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September 27, 2010

25% of all server workloads to be virtualised by 2010 end: Gartner

Virtualisation to continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015

By CBR Staff Writer

Only 25% of all server workloads will be in a virtual machine by year-end 2010, despite more than 80% of enterprises now have a virtualisation program or project, according to Gartner Inc.

Many IT leaders believe that they have virtualised their x86 servers, but Gartner said they have to plan for two to three times the growth of virtualisation in the portfolio.

Gartner research vice president Philip Dawson said that virtualisation will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge.

"Virtualisation now drives efficient IT from all angles, including data center design, platform updates, and application and infrastructure modernisation, as well as traditional and new delivery models, such as infrastructure utility and cloud computing," Dawson said.

Dawson said that as virtualisation matures, the next "big thing" will be automating the composition and management of the virtualised resources.

Gartner estimates that approximately 90% of the server market is composed of x86 architecture servers, but based on a traditional model of one application per server, roughly 80 to 90% of the x86 computing capacity is unused at any time.

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From a desktop perspective, hosted virtual desktops (HVDs) transfer the thick-client computing environment that runs on a PC to a server, removing some management overhead from the desktop location and allowing administrators to centralize their activities, Gartner said.

Dawson said that HVDs were poised to undergo explosive growth, and enterprises are anticipating the flexibility and other benefits that these devices will bring.

"HVDs provide end-user flexibility, efficiency, energy savings and other benefits, enabling administrators to manage desktops from a centralized location and end users to access their desktops from machines in any location," Dawson said.

"However, enterprises need to understand the strain this technology can place on their data center infrastructures and operations, especially when thousands of employees use this platform type."

Gartner analysts said virtualised licensing continues to present a major stumbling block to widespread adoption of virtualisation.

As vendors change their software pricing and associated license provisions to accommodate virtual use, negotiators must plan to spend an increased amount of time per contract to understand the effect of such changes on planned software use.

Gartner said, organisations are likely to experience significantly increased costs and the unintended impairment of their current license rights if they do not diligently monitor the ways each vendor is responding to virtual use issues.

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