December 6, 2010 – IDC forecasts that more than 23 percent of all servers shipped in 2014 will be actively supporting virtual machine technology and more than 70 percent of all server workloads installed on new shipments in 2014 will reside in a virtual machine. These forecasts are based on broad customer acceptance and confidence in the role of virtualization in the data center.

IDC also predicts that more than $19 billion will be spent on server hardware in support of these applications. This is more than twice the rate of the overall server market from 2009 to 2014, and IDC expects that this robust growth in server virtualization will continue through 2014 as data center adoption is increasingly considered mainstream in mature economies and as organizations in emerging regions look for data center efficiencies as they increase their server investments.

In a survey of more than 400 IT organizations currently deploying server virtualization, IDC found that organizations are looking to increase the penetration of virtual servers within their environment and increase the number of virtual machines per physical server.

IDC expects that 2010 will be the first year when more than half of all installed application instances will run inside a virtual machine. "Server virtualization is the 'killer app' for the data center and has forever changed IT operations,” said Michelle Bailey, research vice president, Enterprise Platforms and Datacenter Trends, at IDC. “Most data centers have had a 'virtual first' approach to server deployment for the last three years and this has meant that the majority of application instances now reside inside a virtual machine.”

Bailey explains that this has profound implications for not just maintenance and management of the data center but also adjacent infrastructure such as storage and networking. "As the needs of the enterprise begin to turn to management constraints, large virtualization customers will have to begin to more seriously consider investments in automation tools and converged hardware as a means to lower time to deployment and simplify an increasingly complex data center infrastructure," she said in a statement.

IDC will soon release its study, “Server Virtualization Market Forecast and Analysis, 2009-2014,” which includes survey results and interviews to identify virtualization technologies by platform, price band, architecture, server vendor, size of company and industry.

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