Server Virtualization: A Five-Year Roadmap

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-12-02 Print this article Print

The installed base of VMs will grow more than tenfold between 2007 and 2011, says Gartner. By 2012, the majority of x86 server workloads will be running in virtual machines. Unix and mainframes also will be using virtualization, but Intel-based open systems will run the bulk of the workloads, Gartner predicts.

LAS VEGAS-Because the virtualization of IT infrastructure now is so pervasive and integral to the daily operation of data centers, it would behoove IT managers to take a look at the next five years and get a projection of where trends in this technology might be heading.

So, Thomas Bittman, a Gartner data center research vice president, on Dec. 2 dared to look into the future and report-based on IT trends of the past-what he believes will happen.

"Only two or three years ago, almost all virtualization was relegated to testing and development. Now we figure that a full 70 percent of all data centers are using virtual machines of some sort in production," Bittman told a crowded room of attendees at the Gartner Data Center Conference here at the MGM Grand Hotel.

Virtualization is a major paradigm shift from conventional single-purpose application servers to a pool of computing power that encompasses a few or numerous servers, enabling notable performance gains and a lessening of the electrical energy used to run them.

"By 2012, at least 14 percent of the infrastructure and operations architecture of Fortune 1000 companies will be managed and delivered much like a cloud-computing provider, internally (service-oriented, paid by usage, scalable, elastic and shared)," Bittman wrote in a report that accompanied his presentation.

This technology is called a "private cloud," a spinoff of already well-utilized public clouds, such as those provided by and Google.

Private cloud computing differs from the mainstream version in that smaller, cloudlike IT systems within a firewall offer similar services, but to a closed internal network. This network may include corporate or division offices, other companies that are also business partners, raw material suppliers, resellers, production-chain entities and other organizations intimately connected with a corporate mother ship.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel