Virtualization Adoption Trails Off

Virtualization has been touted as the Next Big Thing for several years now, even by companies that would ostensibly suffer from customers buying one server instead of ten. So what’s happening, and what’s behind the dropping numbers?

What’s going on with virtualization? The once hot technology’s invasion of the data center is slowing down, at least according to recent studies from Gartner and IDC.

Gartner reported in October that “virtualization is still in its infancy,” noting that “only 16% of workloads are running in virtual machines today.” Meanwhile, IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker found that “worldwide virtualization software revenue declined 18.7% year over year in 2Q09.”

What happened? Was it the economy? Was it obstacles like security and management? Was it the fact that vendors had been overhyping the space?

Actually, nothing much at all happened. Sure, the recession is slowing things down, but virtualization is still a bright spot in a bad economy, with adoption doubling almost every year. “When all is said and done, we expect adoption to increase by a factor of ten from 2008 to 2012,” said Thomas Bittman, an analyst with Gartner.

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