Forrester: VMware well positioned among enterprises and SMBs

VMware of late has had a big target on its back and rivals such as Microsoft, Red Hat and Citrix have all been firing shots. Why?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

VMware of late has had a big target on its back and rivals such as Microsoft, Red Hat and Citrix have all been firing shots. Why? VMware has a lot of virtualization mind and market share among enterprises and small to mid-sized businesses.

According to two reports by Forrester examining the state of enterprise and SMB hardware trends, VMware seems locked in for both categories. However, Microsoft is looking like a go-to vendor among SMBs.

In the big picture, both enterprise and SMB customers say they will increasingly use virtualization to consolidate and control operating system instances. Given that fact, it's no surprise that Microsoft is targeting VMware. The recent history reveals just about everyone is targeting VMware:

Why the hubbub? Here's the snapshot of how VMware is viewed in the enterprise:


Source: Enterprise And SMB Hardware Survey, North America And Europe, Q3 2008, Forrester Research, Inc.

The big takeaway is that VMware is seen as the leader in virtualization today and in 2010. Microsoft clout is seen as eroding among enterprise customers. One interesting point in this recap is that Forrester didn't mention Red Hat as a virtualization enabler. That omission could be due to the fact that Red Hat sees virtualization as part of the operating system.

In any case, VMware has a big target on its back because virtualization will become the operating system going forward. Virtualization will control the OS ultimately.

The worry for VMware is that Microsoft can take it out in the small business market and then move up the food chain. Among small to mid-sized businesses, Microsoft is seen as gaining virtualization clout in 2010 among vendors that SMBs will actually use. 

Among SMBs, 45 percent see VMware as their primary virtualization vendor in 2010, down from 52 percent today. Twenty four percent cite Microsoft as likely to be their primary virtualization vendor, up from 18 percent today.

Forrester contends correctly that this virtualization adoption is really a precursor to cloud computing. However, cloud computing adoption has barely gotten out of the "just interested" stage among companies.

Among enterprises, 5 percent of respondents say they have implemented cloud computing--defined as pay per use hosting of virtual servers. Another 3 percent say they intend to use cloud computing in the next 12 months. Add it up and 46 percent of enterprises are interested in cloud computing, but 21 percent haven't allocated money toward it.

For SMBs, only 2 percent have implemented cloud computing with another 2 percent interested in the next 12 months. In total, 34 percent of SMBs are interested in cloud computing, but 20 percent of respondents haven't budgeted anything toward it.

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