The Worldwide Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker published by International Data Corporation (IDC) reveals an increase of 18.2% in all new servers shipped in 4Q09 that were virtualized, as contrasted with 15.2% in 4Q08. The Tracker reports that customers have adopted a virtualization mentality as a post-downturn strategy. Still, the Tracker continues, " ... new server shipments virtualized for the total of 2009 declined 5% from 2008. Virtualized server end user spending declined 2% year over year in 4Q09 and 14% for all of 2009 to $15.2 billion."
The report goes on to note that, worldwide, virtualization software revenue for all CPU types declined by 10% year over year in 4Q09 to $447 million .... Virtualization licenses increased 13% year over year and 21% sequentially in the quarter but declined 7% for all of 2009."
According to Matt Eastwood, group vice president of Enterprise Platforms at IDC, "The recovery in server spending is being led by x86 systems where virtualization continues to remain a top priority. IDC sees virtualization as a critical evolutionary step in the journey to the private cloud. Customers are quickly moving beyond the core hypervisor and focusing on mobility, self-provisioning, and metering & chargeback capabilities. As a result, IDC believes that automation tools increasingly represent the battleground in determining the winners and losers in a marketplace which is rapidly reshaping itself."
The widespread adoption of virtualization is seen by IDC in both mature and emerging markets, according to Michelle Bailey, research vice president of Datacenter Trends at IDC.
"The recession affected datacenters across all geographies and consequently many organizations leveraged the consolidation benefits of virtual machine technology to lower short-term capital costs. Looking ahead, the most successful vendors in the virtualization market will be those that can automate the management of an ever-escalating installed base of virtual machines as well as provide a platform for long-term innovation that enables customers to continuously make improvements to their operations. Virtual server sprawl is already a reality for many IT organizations and we expect that 2010 will be a tipping point in the adoption of new management tools and IT policies," she observes.
For 2009, Hewlett-Packard maintained 38% market share in virtualized new server shipments, while declining 2% from 2008. Dell's market share decreased 1% to 28% in 2009 and IBM was third with 15% market share. IBM was the only vendor with positive growth in 2009, increasing 1%.
In x86 virtualized servers, VMware ESX remains the number one virtualization platform with total licenses increasing 19% year over year in 4Q09, Tracker continues, identifying VMware Server as the number two virtualization platform despite declining 9% year over year. Microsoft Hyper-V continued its ascent, the report notes, capturing the third highest market share by growing 215% year over year, though off a small base.
Meanwhile, Virtual Server 2005, with the fourth largest share, continued its depreciation with year-over-year licenses declining 29%. Citrix XenServer also showed impressive year-over-year growth of 290% and rounded out the top 5, coming off its third quarter of offering the product for free with certain management functionality. XenServer's sequential growth was a relatively modest 25%, Tracker points out.
In the view of Brett Waldman, senior research analyst for Software Appliances and Virtualization at IDC, "2009 was a rough year for all vendors in IT, but the fourth quarter showed that end users are still hungry for virtualization software. Virtualization is no longer the cool, unproven technology that people are looking into for quick cost savings. It has matured into an integral piece of the IT infrastructure as companies move towards virtualization 3.0 and cloud computing."
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