Virtualization Momentum Strong but Slowing, Report Says

An IDC study released Thursday depicted a slowing worldwidemarket for virtualized servers. However, Microsoft and interoperabilitymay heat things up again in 2009.

Microsoft Hyper-V, in its first quarter of availability, garnered a23 percent share of all new shipments of virtualization software. Thehypervisor, which is built into Windows Server 2008, can potentiallylower the cost of ownership for virtualization adopters, according toMicrosoft's promotional materials.

The decline in growth rates may be attributable to a maturation ofthe virtualization market. In particular, the large-business,high-volume consolidations that fueled virtualization during the pastcouple of years have all been consolidated, according to the report,"Worldwide Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker."

"The low hanging fruit in the x86 server virtualization market isstarting to dry up," said Brett Waldman, IDC research analyst forsystem software, in a prepared statement.

Waldman suggested that virtualization platform providers should market more toward "mid-sized" companies.

The IDC report noted that VMware continues to lead the virtualization licensing charge with a 78 percent market share.

The virtualization market has been sizzling since mid-decade.Worldwide license shipments increased 53 percent from second-quarter2007 to second-quarter 2008. First-quarter reports for 2007 to 2008indicated a whopping 72 percent increase.

Overall, the virtualization market has grown from approximately $560million in 2005 to a forecasted $2.7 billion in 2009, according to IDC.

Virtualization vendors may be moving toward achieving greaterinteroperability. On Tuesday, Boston-based Citrix Systems released apreview of Project Kensho, a multi-hypervisor toolkit for portablevirtual machine appliances.

The toolkit is based on the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), avirtualization standard developed jointly by VMware, Citrix, Microsoftand Novell. The standard is considered critical in the evolution ofvirtualization by providing a format for interoperability.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media. You can contact Herb here.

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