market continues to grow. In 2010, 59% of survey respondents said they planned to expand their deployments, up from 55% in 2009.
The top use case continues to be disaster recovery and high availability; 41% said they planned to take advantage of these virtualization features in 2010. Other popular uses included backup and data protection (26%) and dynamic resource allocation (23%).
Client and desktop virtualization also continued its slow rise. Last year, 27% of respondents said they planned to evaluate client and desktop virtualization, and 18% said they planned to deploy the technologies. Those numbers increased to 33% and 20% this year, respectively.
And after several years of vendor hype, some IT professionals are starting to explore private cloud computing. More than 14% of respondents said they planned to develop a private cloud in 2010.
The following articles take an in-depth look at the real-world ramifications of the "Virtualization Decisions 2010 Purchasing Intentions Survey" results.
Virtualization projects hit in-house roadblocks
Virtualization is cheaper and easier to use, but there are still many factors holding virtualization projects back. The top roadblocks in 2010: difficulty getting budget approval and a lack of in-house management and installation skills. Clearly, there's still a disconnect between IT departments and their business decision makers.
'More VM memory, please; we're virtualization users'
Virtualization architects continue to add more memory to virtual machines. With the advent of 64-bit operating systems and more powerful host hardware, there is little reason to believe that this trend will stop.
What application virtualization can and can't do for you
Application virtualization lets users run incompatible applications on new platforms -- one of the reasons that 57% of IT shops use the technology today. Application virtualization comes in especially handy for Windows 7 migrations, but unfortunately, not all applications can or should be virtualized.
IT shops keep Windows Server 2003 despite risks
Even though there are two newer versions, Windows Server 2003 is still the most popular server operating system among virtualization professionals. More than 83% of respondents said they run Windows Server 2003, compared to 65% for Windows Server 2008 R2 and 55% for Windows Server 2008. Microsoft ended its mainstream support lifecycle for Windows Server 2003 in July, which could leave users open to security problems.
Host-level backups gain steam at guest-level backups' expense
The use of agent-based backup tools is on the decline. As the number of virtual machines increase in an infrastructure, guest-level agents become unwieldy to manage. Because of this, host-level backup tools have gained popularity.
SMBs still unsold on private cloud
Despite the advantages of private-cloud technologies, small to medium-sized business (SMBs) are not interested. Many SMBs simply don't have the luxury of experimenting with new technologies. But SMBs aren't sold on private clouds for other reasons, as well.