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IDC: Virtualization hardware market to reach $19 billion

It probably doesn’t surprise you anymore to hear that server virtualization adoption is increasing. Our “Virtualization Decisions 2010 Purchasing Intentions Survey” showed that more companies are planning to expand their virtualization deployments. And the results of a recent IDC survey show how that growth is affecting the hardware market.

Based on responses from more than 400 IT organizations currently deploying server virtualization, IDC forecasts that more than $19 billion a year will be spent on server hardware in support of virtual workloads by 2014. Further, virtualized server shipments are growing at a compound annual growth rate of 14%. That’s more than twice the rate of the entire server market from 2009 to 2014.

And the forecast gets even sunnier: More than 70% of all server workloads installed on new shipments in 2014 are expected to reside in a virtual machine (VM). IDC cites increased customer acceptance of and confidence in virtualization as reasons for the projected growth.

The survey also found that organizations want to increase the number of VMs they run on a physical server. Finding the best VM-to-host ratio is a constant struggle for many administrators, but IDC estimates that customers will deploy an average of 8.5 VMs per physical host by 2014. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Another common problem for admins is virtualizing applications, particularly mission-critical apps. IDC’s report said for most data centers, the majority of application instances now reside inside VMs, but another survey last month indicated many organizations are avoiding virtualizing mission-critical workloads because of concerns about backup and recovery.

Despite some common virtualization problems, enterprise server virtualization is indeed growing. The survey even shows that adoption is increasing outside the data center, such as in branch offices.

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