Gartner sees boom for virtualisation in slump

While virtualisation software will take a knock from the downturn in EMEA, the market should bounce back, researcher Gartner predicts
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

The EMEA market for virtualisation software is likely to be very robust in 2009, with the market for hosted virtual desktops leading the field, according to analyst company Gartner.

However, the company warned that the global recession could put a temporary brake even on technologies designed to save businesses' money.

"The current recession that is affecting various economies in EMEA could prove to be a short-term brake on uptake of virtualised technologies, so vendors must be aware of how the technology can save organisation money by better server use and lower associated power and cooling costs within data centres," said Gartner analyst Rene Millman.

Despite the recession, Gartner predicted on Wednesday that in 2009, virtualisation software revenue in the EMEA region could increase by 55 percent, from €330m (£300) in 2008 to €512m.

"As hypervisor functionality moves to hardware, the primary source of growth will be in the server virtualisation management market, which will increase 54.3 percent to reach €244.8m by the end of 2009," Gartner said in a statement.

The nascent hosted virtual desktop (HVD) software market in EMEA, which stood at around €12m in 2008, will treble by the end of 2009, Gartner said. An HVD is a full, thick-client user environment, with an operating system and applications, running on a virtual desktop.

In terms of adoption of virtualised platforms, the UK, Germany and France have the biggest markets, said Gartner. Together, the three countries represented 89 percent of total EMEA revenue in 2008, which in 2009 will account for €451m in revenue. The UK accounted for 23 percent of the EMEA revenue from virtualisation in 2008, with Germany accounting for 22 percent, and France 16 percent. In the area of HVDs, "some of the largest deployments have been in the UK and Germany", Gartner said.

In February, Gartner predicted global revenue from virtualisation software will grow by 43 percent this year, hitting $2.7bn (£1.9bn), compared to $1.9bn in 2008. In addition, the global penetration of virtualisation technology in businesses is forecast to hit 20 percent by the end of the year — up from 12 percent in 2008.

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