The widespread deployment of virtualized servers is laying a strong foundation for the adoption of cloud computing, a report from International Data Corp. (IDC) has found.

In its latest quarterly server-virtualization tracker survey, IDC found that 19.4 percent of all new servers shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 were virtualized. That compared to 18.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, but IDC noted that 28 percent more servers shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 on surging demand.

“IDC continues to see virtualization as a critical evolutionary step in the journey to the private cloud, with customers’ environments quickly maturing and focusing on mobility, self-provisioning, and metering and chargeback capabilities,” Matt Eastwood, IDC’s group vice president for enterprise platforms, said in a statement.

Virtualized server end user spending increased 23.3% in the fourth quarter versus the year ago period, and for all of 2010 reached $16.8 billion. Spending on all types of virtualization software increased 36% year-over-year, reaching $877 million in the fourth quarter.

IDC noted that the worldwide recession drove data center managers across all geographies to leverage the benefits offered by virtual machine technologies to lower short-term capital costs. That shift in spending took place as cloud computing began to gain traction in the marketplace.

“The hype of cloud computing was all the rage in 2010,” Brett Waldman, IDC senior analyst for software appliances and virtualization, added. “But it is the foundation of virtualization that makes it all possible. Combined with the economic recovery, the drive to pave the way towards creating cloud environments gave rise to a very successful year in virtualization implementations.”





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