IDC Sees the Future of Virtualization in Mobility and Live Migration

FRAMINGHAM, MA – MAY 5, 2008 – The rapid embrace of virtualization has helped change the economics of IT by not only lowering capital costs but also reducing operational costs. As customers become more familiar with the technology, virtualization is increasingly being used to solve more than just server consolidation challenges. While the next logical step beyond server consolidation is virtualization for client or desktop consolidation, there are a number of hurdles that must be overcome for server-hosted virtual desktops (vdi) to achieve its full potential.

IDC believes the next wave of adoption will be centered on mitigating the problems and costs associated with system downtime. IDC estimates that server downtime cost organizations roughly $140 billion worldwide in lost worker productivity and revenue in 2007. Because virtualization software effectively decouples the application stack from the underlying hardware, virtual servers can be copied, backed up, replicated, and moved like a file. Moreover, a growing number of virtualization software providers have incorporated the ability to do live migrations. These two capabilities provide a low cost means of quickly reallocating computing resources without any downtime.

"By directly addressing the need for cost effective business continuity, virtualization will alter the economics of IT a second time," said John Humphreys, program vice president in IDC's Enterprise Platform Group. "More importantly, mobility will be the defining feature that will move virtualization beyond just a tool for consolidation. The embrace of mobility will allow customers to use virtualization for business continuity, capacity planning, and eventually as a solution in delivering service-oriented computing."

In the capacity planning use case, users will treat multiple hosts as a single pool of resources and virtual machine loads will be balanced across the pool based on processor, memory, and I/O utilization levels, as well as policies set by the user. This will enable IT architects to plan at the resource pool level with the knowledge that any demand spikes will be met by a fast and efficient reallocation of the available server resources.

IDC believes that “policy based automation” could be achieved by bringing together SOA and virtualization. In this scenario, IT professionals would be able to shift the delivery of infrastructure and applications over to management systems that are linked to policies and service levels set by the business. Although achieving this vision would require unprecedented collaboration in the industry, if it were successful, it would be a key step from service-oriented computing to moving IT into the “cloud”.

The IDC study, The Future of Virtualization: Leveraging Mobility to Move Beyond Consolidation (Doc #211938), provides an overview of how virtualization is being utilized within the market today as well as how it is evolving. The report examines new use cases for virtualization and considers how virtualization and SOA could come together to assist the move toward the cloud computing.

Humphreys will present IDC's vision of virtualization's trajectory at the IDC Virtualization Forum to be held May 7th at the New York Marriott Financial Center in New York City. Featuring end user speakers, IDC analysts and industry experts, this one day interactive Forum offers actionable advice for managing across virtual and physical environments and creating a unified virtual environment across server, storage, I/O and client environments. For more information or to register for the IDC Virtualization Forum please go to www.idc.com/virtualization-east08.

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 44 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting www.idc.com.

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