Businesses Consider Virtualization Key to Success, Survey Finds
Interest in server virtualization among U.S. medium-size businesses
(MBs, firms with 100-1,000 employees) increased significantly in the
past year, according to AMI Partners' latest MB tracking study. The
survey found the percentage of U.S. MBs that consider server
virtualization strategically important has increased from 46 percent to
Melissa Chong, manager of managed services at AMI, said 2009 was the
turning point for server virtualization usage among U.S. medium
businesses, accelerated by the affects of the economic downturn as
midmarket CIOs and IT managers looked for ways to cut IT costs and
boost asset utilization. "Server virtualization can yield many benefits
for a midmarket firm. At the most basic level, it improves utilization
and reduces the number of physical servers, while at the same time,
reducing electricity and cooling costs," she said. "In addition, U.S.
MBs become more responsive to users' needs by reducing application
deployment and migration times."
In response to this interest, IT vendors and channel partners have
increased their focus on the U.S. medium business market providing them
with new virtualization solutions. However, for many of these medium
businesses, Chong said implementing virtualization can also be a
challenge-requiring specialized IT skills for effective implementation.
In addition, virtualization often requires companies to upgrade their
old server, storage and networking hardware to optimize the new
virtualized environment, which adds to the perception that
virtualization is a complex and costly process. Despite these
perceptions, AMI expectd U.S. midmarket firms to increase their
adoption of virtualization in the coming months as they upgrade their
IT infrastructures, having deferred their purchases over the last year
and a half during recession.
"U.S. midmarket firms are becoming more aware of the concept and benefits of virtualization as a whole. When midmarket firms upgrade their infrastructure, they will look into virtualization across server, clients, storage and networks as well," said Chong. "In the past few months, companies like Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM have announced their own virtualization bundles targeting U.S. MBs, in order to make it easier for them to adopt virtualization solutions and prevent incompatibilities that could up-end the entire virtualization effort."
In order to understand U.S. small and medium businesses' plans to adopt virtualization, AMI announced it is initiating a virtualization study to explore the demand for different types of virtualization solutions (individually and as an integrated solution) and their preferences and decision-making processes. The company said the study would also provide market sizing and forecast for the different types of virtualization solutions and assess the impact on PCs, server, storage and application shipments and IT spending.