Virtualization Giveth and Virtualization Taketh Away

According to new research from Infiniti Research, there's "overwhelming" evidence that spending on servers is significantly slowing down across a broad range of markets. In some cases, it's slowing by a factor of five.

According to TechNavio, a research solution that examines the range of the IT industry's intelligence needs, this slowdown has a direct correlation with virtualization deployments along with the growing number of "green" initiatives.

In his report, Rahul Agarwal, co-founder of Infiniti Research and head of business development for TechNavio, says that worldwide research conducted in 2006 shows datacenters housed some 29 million servers, noting that servers have grown at a rate of 15 percent a year since 2000. However, he cites IDC figures that say server shipments grew 5.9 percent in 2006, and that his firm's analysis has that figure slowing to only 2 percent in 2008.

"By 2009, it will actually go into a sustained decline to reach about 24.5 million by 2014," Agarwal said.

To offset this "volume pressure," Agarwal said hardware vendors will be forced to improve unit margins by building in virtualization capability, memory and I/O interfaces into the hardware. "Our research also appears to indicate that some vendors may push thin client sales as desktop virtualization proliferates," he said.

Another interesting fact to come out of the research is the anticipated impact server consolidation and virtualization will have on the overall environment. The study showed that the average-sized server has the same carbon footprint as a mid-sized four-wheel drive vehicle consuming 17 liters of fuel in order to travel 100 km.

"Therefore, over the next five years or so, a reduction of somewhere in the region of 5 million servers will have the same environmental impact as taking 5 million four-wheel drives off the road," Agarwal said.

Posted by Ed Scannell on October 11, 2007 at 11:57 AM