Use of Virtualization on Blades Growing: Survey

Enterprises and SMBs continue to increase their use of virtualization technology on blade servers, according to a poll conducted by industry consortium The survey showed that 82 percent of enterprises are using virtualization on blades or have plans to, while 28 percent of SMBs already are and another 36 percent plan to. In both business categories, VMware was the top choice, followed by Xen and Microsoft.

Businesses big and small are continuing to grow their use of virtualization technology in blade servers, according to a recent survey by

The results, released March 26, showed that 82 percent of the large enterprises surveyed said they already had implemented or are planning to implement projects involving the use of virtualization technology on blade servers in the data center. Enterprises in the survey were those businesses with more than $1 million in their IT budgets.

In addition, the Internet survey-conducted in the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009-indicated that smaller businesses also are increasingly embracing virtualization on blade servers. About 28 percent of the SMBs polled said they already have used virtualization technology on blades, while another 36 percent are planning to do so, according to

Less than 1 percent of larger enterprises and 15 percent of SMBs stated they had no plans to use virtualization technology. For those SMBs, the reasons included the cost of a virtualization program, not having enough information and that it was not easy enough to deploy, according to the survey. is a three-year-old industry consortium created to promote the development of adoption and development of open blade server platforms, particularly around IBM's BladeCenter platform. IBM and Intel were both founding members of the consortium, which now also counts such vendors as VMware, NetApp, Broadcom and Brocade Communications Systems among its members.

The survey also indicated that VMware has the deepest penetration into these blade projects for both large enterprises and SMBs. VMware has 82 percent penetration among enterprises, followed by Xen and Microsoft. Among SMBs, VMware has 65 percent penetration, also followed by Xen and Microsoft.

For both business categories, the desire to save money was the top factor in adopting virtualization technology. For enterprises and SMBs, other reasons included high availability, energy efficiency, ease of management and easier disaster recovery.

While the global recession has hit the server market hard, the blade server segment is still growing. Both IDC and Gartner showed significant revenue and shipment declines in the overall server market in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same quarter in 2007.

However, while growth in the blade segment slowed, there was growth. IDC said blades showed a 16.1 percent jump in revenue growth and 12.1 percent rise in shipments.

For all of 2008, Gartner said that revenue and shipments for blades both grew at least 30 percent.