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Study: Servers Lead Virtualization Pack

A global enterprise virtualization survey released today confirms that virtualization is becoming stronger and stronger in the enterprise, with server virtualization leading the wave.

According to the CA-sponsored study of 300 companies worldwide with $250 million or more in annual revenue, 74 percent of those surveyed (88 percent in the U.S.) ranked servers as the most important area for virtualization, followed by storage (60 percent worldwide/63 percent U.S.), applications (49 percent worldwide/54 percent U.S.) and the entire enterprise/data center (43 percent for both).

Servers, followed by storage and applications, are also where companies have had the most success in rolling out virtualization, according to the study. And it's servers that are going to get the most money in the upcoming months: The likelihood of investing is 72 percent worldwide/88 percent U.S. for server virtualization, 58 percent worldwide/65 percent U.S. for storage and 43 percent worldwide/47 percent U.S. for application virtualization.

While infrastructure optimization ranked as the fifth most important area of virtualization for the respondents, it ranked dead last -- behind desktop virtualization, grid computing and file virtualization -- for what companies expected to invest in during the next 18 months (24 percent worldwide/16 percent U.S.).

According to the survey, the most popular ways companies plan to use virtualization 18 months down the road are "non-mission critical services" (54 percent worldwide/75 percent U.S.), application development (53 percent worldwide/61 percent U.S.), for "mission-critical services" (49 percent worldwide/64 percent U.S.) and disaster recovery (45 percent worldwide/63 percent U.S.). The most popular mission-critical uses cited are IT infrastructure management, customer service, accounting/finance, data analytics and application development. According to the survey results, EMEA and Pacific Rim are more likely to be in the planning stages of a virtualization rollout.

The study also asked respondents about how service-oriented architecture (SOA) fits into their virtualization plans. Approximately 50 percent of those in the U.S. and 60 percent in EMEA rated it very important or critical.

As for why these companies are turning to virtualization, lower total cost of ownership (72 percent) led for U.S. respondents, followed by easier hardware provisioning and software deployment (69 percent) and result of server consolidation initiatives (68 percent). Even with all the moves toward virtualization, 45 percent of those surveyed in both the U.S. and worldwide said they do not yet have a method in place to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their solutions.

The survey didn't ask about particular products, but did ask whether companies were using multiple vendors or single vendors for their platform. According to the study, 52 percent of companies worldwide use multiple vendor solutions, with 40 percent standardized on one virtualization platform.

The complete results can be found here.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the vice president of Web & Digital Strategy for 1105's Converge360 Group, where she oversees the front-end Web team and deals with all aspects of digital strategy. She also serves as executive editor of the group's media Web sites, and you'll even find her byline on PureAI.com, the group's newest site for enterprise developers working with AI. She recently gave a talk at a leading technical publishers conference about how changes in Web technology may impact publishers' bottom lines. Follow her on twitter @beckynagel.

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