Cost saving and flexibility main reasons for using Hyper-V – survey

16 Sep 2011

Cost saving was the primary reason for using virtualisation technology Microsoft Hyper-V, only marginally ahead of the increased flexibility it promises, a survey of its customers suggests.

Launched at this week’s Build developers conference in Anaheim, California, the 80-question survey was conducted online last month and organised by three Microsoft staffers, including two from Ireland, Aidan Finn and Damian Flynn. The poll received responses from 408 people who said they use Microsoft Hyper-V, and this is the sample set that was used for the results.

Almost three out of 10 respondents (29.4pc) said their main reason for deploying virtualisation was reducing costs, closely followed by 28.1pc who said they did so to increase flexibility. One of the next most-popular reasons given – albeit some way down the list at 7.6pc – was that it would allow organisations to create a public or private cloud.

Just 6.6pc said it was to save on space in their server rooms and fewer than 1pc said they made the move for environmental reasons.

In a report published with the findings, Finn said: “This is proof that money talks; virtualisation does give reduced costs, mainly by reduced electricity consumption, and therefore greener computing is a happy side effect.”

Another stat to emerge from the findings was that 73pc of organisations don’t replicate their virtualised and application infrastructure to a secondary site for disaster recovery. What’s more, 91pc of respondents said they were interested in the Hyper-V Replica feature promised for Windows 8.

“The demonstration of Windows 8’s Hyper-V Replica has generated a substantial amount of interest because it takes advantage of virtualisation’s decoupling of the application from hardware, not to mention that it will be a built-in feature of Windows Server at no extra cost,” said Finn.

Why use Hyper-V?

In a multiple-choice question, respondents were asked what they use Hyper-V for, and 79.9pc said they use it in production systems. Finn noted this in his report, saying that when Microsoft launched Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V technology it did so by recommending customers use it for lightweight applications.

At the time, VMware had cornered the virtualisation market and Microsoft took this approach simply to get a foot in the door, said Finn. Given the customer take-up since then, he added: “It will be interesting to see if (or should that be how) this will close in on 100pc when Windows 8 Hyper-V adds support for more than 16x CPUs in a virtual machine.”

Almost half of the respondents (48.7pc) said they chose Hyper-V as the primary solution because they run a Microsoft-centric network.

Nearly 64pc of those surveyed said they only run Hyper-V, but many organisations run more than one hypervisor either to suit the purpose of applications or because of investments that had already been made. The next most favoured technologies in these cases were VMware’s vSphere (28.9pc), Citrix XenServer (11pc) and RedHat (1.96pc).

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic