Virtual servers overtaking shipments of physical product


Virtual servers overtaking shipments of physical product

Simon Quicke

The number of virtualised servers in Europe is set to overtake the physical number later this year as more users cut hardware budgets and look to squeeze costs out of their infrastructure.

According to IDC the number of servers shipped with virtualisation bundled has increased by 26.5% last year reaching 358,000 units in Western Europe. There are also signs that the x86 market has also helped increase virtual sales.

Giorgio Nebuloni, research analyst at IDC European systems and infrastructure solutions, forecasted a situation where the ratio between virtual and physical servers was 3:2 by 2013.

It also predicts that the market for servers, both virtual and physical, will continue to grow strongly over the next four years.

But the analyst house warned that as the number of virtual servers increased so would the need for management.

"Being so quick and straightforward, the deployment of virtual machines can generate sprawling environments, where IT managers lose visibility on the amount of VMs and on their actual utilization," warned Nebuloni.

That warning was jumped on by those operating in the virtualised management arena who pointed out that a significant portion of users remained in the dark about the importance of managing the virtual infrastructure.

"We have always said that tools for physical servers either don't work or provide very limited capabilities. People still need to be educated," said Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO at Veeam.

Russell Blackburn, UK managing director at Parallels, said that the IDC numbers were encouraging for those operating in the virtualisation market but there was still a requirement for resellers to push management tools.

"Virtualisation is pretty well established as a viable model but there is another layer on top [the management tools] and that's where the resellers will get to add the value," he said.

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