Virtualisation a reality for European firms

8 May 2007

Server virtualisation is being adopted at a rapid rate across European organisations, research by IDC’s European Systems and Infrastructure Research Group has found.

The research found that on average 7pc of installed servers for the sample surveyed are virtualised, 69pc of servers purchased in the past 12 months were virtualised and it is forecast that 49pc of new servers purchased next year will be virtualized.

The services industry in particular were heavily using server virtualisation, with Linux representing the most likely target for virtualisation, closely followed by Windows. Rack-optimised servers dominated survey respondents’ virtual server environment, followed by blades servers.

“Virtual server technology has been a feature of IT systems for a very long time, having started in the mainframe data centre as a way to create logical partitions within a large computing resource so that each partition could run a specific workload without interfering with the others,” said Nathaniel Martinez, program manager with IDC.
“However, faced with mounting pressure to constantly deliver new applications at a lower cost, more rapidly and with a higher level of availability, enterprise data centres naturally turn to server virtualisation to optimise IT resources.

“European organizations surveyed view the virtualization of system resources as a technology that has the potential to change the dynamics through which organizations consume IT resources,” said Martinez. “And, in many ways, it is quickly becoming a de facto component of their IT fabric.”

Overall, IDC anticipates the number of virtualized servers to grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55pc to 1.1 million shipments in 2011, representing 52pc of the forecast 2,197,000 server shipments for that period.

IDC forecasts customer revenue from virtualized server sales in Western Europe will grow from US$948m in 2006 to US$5.5bn in 2011, corresponding to a 41pc five-year CAGR.

The IDC research is based on a survey of 102 European IT directors and managers that have implemented server virtualisation within their organizations.

By Niall Byrne