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Gartner: Virtualization Still in Infancy

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Only 16 percent of enterprise workloads are running on virtual machines
today, according to Gartner analyst Tom Bittman, but that’s about to change
in a big way, with small- and mid-sized businesses leading the charge.

Bittman debunked some of the biggest virtualization myths during his
presentation Tuesday at Gartner’s Symposium/ITxpo conference in Orlando,

At the top of the list was the widespread notion that server
virtualization is ubiquitous in the enterprise IT landscape.

While virtualization adoption got off to a “torrid” pace, Bittman said
many small businesses were unable to afford the relatively steep price to
get into the game. But this adoption by SMBs will drive growth for the
foreseeable future, resulting in more than 50 percent of all workloads
running on virtual machines by the end of 2012.

“Small business started late on virtualization,” Bittman said. “While
large enterprises were quick to leverage virtual machines to reduce server
sprawl and power costs, as well as conserve data center space, small
enterprises have been much more interested in ease of use, simplicity and
operational improvements.”

Bittman said that for years, VMware (NYSE: VMW) was the only player in the
and its entry price was too high for many small companies.

“While VMware sold to many thousands of companies, many more sat on the
sideline and waited,” he said. “When Microsoft introduced Hyper-V in
mid-2008, as small companies started deploying Windows Server 2008, they
gave Hyper-V a try.”

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and other virtualization software vendors have increasingly targeted SMBs with entry-level virtualization starter kits that simplify the installation process and let them test the waters for less upfront investment than offerings used by larger enterprise clients.

Another common myth surrounding virtualization is that companies do it
primarily to save money, particularly those fixed costs associated with
building, maintaining and powering their enormous datacenters.

“Large enterprises virtualized to save money, but later surveys show that
the key is agility,” Bittman said. “Small enterprises never consider saving
money the primary reason to virtualize.”

And they do it quickly. Gartner’s study found that small companies tend
to move from having none of their workloads virtualized to having all of them
virtualized — typically in one project completed within one year.

VMware, struggling to compete with Microsoft, IBM and Red Hat in the
mid-market, was forced to introduce new lower-priced offerings as part of
its criticalvSp
here product launch

Gartner predicts this market will accelerate “markedly” throughout 2010
with Hyper-V R2, XenServer, VMware Essentials and Red Hat’s KVM-based
solution, providing SMBs with plenty of options.

The third myth of virtualization, according to Gartner, is the perception
that it’s a commodity. Bittman said virtual infrastructure technologies are
much more than static, one-off maintenance projects and instead are the
driving technologies that create private cloud architectures and determine a
company’s cloud-computing strategies.

“What many organizations fail to recognize about virtualization is that
the most important changes aren’t technological,” he said. “They are

“Virtualization forces users to let go of the physical implementations of
their services, and deal with their provider in terms of service levels and
results,” he added. “When a provider becomes a cloud-computing provider,
users need to do a more complete job of describing their requirements in
service terms.”

Article courtesy of

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