Companies running more applications on virtual servers

The use of virtual server technology for production workloads has spiked over the past year, according to a new survey from Forrester. It found that more than nine in ten of organizations were using server virtualization for production workloads (up from 78% last year), evidence that the virtualization market is maturing according to analyst Andrew Reichman, author of Storage Choices For Virtual Server Environments Q1 2011.

Reichman said web and infrastructure applications still top the list of applications running in virtual server environments but that database and other more demanding applications are increasing. Microsoft SQL went from 53% virtual deployments to 68%, while email rose from 29% to 51%.
Storage was reported as being one of the main challenges, with the majority of companies saying it remains difficult to manage storage for server virtualization. This chimes with the findings of Ovum’s 2011 Trends to Watch: Storage report, in which it states that the volume of data stored by businesses continues to rise rapidly – in some cases by more than 50% a year.

The report found that server virtualization creates major problems for storage systems and the solutions require increased convergence between the two technology streams. Ovum reckons this process could see server virtualization platforms usurp many of the current functions of storage systems and also suggests that handling the major data throughput loads created by desktop virtualization systems could become the first widespread enterprise application for flash memory drives.

The likelihood of significant increases in data throughput was further underlined by the findings of a survey of Citrix resellers. One third of respondents said their customers were using virtualization across the entire organization, according to a recent survey by the firm, with demand for desktop virtualization technology slightly ahead of that for virtual servers.

More than half of those surveyed believed desktop virtualization to be the key revenue generating technology, while a further 45% thought virtualization sold as part of a broader cloud initiative would drive sales. Half of the resellers have changed their business model to accommodate cloud services with a further 16% set to follow suit this year.

Kevin Bland, Citrix channel director for the UK and Ireland said the research showed the IT landscape was evolving rapidly with desktop virtualization making a significant impact in the marketplace and that the company’s partners understood that in three year’s time the idea of being dependent on a single computer or location for work would be long outdated.


Anthony Plewes

After a Masters in Computer Science, I decided that I preferred writing about IT rather than programming. My 20-year writing career has taken me to Hong Kong and London where I've edited and written for IT, business and electronics publications. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Stewart Baines where I continue to write about a range of topics such as unified communications, cloud computing and enterprise applications.