Cutting data center costs main driver for virtualization

IDC research claims 90 percent of European companies that have adopted virtualization have done so to cut data center costs.

Nine out of 10 organizations that have adopted virtualization technologies have done so to reduce data center costs, according to research from IDC.

Of those organisations surveyed, almost half said they see virtualization as standard for new application deployment now or within "a few years".

IDC conducted the survey of 650 European companies between January and March of this year. One of the sponsors of the research was virtualization-software supplier VMware.

The survey claims that "virtualization is mainstream and is becoming a standard deployment platform for applications in data centers around Europe", according to Chris Ingle, research director for IDC's European systems group. "Customers across the region are running core business applications, test and development and business continuity systems on virtual infrastructure."

The pace of virtualization uptake has "increased a lot over the last two years", according to Ingle. "In 2007, 35 percent of data centers had some form of virtualization in place. It will be 52 percent this year."

Virtualization is not only popular with large corporations, it is catching on among medium-sized companies as well, according to Ingle: "Medium-sized companies are a bit behind, as you would expect, but not by much."

However, IDC said that virtualization does pose some issues for IT managers to think about before adoption. These issues are largely to do with managing virtualized systems. In its survey, IDC asked IT organisations how they managed their virtual estates. "The answer was: they don't," said Ingle, who said this is an important lapse. "If you don't measure it, you have problems measuring the value you are getting."

Some of the problems involved in measuring returns from virtualized estates arise from the fact that many of the tools for measuring IT performance and return are designed for physical environments, said Ingle. However, he added that the necessary tools are quickly becoming available in the virtualized world.

VMware is still the comfortable leader in the virtualization market, with 82 percent of European companies that have adopted virtualization using VMware software, according to the IDC survey.