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The New Year in Virtualization Will Bring New Uses, New Capabilities & New Competition

 

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2010?  Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Article Contributed By Tyler Jewell, VP, Products at Vizioncore

The New Year in Virtualization Will Bring New Uses, New Capabilities & New Competition

Server consolidation has traditionally been the biggest driver of virtualization growth, but we think diversification will characterize much virtualization activity in 2010 - organizations will use virtualization in new ways, will introduce new hypervisors into their virtual environments, and will take advantage of new tools to do it all effectively.

To be clear, the VMware platform, consolidation-driven deployments and today's other leading virtualization technologies and uses will continue to enjoy strong adoption. Just as clear, hypervisor competition will be real in 2010 and non-VMware options will strengthen their footholds. Regardless of the hypervisor, virtual infrastructures will become more sophisticated, and many organizations will commit beyond pilots and use virtualization for desktops, disaster recovery and application packaging and delivery.

Hypervisor Competition Isn't Just Hype

The prediction that VMware will face increased competition has been made many times before, but today we are seeing alternative hypervisors increasingly show up in our customers' virtual infrastructure plans. In 2010, many of these plans will turn into pilots and production systems. We don't expect users to replace VMware with alternatives, but rather to introduce additional hypervisors into their virtual environments. Customers have the confidence to do this today because of the improved tools available for managing virtual environments, and because emerging hypervisors are maturing and are well supported.

Hyper-V and XenSource will win many new users, and the market will also support less mainstream, more specialized solutions. Because customers are turning to multi-hypervisor environments to optimize specific systems, emerging, niche-oriented solutions like KVM (for Linux environments) and Oracle VM (OVM) will find homes in many virtual environments during 2010.

More Uses

Interestingly, Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system may make a bigger impact on the evolution of virtualization than its Hyper-V hypervisor. Windows 7 will be heavily adopted, and many users are expected to pursue desktop virtualization as part of their upgrade to Windows 7. We already sense some pent-up demand for desktop virtualization, and virtualizing desktops provides some advantages for managing the migration to a new PC operating system. Plus, Windows 7's built-in support for virtualization (the Windows Virtual PC feature that is standard with the Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate editions) will give users confidence to try desktop virtualization.

Adoption is further along for other non-server consolidation uses of applications. In the past year many of our customers have made virtualization part of their disaster recovery and high availability strategies. They have found they can leverage their virtual infrastructure with tools to automatically back up and replicate systems to other locations, and even for backing up physical systems by using physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration tools. Organizations are discovering that the image techniques used for backing up virtual environments offer benefits for physical systems, offering simply better data protection by reinventing the way data is collected, transmitted and restored.  In the past virtualization has been viewed as a simple and cost-effective way for small organizations to achieve some disaster recovery capability, but virtualization tools are increasingly being used to augment DR augmentation programs for large environments with hundreds of VMs.

More Tools, Higher Ratios, More Possibilities

New applications are possible because virtual infrastructures are becoming more powerful and sophisticated. The hypervisor used to dominate the virtual experience. Hypervisors still drive it, but now many of the capabilities and interactions with the virtual environment come through third-party solutions. Organizations have made widespread use of these resources to get more visibility, functionality and control in their virtual environments. By integrating capacity monitors, intelligent backup and replication engines, resource optimization tools, management applications developed specifically for virtual environments, users are doing much more with virtualization. We are already seeing higher server consolidation ratios, VM densities and VM-to-administrator ratios. As tools become more powerful and easier to integrate, and hypervisors themselves continue to improve, these ratios and other measures of virtual performance will rise to new levels. Where will it lead? We think densities averaging more than 1,000 VMs per physical host will be possible soon.

IT architects may envision a collaborative world where multiple hypervisors and complementary solutions all work happily together, but virtualization vendors will fight to keep competitors out of their space. Each vendor wants to preserve and expand its place in the market, so the competition to retain and attract customers will become even stronger. VMware already raised the bar in 2009 by introducing vSphere, which included a revamped interface and many new features. Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle and other hypervisor vendors no doubt will make a strong response, and providers of virtualization tools and complementary solutions continue to grow and innovate, which will make 2010 a great year for users who are considering expanding or enhancing their virtualization initiatives. That means, in addition to more uses and more choices for their virtual environments, organizations will also gain more value.

About the Author

Tyler Jewell is VP, Products at Vizioncore, a fully owned subsidiary of Quest Software. The company has operations in the Americas, EMEA, Asia and Australia. As a leader in virtualization data protection and management solutions, Vizioncore's products help customers safeguard and optimize their IT systems while allowing them to extract the maximum return on their investment in virtualization. Vizioncore's products are built from the ground up to support virtual environments with none of the legacy encumbrances of products built for physical server. For more information please visit http://www.vizioncore.com/ or http://www.vizioncorum.com/, Vizioncore's official blogging site.

Published Friday, December 18, 2009 6:00 AM by David Marshall
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