The economic slowdown and important developments in this market segment have allowed virtualized systems to grow at a strong rhythm.
Generating worldwide revenue of 1.9 billion dollars, virtualization has consolidated itself as a key factor to IT growth in 2008 and is set to carry on growing at the same rate in future years.
As companies seek to reduce the cost of ownership of their systems in the face of economic downturn, virtualization is becoming an increasingly attractive option. Gartnerpredicts that in 2009 alone, virtualization will grow by 43% to represent a market worth 2.7 billion dollars (1.89 billion pounds at today’s rate of exchange).
The adoption of virtualization technologies heralds a more efficient use of resources and serves to visibly reduce CO2 emissions via savings in energy consumption. However, companies implementing this type of infrastructure are primarily seeking to reduce the total cost of ownership of their IT systems.
Gartner identifies three key axes in the virtualization business: the virtualization of server administration, the virtualization of server infrastructure and the virtualization of the desktop.
Desktop virtualization is alone set to grow three-fold in 2009: up from 71.1% in 2008 to represent nearly 300 million dollars in 2009. The virtualization of server administration will increase from 914 million to 1.3 billion dollars, a 42% increase. Finally, infrastructure virtualization is forecast to grow approximately 22.5% from 917 to 1.1 billion dollars at the end of this year.
Gartner also thinks that Microsoft will be one of the main companies to rival VMware, the leader in this market segment. However, Redmond will not be in a position to overtake VMware until 2013, even in the small and medium-sized company market.
More than 100 virtualization vendors currently operate in the market, which in itself testifies to the excellent health of this market segment.