Gartner: Virtualization 'Highest Impact' Tech Through 2012
When it comes to infrastructure and operations, research firm Gartner says
that virtualization will be the
most significant trend through the next
Not only will virtualization impact IT professionals working on everything
from servers to desktops, it will also mean changes for the market as vendors
compete and also consolidate.
"Virtualization will transform how IT is managed, what is bought, how
it is deployed, how companies plan and how they are charged," Gartner stated
in a summary of the survey's findings. "As a result, virtualization is
creating a new wave of competition among infrastructure vendors that will result
in considerable market disruption and consolidation over the next few years."
One main reason Gartner cites for virtualization's impact is the strong "promise"
of server virtualization, which it says will allow organizations to get much
more out of their infrastructure. In fact, Gartner thinks server virtualization
has already reduced the market for x86 servers by four percent in 2006; it expects
there to be four million virtual machines by 2009.
The research company also predicts that PC virtualization will "increase
rapidly" during the next three years, with five million virtualized PCs
in 2007 leaping to 660 million by the end of 2011.
"As both server and PC virtualization become more pervasive, traditional
IT infrastructure orthodoxy is being challenged and is changing the way business
works with IT," commented Philip Dawson, vice president of Gartner, in
a released statement.
Reasons Gartner gives for virtualization's rapid rise include "sharp"
drops in hypervisor prices and management costs (thanks to increased competition),
plus increased flexibility and choices due to "decoupling technology that
breaks the close ties and dependencies...between hardware and the operating
system (machine virtualization) and between the operating system and applications
Gartner vice president Thomas Bittman even predicts that "the days of
the monolithic, general-purpose operating system will soon be over."
"Traditionally the operating system has been the center of gravity for
client and server computing," he explained in a released statement, "but
new technologies, new modes of computing, and infrastructure virtualization
and automation are changing the architecture and role of the operating system."
More information on Gartner's take on the virtualization market and what it
will mean for IT overall can be found here.