6. Green IT will dovetail with virtualization.
Could there be some government incentives coming? Obama has been talking up renewable energy and various incentives that would help businesses conserve energy. Could green IT benefit?
Various utilities are already offering incentives for virtualization projects incentives for virtualization projects . Expect to see more incentives and green IT investments soon.
7. Mobile virtualization gets its first real deployments.
As desktop virtualization takes hold, vendors will push beyond tethered clients to mobile devices.
Over the last ten years, weve been moving at a glacial pace towards the Internet the real Internet on mobile devices. Part of the problem is that expectations are so high, said John Madden, research director of the market-analysis firm Ovum. And its not just a technical issue. Its a business issue. If youre in sales or marketing or product design, the any-device, any-time, anywhere delivery model offers real competitive advantages. Virtualization can certainly help on the technical side, but the business drivers will have to emerge elsewhere.
The iPhone could certainly be a driver. iPhone owners are more of a cult than a traditional user base, and they certainly like anything trendy that comes along to make their gadget a little bit fancier than everyone elses. Mobile access to full desktops would certainly be a nice trinket to show off to friends.
And if you think Im just using this as an excuse to make fun of the Apple cult, think again. VMware and Citrix are both actively working on smart phone virtualization .
8. Management tools will grow in importance.
As virtualization takes hold, managing various resources will become more and more important. Management tools are sketchy today, although vendors are all hyping the fact that theyre getting better.
If the main virtualization vendors dont improve and consolidate their management capabilities, expect a third party to step in and do it for them.
9. By the end of 2009, there will still be a heck of a lot of servers left to virtualize.
To reiterate, only 10% of the worlds servers are virtualized. Many never will be. Even if 2009 sees a flurry of activity, well still be a ways away from a service-based IT world.
10. More acquisitions are on the way.
2008 saw a slew of virtualization-related acquisitions. Microsoft bought Calista Technologies in early 2008. Sun purchased Innotek. Red Hat acquired Qumranet, and VMware went on a spending spree, picking up Thinstall, Foedus, Trango Virtual Processors, Blue Lane Technologies and Tungsten Graphics.
Rumors flew around this summer that VMware might acquire Red Hat, although nothing has come of it. Could a bad economy spur a big-name acquisition, with someone like VMware, Red Hat or Citrix getting acquired?
With Microsoft making inroads into the virtualization space, whats to stop a Cisco from deciding they need to compete in the space and snatching up VMware to do so? Microsoft could even make a run at VMware if its own virtualization efforts continue to stagnate. Remember, VMware CEO Paul Maritz used to be a top executive at Microsoft. How about a big software vendor like SAP offering better licensing agreements if you go with their virtualization platform, a platform gained with the acquisition of Citrix?
Those scenarios are long shots, although not out of the realm of possibility. Whats more likely is that remaining virtualization startups will burn through whats left of their VC dollars and have a hard time raising more. Then, established vendors will swoop in and do some bargain shopping.