Virtualization Technology News and Information
Server Hardware Spending Slows, While Software-Based Virtualization Grows
TheInfoPro (TIP),, has released the Time Series Report for Wave 3 of its Server Study. According to over 130 in-depth interviews with leading-edge Server professionals, user projections for 2006 server spending have fallen sharply overall since year-end 2005, led by lower projections for mid-range RISC hardware. At the same time, software-based server virtualization continues to gain acceptance in enterprise computing. While interest in and adoption of virtualization continue at the highest rates in the Server Study, the percentage of those who report being skeptical of the benefits of virtualization has risen from 6% to 13%.

Wave 2 of the Server Study was released in January 2006. Wave 3 was conducted in the second quarter of 2006, and released in August.

Overall spending was down due to reductions in hardware budgets although spending on software-based virtualization continues to grow. While users aren't projecting an overall decline in spending, the optimism for spending growth in 2006 shown earlier in the year has weakened. Interestingly, even though low end hardware growth is continuing as expected, larger systems spending has been scaled back.

-- User projections for 2006 server spending fell dramatically in Wave 3 (Summer 2006), reflecting a far less optimistic view than 2005's year-end outlook. While 32% of users still expect no change in their Server budget, the percentage of those expecting a decline from 2005 to 2006 have risen from less than 10% in Wave 2 (Winter 2006) to over 30% this Wave.

-- Virtual Machine Software continues to lead the TIP Server Software Technology Heat Index(TM), with Virtual Machine Software for Edge / Web Servers ranked #1 in Wave 2 (Winter 2006) as well as Wave 3 (Summer 2006), while Virtual Machine Software for Mid-tier / Application Servers rose to 2nd.

TIP's patented Technology Heat Index factors in the current and planned usage of over 30 different server hardware and software technologies, including server virtualization, blade servers, and server storage hardware, prioritizing them based on the immediacy of planned implementation and near-term spending. Particular weight is given to those technologies with high interest but low deployment, which signals significant growth opportunity.

For more details on these findings, please review a free multimedia presentation at:

The Server Study asked many detailed psychographic questions on the "motivators and inhibitors" of both virtualization and blade servers, as well as technology choices and timeframes for deployment. For example:

-- While virtualization is still the hottest technology, as cited by most Server professionals, and its implementation the #1 priority in Server organizations, enthusiasm and expectations have fallen slightly from Wave 2 (Winter 2006) to Wave 3 (Summer 2006).

-- In Wave 2, 48% of respondents described virtualization as critical to their business objectives. In Wave 3, that percentage has dropped to 41%. Users don't report dissatisfaction with virtualization; rather the decline represents a resetting of expectations as users gain experience.

"While virtualization is fast becoming a way of life for Server professionals, as users gain experience they are realizing that not all applications are ideal candidates for virtualization. At the same time, users believe they can wring more costs out of the data center virtualizing on x86 in the long run," notes Bob Gill, TIP's Chief Research Officer. "Many see virtualization as a means of cutting costs while providing flexibility such as dynamic provisioning of server images. As standard offerings from Intel and AMD move to include multi-core, 64-bit processors, x86 system performance in comparison to RISC ceases to be an issue. Users don't expect to eliminate their RISC systems, but do expect to spend less on them in the future."

Wave 3 of TIP's Server Study captured details on a broad range of user experiences and plans for Grid computing, virtualization, blade servers, server networking, server and systems management, storage options, and processor types. Vendors discussed and rated by users include IBM, HP, Dell, Sun, AMD, Intel, Egenera, Fabric 7, Brocade, McDATA, QLogic, NetApp, Broadcom, EMC / VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Suse / Novell, Altiris, Opsware, and HP / RLX.

For more details on these findings, please review a free multimedia presentation at:

Published Wednesday, September 06, 2006 8:56 AM by David Marshall
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