Virtualization – On the Way to Cloud Computing

Michelle DeFiore

blog-200912-sunny-clouds-600pxServer Virtualization – from Emerging to Mainstream at Light Speed There’s something about Thomas Bittman. For some reason, when he talks, he makes me believe the vision of the future he’s describing. This is probably the 4th or 5th time I’ve seen him speak about virtualization and cloud computing and the vision he initially laid out is slowly but surely coming true. First, he set the stage. Far from being widespread, only about 16% of  x86 workloads are running in virtual machines, with an estimated half of all installed workloads to run in virtual machines by YE2012. Perhaps not so surprisingly, the engine of growth for virtualization is switching from large enterprises to small business. Large enterprises started sooner and are perhaps 25% virtualized today.

Virtual Machines: % of installed x86 workloads running in a vm

  • 12%    2008
  • 29%    2009
  • 48%    2012

Market Share – Virtual Machine installed base and growth projections

  • VMware owned 89% of 5.8 million installed virtual machines in 2008
  • Microsoft had 8% of the installed market (Virtual Server more than Hyper-V installations)
  • Citrix had only 2%

By 2012, the installed base of virtual machines is projected to reach 58 million with market share as follows: VMware 65%, Microsoft 27%, Citrix 6%. AUDIENCE POLLS What is the primary vm solution you are using for x86 servers now?

  • Citrix         3%
  • Microsoft 7%
  • Novell       0%
  • Oracle       1%
  • Red Hat    1%
  • VMware   85%
  • Other         3%

What will be your primary virtual machine solution by 2012? (i.e., how many of you are going to leave VMware and for what other solution)

  • Citrix         5%
  • Microsoft 21%
  • Novell        0%
  • Oracle        3%
  • Red Hat     5%
  • VMware    65%
  • Other          1%

So VMware has a smaller piece of the pie but don’t feel sorry for them since the pie is supposed to get 10x bigger. Given the numbers, the real identified threat to VMware is Microsoft, no surprise. By 2012, 25% of virtual machines will run on Hyper-V (surprisingly validated by the real-time audience poll which identified 21%) Bittman shared his thoughts on the characteristics of who should choose Microsoft:

  • smaller deployment (<100 vm’s)
  • heavy user of Microsoft management – Systems Center
  • low cost more important than features
  • simplicity in managing a mixed physical server and virtual server environment
  • but not meant for large scale

Who should choose VMware:

  • large deployment > 200 vm’s
  • already investment in VMware, skills, etc

Will VMware ever manage Hyper-V and Xen? Absolutely.

[Julia’s note: I thought this last year too but still no movement from VMware] Bittman wrapped up with this statement, “Server virtualization is the slippery slope to cloud computing.” And the steps to get there: Stage 1: Server Virtualization – initial cost savings, move from capex to opex Stage 2: Distributed Virtualization – automation and live migration Stage 3: Private Cloud – self-service model, chargeback and cost accounting Stage 4: Hybrid Cloud – take advantage of some public cloud compute resources used with private cloud environments

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