You might not require every bit and byte of programming they're composed of, but you'll rejoice at the components of their virtualization feature sets when you need them. These solutions scale from a few virtual machines that host a handful of Web sites, virtual desktops or intranet services all the way up to tens of thousands of virtual machines serving millions of Internet users. Virtualization and related cloud services account for an estimated 40 percent of all hosted services. If you don't know all the names on this list, it's time for an introduction.
Find a major data center anywhere in the world that doesn't use VMware, and then pat yourself on the back because you've found one of the few. VMware dominates the server virtualization market. Its domination doesn't stop with its commercial product, vSphere. VMware also dominates the desktop-level virtualization market and perhaps even the free server virtualization market with its VMware Server product. VMware remains in the dominant spot due to its innovations, strategic partnerships and rock-solid products.
Citrix was once the lone wolf of application virtualization, but now it also owns the world's most-used cloud vendor software: Xen (the basis for its commercial XenServer). Amazon uses Xen for its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) services. So do Rackspace, Carpathia, SoftLayer and 1and1 for their cloud offerings. On the corporate side, you're in good company with Bechtel, SAP and TESCO.
If Oracle's world domination of the enterprise database server market doesn't impress you, its acquisition of Sun Microsystems now makes it an impressive virtualization player. Additionally, Oracle owns an operating system (Sun Solaris), multiple virtualization software solutions (Solaris Zones, LDoms and xVM) and server hardware (SPARC). What happens when you pit an unstoppable force (Oracle) against an immovable object (the Data Center)? You get the Oracle-centered Data Center.
Read the rest of the virtualization vendors at ServerWatch.