Virtualisation software revenues to grow 43pc

13 Feb 2009

Global sales of virtualisation software will rise 43pc to US$2.7bn in 2009, driven by the need of organisations to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and their carbon footprint.

Gartner’s definition of the virtualisation market includes server virtualisation management, server virtualisation infrastructure and hosted virtual desktops (HVDs).

Gartner estimates that revenue from HVDs will more than triple from US$74.1m to $298.6m in 2009, while revenue from server virtualisation management software will increase 42pc from US$913.9m in 2008 to US$1.3bn in 2009.

Revenue from server virtualisation infrastructure will grow 22.5pc from US$917m in 2008 to US$1.1bn in 2009.

“Virtualisation helps organisations to cut costs, make better use of assets and reduce implementation and management time and complexity, all of which are crucial in this economic environment,” said Alan Dayley, research director at Gartner.

“Server virtualisation management will be the primary source of growth in the virtualisation market as hypervisor software functionality – key to virtualising a server – rapidly moves to hardware.

“Server virtualisation management technology, in particular, is designed to reduce TCO, reduce associated availability risk and improve quality of service. In addition, building more manageability into infrastructure components provides technology suppliers with an additional source of revenue and a basis for competitive differentiation,” Dayley said.

Although HVD is an emerging technology that currently represents 11pc of the virtualisation ent. software revenue market, it will account for a growing proportion of corporate users through 2013. Virtual desktop infrastructure feeds additional server virtualisation needs because the users’ desktop data will now need to be managed in a virtualised server environment.

Maturity and acceptance will result in a significant broadening of the addressable user population by 2010 and an acceleration in deployments. Gartner advised end-user organisations to define and optimise management processes for HVDs as they did for traditional PCs.

Although HVD images are centralised and more standardised, the capabilities for managing them across their full deployment life cycles remain incomplete. To remedy this, they should budget for additional point-solution management capabilities.

“End-user organisations must build cost and benefit financial models to fully understand the financial impact of implementing HVDs, and make certain that cost and benefit exist as compared with those for traditional PCs,” said Phil Dawson, research vice-president at Gartner.

“There is a growing number of management providers, which represents an opportunity for end-user pricing leverage, but no vendor offers a complete set of server virtualisation management functionality. IT organisations will have to undertake – or outsource – their own virtualisation management system integration efforts or wait for better-integrated and robust toolsets.”

From a vendor perspective, by 2013 Microsoft will challenge VMware as the dominant vendor in the server virtualisation infrastructure market, and will do very well in small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). The server virtualisation management market is currently wide open, with more than 100 vendors supplying products that meet some of the requirements in the management stack.

As the management market matures, virtualisation infrastructure vendors, the ‘Big Four’ (BMC Software, CA, HP and IBM/Tivoli) and other management vendors will build and acquire more virtualisation management capabilities, thus consolidating the market.

On the other hand, Gartner said the HVD vendor landscape is crowded, confusing, and full of opportunists.

By John Kennedy