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Virtual Stall? Virtual Schmal...

Got a head's up from a vendor today: 2011 will be the year of virtual stall (which rhymes with VM sprawl, but is not a close relative). According to this vendor--who obviously has skin in the VM stall game--"analysts, visionaries, and vendors; they're all predicting that this is the year we see virtual stall taking a chunk out of the virtualization market.

I'm going to disagree with that based on the results of my many questions to vendors, users and other experts during innumerable interviews and briefings I have had in the past year or so. “Surely,” I have said, “the server virtualization market is going to slow down soon because everyone agrees that while only 50 percent of likely servers have virtualized, the low-hanging fruit has been picked over, and the failure of management technology to keep pace with the proliferation of virtualized data centers is starting to catch up with beleaguered users.”

“Not so,” nearly everyone has replied, before going into the sound reasons why this great--if you're VMware--market remains largely untapped. So without a bunch of reasons why, we just know that VMware, which basically owns the server virtualization game, will continue to prosper. Nobody is going to take any chunks out of their bread and butter.

So what about Citrix? If you listen to their public pronouncements, XenServer downloads are strong and the market is receptive. Microsoft? Hyper-V may be the poor man's virtualization tool of choice, and Redmond won't be capturing dominant virtualization market share anytime soon, but there are many users out there who are happy to stay in their comfort zone with what they know best, even if Hyper-V is relatively underpowered compared to ESXi.

I haven't heard of any user groundswell indicating that server virtualization buyers are beginning to balk; just the opposite, really, because more and more SMBs are virtualizing, and they tend to do that with big buys. At the same time, enterprise data centers have come a long way, but again you don't hear CIOs saying they are reaching the end of the line with their server virtualization plans. What they're seeing is a lot of upcoming cloud configurations that will require substantial, data center-based virtual server support.

This market is just too big, too lucrative to get sick at this point. Virtual stall? I don't think so.

What do you think?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/20/2011 at 12:48 PM


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