Server Virtualization: A Five-Year Roadmap

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 Amazon.com and Google.

Click here to read more about the trend toward private clouds.

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

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...