One Third Of Enterprises Plan To Switch Hypervisor


Enterprises want to virtualise more, but don’t necessarily intend to do it with their current hypervisor

Over a third of enterprise servers are now virtual, and 86.5 percent of all enterprises are using virtualisation to some degree, according to Veeam Software’s latest V-Index report.

VMware is still the leading virtualisation technology vendor, based on data collected from 578 large-scale enterprises across the US, UK, France and Germany during the third quarter of 2011. Of the enterprises using server virtualisation, 84 percent use VMware, 53 percent use Citrix Xen, 43 percent use Microsoft Hyper-V and 16 percent use other hypervisors.

However, V-Index also found that 38 percent of enterprises using server virtualisation intend to change their primary hypervisor over the next 12 months, suggesting that VMware may not retain its dominant position for much longer. Change is being driven by concerns around costs, licensing models and the features and maturity that other hypervisors can offer, said Veeam.

“This latest release of the V-index data shows the trend toward the co-existence of hypervisor platforms,” said Ratmir Timashev (pictured), CEO at Veeam Software. “Greater choice in the market sees customers actively choosing to change purchasing patterns around virtualisation.”

Barriers to growth

On average, each physical server within an enterprise data centre hosts five virtual machines, and most enterprises expect their virtualised server estate to grow over the next 12 months. However, those businesses surveyed identified a number of barriers to increased virtualisation penetration. The top concern was about the reliability of virtual machines (36 percent), followed by concerns around application performance (34 percent).

Other points raised include concerns around application performance, the need to wait for a hardware refresh before deployment and concerns around managing the virtual estate.

VMware is hoping to address this last point, at least, with a slew of management tools, designed to simplify and automate IT management for companies looking to move to the cloud. For example, the company’s new vFabric Application Management Suite is designed to simplify how applications are provisioned and ultimately managed in a cloud infrastructure, and its IT Business Management Suite analyses financial data to offer insight into cost, risk, performance and compliance.

Analyst firm Ovum has predicted that 2012 will see the development of a new type of management layer that will allow companies to better orchestrate supply and demand in the cloud.

“We anticipate, in the next year, the capabilities of this management layer will be enhanced, and enabled for cross-technology management,” said Ovum principal analyst, and virtualisation expert, Roy Illsley.

Desktop virtualisation set for shake-up

Enterprises using desktop virtualisation are also managing to avoid vendor lock-in, according to the V-Index report. VMware also leads the desktop virtualisation market, with 75 percent of the enterprises surveyed choosing to use its technology. Meanwhile, 56 percent use Citrix, 45 percent use Microsoft Hyper-V and 7 percent use other hypervisors, but over a third of those surveyed plan to change over the next 12 months.

“Desktop virtualisation is growing in relevance and many enterprises are opting for a range of solutions from key vendors,” said Timashev.

Veeam Software is a provider of VMware data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management solutions for virtual data centre environments. The study was performed by Vanson Bourne, an independent market research company.

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