October 5, 2010 – Virtualization will be highest impact issue for enterprises through 2015, but, along with it comes a possible rude awakening from shortfalls in server workloads and growth, according to a forthcoming report.

In the report, Connecticut-based researchers Gartner estimated that more than 80 percent of enterprises now have a virtualization program or project, but only one-quarter of all server workloads will be in a virtual machine by the end of this year. Philip Dawson, research vice president at Gartner, said in a news release announcing the preliminary findings that as virtualization matures, the next "big thing" will be automating the composition and management of the virtualized resources.

"Virtualization will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge," Dawson said.

Approximately 90 percent of the server market is composed of x86 architecture servers, but based on a one-application-per-server rule, most of that is unused at any one time, Gartner estimated. While the report notes that virtualization works as a cost-saving measure, researchers found that already mature server virtualization deployments are reporting faster deployments, reduced downtime, variable usage accounting and other benefits.

Also, Gartner reported that leaders believe they have virtualizated their x86 servers, though expected expansion should include planning for two-to-three times that growth of virtualization in a portfolio.

Additional information on the report, entitled “ATV: Virtualization Reality,” is expected to be released at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Oct. 17-21 in Orlando, Fla.

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