Companies favour virtualization to boost production workloads

Seventy-eight per cent of global IT decision-makers use virtual server technology for production application workloads, according to a recent survey by US-based Forrester Research.

The January 2009 report titled ‘Storage Choices For Virtual Server Environments’ also revealed that 98 per cent of the 124 survey respondents were using VMware ESX in their virtual server environments.

EMC, a US-based provider of information infrastructure solutions, today announced that it has been cited in the Forrester survey as “the most prevalent storage vendor in their overall environments” according to the survey of 124 global IT decision-makers currently using x86 server virtualisation technology.



Single storage vendor preferred

The Forrester survey indicated that 48 per cent of respondents chose EMC as their brand for networked storage for virtual servers, nearly two times more prominent than the next closest storage providers, which were IBM (25 per cent), NetApp (24 per cent) and Hewlett-Packard (23 per cent). Additionally, 63 per cent prefer to buy from a single storage vendor.

Andrew Reichman, senior analyst at Forrester, said: “To achieve many of the benefits of server virtualisation, such as the flexibility to move virtual machines between physical hosts for workload balancing and high availability, physical hosts must be networked to shared storage.”

Authorised VMware consultant

In January 2009, EMC became a gold-level VMware authorised consultant to help enterprise customers in virtualising their information infrastructures and data centres.

EMC also announced two new EMC Proven Solutions that leverage EMC’s deep expertise with VMware to help companies of all sizes virtualise their environments and achieve critical IT efficiencies.

Both solutions combine EMC’s industry-leading platforms and backup and recovery software and use fully tested and validated reference architectures and best practices to accelerate time to deployment, deliver predictable results, and achieve improved performance, backup and recovery, high availability and manageability.

Wide server virtualisation deployment

The survey was done from September to October 2008. In the report, Reichman wrote:

• Most organisations use server virtualisation in production. Seventy-eight per cent of respondents are using virtual server technology for production workloads, 20 per cent state use it for development/test workloads, and two per cent are in some form of qualification testing.

• Businesses most often virtualise Web, off-the-shelf, and infrastructure applications. Consistent with previous Forrester surveys, Web, commercial off-the-shelf, and infrastructure applications ranked high on the list of workloads IT virtualises. Interestingly though, a reasonable number of respondents run Oracle Database, Oracle applications, and e-mail applications in their virtual server environments, long considered to be holdouts from the world of x86 server virtualisation.

• VMware is still the primary choice, but other hypervisors are gaining traction. VMware is the clear leader in virtual server software selection among our survey respondents, with 98 per cent of respondents indicating that they have ESX in their environment.

However, a sizeable number of respondents have an alternative vendor’s product as well: 17 per cent use either Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 or Hyper-V, closely followed by Citrix’s XenServer at 10 per cent.